Opinion

No more keeping up app-earances | Opinion

By John Lewis

Sometimes life throws up a cracked mirror that reveals a cruel truth.

I have always thought I was getting along nicely with 21st Century technology.

Screens and keyboards don't scare me, I can use USBs, I know the difference between high and low res (see me afterwards) and I can sometimes navigate the labyrinthine universe of passwords without throwing things through windows.

I even have a Samsung Galaxy smart phone with fingerprint security, two email accounts and Spotify.

I snigger at people my age who can't take a selfie without looking like a dead fish.

Nobody calls me crusty when it comes to mobile phones.

I have a drawer full of them at home because I made a habit of getting a new one every two years.

My collection goes back to a red Nokia the size of a shoe, followed by a flip-phone, slim phone, touch-screen phone, panoramic photo phone, latte-with-one-sugar-making phone and a super-sized-button phone.

When I bought my most recent Samsung I made a resolution not to buy any more.

How many pixels do you really need on a phone?

I reckon I could photograph a bee on the moon if I had the correct app on the phone I have right now.

Will next year's model do any better? I reckon the electronics and software have gone just about as far as they can and new models are just sold on cosmetics.

Unless the next model comes with Star Trek tele-transportation, I resolved never to buy a new phone. I'll take my trusty smart Galaxy to the grave.

Then this week I was made to feel like a crusty old-timer fumbling with his pre-COVID joke-phone when I was asked to scan in a QR code to register my COVID 19-tracing details.

I was in a queue of funky media hipsters about to enter the new SAM building site when I confidently flipped my sleek rose-gold Samsung across the scanner.

Nothing happened. I flipped again. Nothing happened.

The nice young project manager behind me then said a little too loudly; "Oh you've got one of those old phones!”

I nearly choked on my notepad and biro.

An old phone? This is a Galaxy S7 for goodness sake. I can even use it to order a coffee.

It didn't matter. I had to walk shamefully into another portable cabin alone and fill out my COVID 19-tracing details on a tablet with a keyboard. I nearly asked for a typewriter.

When I got home, my daughter told me her phone is an S20 and that my S7 was in fact the equivalent of an early Alexander Graham Bell wind-up wall phone.

Now I'm looking for a new phone with anti-ageing software and an invisibility cloak.

Shouldn't be too hard.