Sunday, July 24, 2016

Technology

My husband got me a FitBit for my birthday back in February. I love the thing. I love how it counts my steps and tells me what a shitty night's sleep I had. I did have one problem with it, though, which was that I could not get it to synch with my iPhone for love nor money. I could get it to synch with my PC, but that was somewhat inconvenient. When I was out east a few weeks ago, my FitBit reflected the wrong time (off by one hour) for the entire trip because I could not synch it. It was slightly maddening. Finally, in desperation, I called FitBit and talked to Jose. Jose walked me through the same instructions I'd Googled a dozen times. Despite his best efforts, the FitBit and my phone simply could not find a way to get along. Friendly Jose told me that they would send me a new one at no charge.

Every other FitBit user I know has had theirs replaced at least once so that makes me wonder about just how sturdy this technology really is. But, I didn't complain. I received my new FitBit in the mail about a week later and voila! It synchs perfectly. Also, another feature started working that had never worked before - my wrist now buzzes when I have an incoming call.  I also set up a custom message that my FitBit gives me when it's done charging: "URNOTFAT."  Awwww, thanks, FitBit!

In other technology news, you know that phone I told my kid she couldn't have? I bought her a phone. Our cellular provider was having a big sale on Thursday and since the phone acquisition was inevitable anyway, I thought I may as well get it as inexpensively as possible.

In preparation for the new phone, I reset her Apple and Google passwords to make sure I had full access to both. I do have to keep a close eye on her. She downloads a lot of crap and I am doing my best to keep her safe. After work on Thursday, I headed over to the mall and bought the phone. The phone, with this sale, was one penny (for an iPhone6). However, I immediately purchased two kinds of insurance for it so I actually had to lay out a hundo right off the bat.

I tried to decide how to give her the phone.  Her dad and I talked and decided it would be on a trial basis at first just to see how she does. On Thursday night, after she went to bed, I charged the phone, set it up on our Wifi, and added the phone to my OurPact account.  OurPact allows me to shut down her devices remotely. That way, she can't stay up all night playing Minecraft.

On Friday morning, I cranked up the ringer on her phone and snuck into her room as she slept, setting it carefully on her dresser.  I closed the door and then called the phone from my phone. I could hear it bing-bonging away at full volume. She didn't answer (I am not kidding when I say that she sleeps like the dead). I called again. I could hear her rustling around. Finally, her bedroom door opened and she stood there with the phone in her hands. She looked at me with her jaw open. I don't know when I've seen her look so surprised.

Her dad and I immediately laid down a bunch of ground rules about the phone. Prior to the purchase, I had talked to a good friend whose daughter is a little older than mine. She had given me some tips on how to retain control of the phone, apps to watch out for, etc.

I promised to take her out the next day and buy her a case for the phone. She immediately started texting her friends and telling everyone that she FINALLY GOT A PHONE!

Now that the kid had a phone, I knew it was finally time to get rid of the home phone. I'm pretty sure I'm the last person in my county who had one. I held onto it for three reasons: emergencies, for the kid's use, and because when I was with Boxer Rescue, that number was printed on over 900 ID tags that were doled out to the dogs we placed. I was worried that someone would find a lost dog and not be able to call.  The timing (for getting rid of the phone) seemed more reasonable now, though.

Disconnecting the phone meant a phone call to Time Warner. I braced myself for this on Friday night. I would rather eat glass than to call Time Warner. I called and navigated the auto-attendant maze. I was connected with a live person. So far, so good. The representative who took my call was not particularly helpful because I couldn't seem to come up with a PIN that we apparently established 20 years ago when we set up the account (even though I was logged into our account online at the time and could provide any other type of information she could possibly want). She then asked, "What's a good number to reach you in case we get disconnected?" I thought to myself, "You know, and I know, and you know that I know, that if we are 'accidentally disconnected,' there is no way you are going to bother to call back." But I gave her my cell number.  Sure enough, we were "accidentally disconnected" a few minutes later. Imagine!

No one called me back. So, after sighing deeply and emitting a few R-rated words, I called back and got a different rep. This one, for whatever reason, did not seem to need a PIN. She disconnected our home phone as requested and moved us to a package that includes some channels that we didn't have before. I'll have to look closely at the next bill to see if there is anything we need to change. That's one of my many complaints about Time Warner. They have these mysterious "special packages," but you have to call and ask about them. When you are one of these packages and it expires, they simply hike up the rate and hope you won't notice/care. I mean, sure, you are welcome to call Time Warner and ask about a new package, but you are also welcome to go fuck yourself and they don't really care either way.

I rounded up our cordless phones and shoved them in a bag in the basement just in case we ever need them again.  By that time, I was in a foul mood and took it out on my family. I poured myself a vodka cranberry (which turned out to be a really bad decision because the kid and I went to a hot yoga class the next morning) and tried to block out my Time Warner-related angst.

My daughter was still playing with her new phone over the weekend. As I was getting ready on Saturday, my wrist buzzed: my child was calling me from the next room. "This might be just a little too much technology," I thought to myself.

Anyway, all is well at the moment. The kid has the phone she's always wanted.  My FitBit works. Time Warner can go suck an egg.

Oh, and yes, I did let my kid install Pokemon Go even though I have concerns about how much data/battery it uses. It was sprinkling yesterday but we went out for a walk anyway. I was close to the daily goal of 10,000 steps at that point, so I knew I could hit the goal with a decent walk.  She caught some Pokemon and I hit my goal. Grover chewed some tree bark he found in the street. It was a good day.

 

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