It’s been that kind of a day. To the point where this post contains some R-rated uncensored profanity. (I try not to rant too much, but good lord, today was…special.)
Technology hates me in general. In fact, technology mishaps/malfunctions are a potential trigger.
No, really–it’s definitely got a “thing” for me. I’ve even begun to suspect that it’s out to get me. And I’m not even the paranoid type.
The computer “hangs”, trying to process something I’ve asked it to do (I’m not that demanding–I promise), hour-glassing me or color-wheeling me into oblivion. Every so often, the browser finally crashes. This even happens on my smartphone, of all things. Yes, my smartphone browser quits–almost daily.
Or, like this morning, the laptop screen goes black, without warning, and apparently it was up to my psychic powers to realize that “42%” battery remaining actually meant, “lights out, yo.”
Just like that.
This was the first time this had happened; usually, my laptop behaves itself (kinda), properly counting down the percentage of remaining battery life. The battery wears out too quickly, but it doesn’t wear out completely until it’s actually at 0%. So I had no idea. At first, I thought the whole machine had finally died.
Needless to say, I. Freaked. Out. What now?? What am I going to do?? When did I last back up my important files?? They’re at the office, and I’m conveniently 70 miles away. This was supposed to be one of my sacred work days, a day I depended on very heavily for some consecutive, solid work time, uninterrupted. I was sure I had lost everything. No way did that battery wind down that fast. It was at 58% 15 minutes ago!
Profanity flew, except that I was in a school library, so I had to do my best to contain them under my breath. My stress level shot so high that I actually found myself sitting there, in a school library, out of breath. And that was the second such stress response I’d had today. And it wasn’t even 11am. Not a good omen. Eventual Meltdown Risk Factor suddenly rose to DefCon 2.
Plugged the damn thing back in. Thank goodness, it turned on. But it powered up from scratch. Shit, that means I lost everything that I hadn’t had the presence of mind to save yet.
(By now, the more techno-uppity might be thinking, “save early, save often, and for the love of all that is holy, back your shit up!” Yeah, yeah, I know all that…and I do, I swear. I save my work daily, maybe even several times a day. But not every hour. (Maybe I should.) And I do backups, too. Not nearly often enough, nor do I back everything up, but I back up the crucial stuff, at least once a…well, OK. It’s been a year. I know, bad me. Lesson learned.)
But one fluke of a bad day does not a Technology Hates Me phenomenon make. Nope, this is a chronic, ongoing issue.
Internet browsers? I use two of them, and depending on how many PDFs I’ve opened and saved to my hard drive (it could be 1,000 in a heavy-usage day), each of them can easily crash daily.
Cell phone? Yep, I’ve dealt with it all. Zombie texts that won’t delete (it took me a few months, but I finally solved that problem). Web browser? Yep, crashes nearly daily.
Then there are the websites. Websites are getting downright naggy. It’s getting obnoxious. They’re like annoying, screechy, bubbly cheerleaders:
“Make our browser your default browser!” (Did that; you failed; I deleted.)
“Software update available!” (Fuck off.)
“Your web browser is no longer supported. Upgrade now.” (It’s like they’re trying to order me around. I’m not a dog.)
“Invite your friends!” (Yeah, so that we can collect data on all of them, too.)
“Find more friends!” (How many friends do you think I have, anyway?)
“So-and-so poked you!” (Three people “poked” me in one day, after no one has ever “poked” me? Yeah, I think certain social media sites are hallucinating.)
“So-and-so scored [X number of] points on [insert lame game here]!”
“So-and-so’s social media invitation is still awaiting (read: “demanding”) your attention!”
“Add your mobile number!” (What, so you can hound me when I’m away from my computer, too? Oh, and I “love” how that little “skip for now”–so presumptuous, by the way–is in the tiniest of font, waaaaay at the bottom.)
“Sign up for our mailing list!” (…”So that we can spam you! What a treat!”) “Bonus” points if the rest of the website is grayed out behind the ridiculous sign-up box that now takes extra time to find that faint little “close” or “x” button.
“Take our survey about our website!” (Dude, I just got on your site, looking for information. Now gimme the information I was looking for. Hello, “Back” button!)
My new least favorite is “Download our app!” (Yeah, because Yahoo needs an app. Why do that when I can just go to their site? Yeah, I know, they won’t be able to snoop in the nooks and crannies of my phone and siphon all of my data behind the scenes…bummer.)
Or even worse, when you click on their site in search results and it forcibly takes you to the app store and attempts to strong-arm you into downloading the app.
And there are other “Calls To Action”, as the nagging is known in the business world.
Waaaaaay too overstimulating. I do the “Just Say No” thing…a lot. I also use a lot of web browser plug-ins, like No-Script, Ghostery, AdBlock Plus, and several others.
And do not get me started on the smartphone word auto-suggestions (never in my life have I typed “tga” or “I heavy”. *Facepalm*), autocorrect errors (sometimes they’ll take a word I spelled correctly and change it to something non-sensical), or cellular data networks whose speeds suddenly drop sharply, just when you need the connection the most.
“OK,” you might be saying. “Put down the damn tech-toys already, before your head explodes.”
Probably good advice, at least for the day. (Although it’s not like everything will be better tomorrow, either; like I mentioned early on, this is a daily thing.)
“Well then, could you rely on technology a little less?”
I wish. Suffice it to say that I can’t.
But anyway, for tonight… Let’s do…TV?
Nope. The master power button turns on three devices: the TV itself, the cable box, and the stereo receiver, through which our audio is routed. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to happen, in theory.
For me? Pushing the master power button turns on two of those three devices. Ugh, that means one of the devices didn’t “see” the signal coming from the remote. Aiming more directly, I try again. Well, all that does is turn off the two devices that turned on, and turn on the device that didn’t power up the first time.
Ugh. OK, each one separately–go. Yep, success. Once I have everything on, I can finally have some peace, maybe enjoy a DVR-recorded show. Except that when I choose a show to watch and settle in with a cat and some chocolate, the power spikes (my town is notorious for that) and the TV snaps off, “freezing” for about two minutes. When you’re fried and trying to unwind from the day, two minutes might as well be eternity.
Ugh again. I know–First World Problem. But seriously, it’s frustrating.
I’m at the point of saying, screw technology. I’m opting for paper books, an abacus, chalkboard tablet, and a sundial. That’s all we really need anyway. Paper books don’t “freeze”, the abacus won’t nag you for yet another upgrade, you don’t have to use a remote to turn on the chalkboard tablet, and the sundial doesn’t “crash”.
Every so often, I have One Of Those Days, where nothing’s right and everything’s wrong, where everything is a shitass and every driver is a jackhole. It happens.
I’m sure tomorrow will be…if not better, at least more tolerable 🙂