My phone is dying. And not in a “The battery is at 19%” kind of way. It’s full-on, Lavinia-in-Season-2-of-Downton-Abbey dying: slowly, sneakily, and after having the temerity to drag me away from the better option. (Don’t @ me, Mary haters.)
I loved my QWERTY keyboard phone. Sure, I didn’t have Snapchat and every message someone posted on a group thread appeared as its own separate alert, but that thing was great. When I left work for the day, I was done with all things Internet. Checking my email or Facebook notifications would have meant booting up my laptop when I got home, which I was too lazy to do most of the time. When I’d pull my old cell out around people I’d just met, they’d say in admiration, “Oh my God, you still have one of those phones?” I experienced the same kind of superiority I imagine those people feel who live in 500-square-foot carbon-neutral houses or whatever. Keepin’ it simple, bitch.
But then my dad switched our plan from Sprint to Cricket, and I found out it would literally cost more money to have a shittier phone. Being contrary for the hell of it was my thing in high school, but now I’m just barely mature enough (or maybe just not hipster enough) to realize how dumb it is to pay more money for less…I dunno. Wireless magic.
So I caved and got the Android that is least removed from a tin can and string on the phylogenetic-telephonic tree.
Literally the only kind of phone I want.
And of course I became addicted to it, because there are studies saying that you basically can’t help it. Luckily (kind of), it came with enough space for only like, three apps, which kept me from downloading useless things like Shazam or Candy Crush or Tindr. I had email, Lyft, the app for my gym (what happened to checking in with one of those ID cards with picture of you they took when you joined that is awful because who wears makeup to the gym?), and later Instagram.
And then it started acting possessed. “Not enough storage!” it would cry. “Can’t update apps!” And then I would go in and check out what was taking up so much goddamn space (I had only posted like three pics on my Instagram), and literally 80% of my storage was allocated to “Miscellaneous.” What is that?! So then I would go see what needed to be updated so badly, and it would be like, “Google docs and twenty-one other useless widgets you never open.” Whatever, I thought, I’ll just delete these instead, and then it would respond with something to the effect of: “Warning! Trying to delete this pre-installed/built-in crap will completely fuck up the internal workings of your phone.”
“What do you want from me?!” I would shout while deleting two old texting threads containing a lot of Bitmojis, hoping that would solve the problem.
I’ve managed this way for about three years now, but it’s getting worse and worse. I moved away from the gym I went to, so I deleted that app, and haven’t downloaded anything new. But just the other day, my phone came up with the same notification: “Running low on storage space. Some functions may not work properly.” If that doesn’t sound like a passive-aggressive, I’m-going-on-strike kind of threat, I don’t know what is. Where is the storage space going? Nothing is using it! Is my phone eating its own insides? Is gigabyte cannibalism a thing?
It’s insanely malicious in other ways as well. Not only will it “autocorrect” words to other words (“toll” to “roll”); it will correct them to words that aren’t real words, like “you” to “yoi.” What is “yoi?!” It sounds like a failed catchphrase, is what it sounds like. I can’t even do one of my favorite activities (calling my mom while panic-jogging), because whenever I plug my earbuds into the jack, if I don’t tap the screen every three minutes or so to be like, “Hello, I’m still here and using you,” my phone will restart itself, effectively ending the call and leaving me pant-rambling to myself until I realize what’s happened and throw it in Lake Michigan, again.
I do not want a new phone. I know people will line up for new iPhones like, every six months, but the only things I’ve ever lined up for in my life are a) to see a discussion panel featuring Daniel Radcliffe and b) the release of every Harry Potter book and no one point out the pattern to me here I get it. But sadly, it looks like I’m going to have to pay the Cricket store a visit sooner than I’d like.
Until then, Daniel, if you’re reading this – don’t call. Please Tweet.