This story may sound funny to some, but I was a very upset granny last night. I was held hostage by my phone that started talking to me and kept me in that pickle until I got relief at the Verizon Store the next day. Here is what happened over twelve hours of my life that I can never get back.
I was deleting and revising some applications on my Smart Phone that was possibly slowing it down. I came across an application that said something about voice recognition. I frequently hit the microphone icon on my phone screen to search for something, get directions, or ask for the correct spelling of a word, as I am dyslexic and have always been a lousy speller. So I clicked that feature. Immediately my phone began talking to me. I realized I did not want this feature so I tried to uncheck it to no avail. Instead I heard ” Swipe with two fingers to open”. I would hear this message for the next twelve hours. I tried to turn the phone off thinking that might reset something, without any luck.
I headed to my land line and called Verizon tech support. The very nice lady tried helping me for at least an hour. I needed to turn my phone off for her to help me from her end. That was impossible from my end. Finally she assured me that a friendly tech person at my local Verizon Store would be able to help me even if he had to reset my phone to the factory settings. She said the feature I had activated was devised to help visually impaired people to use the phone. Well later I listened to the commands with my eyes shut and tried to follow the instructions with no positive results. I think if a person with vision problems had been in my place they would have stomped the phone into smithereens and figured out another way to communicate with the outside world.
I continued trying to open my phone with the commands I was getting. I once got into my contact list. I could hear the names but no phone number or any instruction on how to call them. I was essentially locked out of my phone. I finally gave up and went to bed. Sleep did not come, because in the next room I continued to hear “Swipe with two fingers to open” plus the time of day, every fifteen minutes.
The last comment the Verizon Tech lady said got my attention. If the phone had to be reset to the factory setting would I lose all that I had put on my phone? So I crawled out of bed and started writing down all of my passwords to everything that my phone was saving. I assumed that everything would have to be synced again. I retrieved my contact list and began writing down names and phone numbers that I feared would be lost. I was concerned that the hundreds of photos on the phone might be lost. I wondered if the cloud thing or any other application would have my pictures saved and could I even remember how to get to them? Did I need a password and could I find it? For anyone reading this it is obvious that I am not very tech savvy, to say the least.
At this point I realized that my darn life was tied to this 2″ by 6″ gadget. Contacts, pictures and my lifeline to the world was in the palm of my hand and holding me hostage. I think I would have been better off had I placed my phone in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator to block out the talking and tried to get some sleep. The mind can alway conjure up problems that do not exist, or can be easily solved.
The next morning I was standing in front of a friendly Tech employee by ten o’clock. In minutes he had my phone in working order, without having to wipe anything out, or having to do a factory reset. He smiled and said “This happens a lot”.
I think I am going to have to wean myself from this tiny monster. I am in the process of searching for a rotary phone and a new address/phone book.