Ok, probably sometime in the future, I will find it amusing. Today, not so much.
There are a lot of things I don’t understand about life, but what I find strange about today’s topic is that no one has mentioned it, as far as I know.
I’m talking about the lack of information in smartphone manuals.
Let’s see, the last time I wrote about my smartphone, it was sitting on my dresser, waiting to be activated. I finally did that yesterday.
With a lot of tears and profanity.
Also, I managed to change some wifi settings in the vain hope that my phone would connect to my home wifi.
With a lot of tears and profanity.
Additionally, I managed to input contacts, set 2 appointments on my calendar, and put a clock on my home screen.
No tears or profanity, but I had to use YouTube to learn how to do these things, and somehow during the ‘adding contacts’ phase I accidentally called my older son…
And couldn’t find the red phone icon in order to disconnect. Probably because I panicked and felt so dumb. So I left a message:
“Um sorry this is mom…I accidentally called you…I am gonna try to hang up now…love you.”
And I actually turned off the phone because I still couldn’t work out how to hang up!
“Why didn’t you read the manual?” perhaps some of you are shaking your heads and talking to the computer screen right about now.
Well, duh, I did. The manual that has 1 page with a picture in order to point out what the buttons are, 1 page devoted to ‘how to charge your phone’ (which I actually figured out all by myself), half a page on how to activate your phone (I used the website, thanks), 1 page showing me that my phone has apps, 1 page about voicemail, and a page on how to manage my account from the phone…which gets me an error message when I try to use that feature.
There are a few more pages about Motorola Migrate – which I can’t use because this is my first Android phone, how to take photos & videos (oh hell it will be weeks before I even tackle that), how to send a message (but not how to read it or reply to one), picture & video messaging (no!), international services, and VZ Navigator, which also gets me an error message when I try to use it.
That’s it. No “how to make a call”, “how to add contacts”, “how to fix it once you messed up adding contacts” (which I did), or “how to send call to vm/block call/answer the damn phone”.
YouTube to the rescue, and, in particular, FuriousTechnology (thanks, guys!) and “Pat, from Consumer Cellular”. No, Consumer Cellular is not my phone company, but Pat is very helpful in terms of “how to teach dummies over 50 to use a Moto G without losing their minds”.
To backtrack….regarding the activation…I used the website to activate my phone, and wanted to set up autopay so I could just have them take money out of my account each month. So I did that but then discovered they hadn’t taken out the monthly charge so I could use my phone right away, so back to unenrolling from that and adding money.
Then it told me my balance was 0. What?? Well, I thought, maybe that just means I paid (it did). But I wanted to make sure so made a note in my head to email Verizon to ask them.
No way am I calling India to find out. I was already upset and didn’t want to compound it by talking to “Quentin” (who is really Ramesh), who will be nice I’m sure but will infuriate me by being unable to understand what I need. Partly, I admit, because I will probably be shouting.
Next task: to connect Moto to wifi so I won’t use data for…whatever (Tool ringtones, probably). I went to the options and it asked me for the router password. Confidently, I located the password and…huh?
Where in hell is the keyboard on this thing??
I couldn’t find it. And, being one of those “don’t touch anything or you’ll break it” types from the early days of computers, I didn’t want to just start swiping etc.
So I got back online and had a chat with Verizon’s customer service rep, figuring at least if it was an online chat she couldn’t hear me yelling. She helped me find the keyboard and all was well (just go to the bottom of your phone). She also assured me I had put money on my phone. I thanked her and logged off.
But… after I input my password, the phone wouldn’t connect. It just kept saying it was looking for the network, though occasionally it would quickly flash that it had connected…then go back to looking. And looking. And LOOKING!!
So I figured, while my phone was looking for the wifi network, I would go into settings. I wanted to turn off Google Play updates because I read that the phone will use up data that way (see? I actually had learnt something at some point).
But, of course, that’s not in settings. You have to go to Google Play for that, and log in. Log in, using the 3G network I am trying so desperately NOT to use. Because…
Using data = BAD. This got drilled into my head during my research into smartphones (ie, which phone to get). Because, I guess, you don’t want to run out of data and then either have to pay for more, or rely on a wifi network somewhere. Oh no! What would you do then???
After numerous attempts to find the correct setting to turn off updates, and in the process stumbling on the ‘data used’ thing in my phone, I watched as the data just kept, well, being used….mb by mb. 9.75mb just by having Google on my phone??
I felt helpless. I knew Moto was using data somehow by continually connecting to Google Play and doing what-I-don’t-know (passing the time of day with some kind of computer-talk that only devices understand?), and I didn’t know how to stop it.
What if I connected to Google and it downloaded all my email to my phone?! Clearly I would hate that, as I have no idea what I would do then.
Emails are for laptops. Not for phones. Not for me, with only 500 mb of data. I think. I don’t even know what a “mb” is, let alone how many it will use for email – all I know is I don’t have enough of them to, say, watch General Hospital while I am waiting at one of the many doctor’s offices I go to each month.
Yes, they have TV, but for some reason, in every doctor’s office I go to, they are all set to CBS, not ABC. So I got hooked on the Young and the Restless, too. Thanks a bunch, all of you who control waiting room televisions.
Anyway, I was helplessly watching the data just drain away, while frantically looking up anything on the internet that might help me (Pat was of no use, unfortunately)…and there was nothing. I can usually find anything I want using an internet search, but for this?
Nada, zip, zilch. “We all know how to do this already so we won’t bother to post about it,” the internet seemed to scream. Or maybe the screaming was just in my head.
So…I lost it. I started to cry. I didn’t know how to do anything on this phone, the manual just assumes you know about Androids and technology, and I was about to just give up and go back to the hated basic phone I have! Which isn’t even on Verizon, it’s on Virgin which is a zillion times worse!
Why was everything on this phone so hard? Why is it intuitive for everyone except me?
I spent over 30 years in the IT world, and I still have to rely on my kids for information about new technologies. They grew up with technology, and it was always part of their lives, even away from the workplace. We had to learn it, and even then, it was “only a job”. So it comes easier to them. I won’t say “natural”, but it is easier.
Agreed. My youngest learnt how to type well before he learnt to talk. When we were little? Heck, my family didn’t even have color TV! So different these days…
I believe I’ve had this conversation before.