Over the last month or so, something deeply tragic occurred within my life. It was something that I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemies…well, maybe some of them.
It’s kind of hard to talk about but I’ll give it a go, so that others can hopefully learn from my misfortune. Are you ready? Here we go…
This is the story of how I had to spend a month without my smartphone.
OK, maybe the intro was a slight exaggeration…or was it? You see everything started off pretty nicely.
I had bought a brand new phone about 3 ½ months ago but it was playing up a bit so I thought I’d take it in store and find out what was going on. It should have been a simple procedure, I hadn’t had the phone long, so I assumed the staff would be fighting tooth and nail to solve the issues as quickly as possible…but you know what they say about assumptions…
This is where it all started, the phone had to be sent off for repair, but not just any repair, a manufacturer repair, so the store couldn’t help me and they wouldn’t have anyway as I’d bought it online (what the hell is that about anyway?!)
So off my phone went, into the great unknown and I was left with nothing, that was until I was handed this…
It was apparently a stand-by phone but it looked like a museum piece. It could very well have been mankind’s first phone.
Now, you may think this sounds a tad ungrateful but this contraption was utterly useless to me.
As a deaf person, I avoid phone calls like the plague and as a country person, my mobile phone signal is non existent. I don’t make calls and I don’t text, the internet is my lifeblood.
I use emails & messenger apps not only to socialise but also for work. Did the stand-by phone have an internet feature…no, it did not.
I was doomed, I would have been better off with a carrier pigeon.
I was going to have to “kick it old school” and rely on things like pen and paper or talking to people, face to face. Perhaps this was all for the best though? Maybe I had been living online too much.
There’s a word for it isn’t there? Overexposure or something? Maybe this experience would be an enlightening one, life changing even!
It wasn’t. It was just straight up, annoying and all of that “overexposure” nonsense is just hipster BS. The internet is useful, people! Especially so when it comes to being Deaf.
When I had my smartphone I could navigate unfamiliar streets without struggling to ask for directions, I could look up what that muffled announcement on the train platform was trying to tell me, I could tune my guitar, I could contact pretty much anyone, anywhere, at anytime!
I could be independent.
That’s what it was all about. When they took my smartphone and all of it’s glorious little apps, they took away a piece of that independence that can be pretty hard to find for some Deaf people. It was like being naked for a month.
So, what happened in the end? How was it resolved? Basically, after numerous phone calls made by my partner, several trips back to the store and a plethora of lies, I was finally informed that the repair centre, had in fact, lost my phone. Frickin’ perfect.
The only thing left to do was accept a brand new handset and think about how to construct my rant for The Limping Chicken.
It might seem like a petty #FirstWorldProblem to those who can’t afford, or simply manage fine without smartphones but in this day and age, with all the technological wonders of the world, it’s things like smartphones/tablets/laptops that are much more than a privilege for the Deaf and disabled, they’re a necessity.
And if you’re still not convinced, maybe next time I can tell you about the time my hard drive died.
Teresa is a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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