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TMCNet:  Send help!Face-to-face with the reality of impending repair [Daily Record, The (Wooster, OH)]

[June 09, 2014]

Send help!Face-to-face with the reality of impending repair [Daily Record, The (Wooster, OH)]

(Daily Record, The (Wooster, OH) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) If the world were a truly patient place, the smartphone would never have been invented. Furthermore, I suggest the very invention of the smartphone -- a device which makes possible instant and constant access to almost anything -- has actually amplified one of the problems it was created to solve: It makes us even less patient! That's the long way of justifying the fact I was able to wait only a tiny fraction of the prescribed "drying time" after I had fumbled my iPhone into the commode, dove elbow deep into the briny basin to retrieve it, then dutifully placed it in a bowl of rice.


At first it seemed my burgeoning impatience would be further reinforced as all of the tiny gadgets and gizmos lit up on the phone's screen as I powered it up, but as the moments moved forward it became clear all was not quite as it should be. The "home button" which, as the name implies, is the center of the phone's universe, was no longer working -- a big problem, yes, but not an insurmountable one. A larger problem was revealed when I read a newly-arrived text message from my friend, Keith.

"What did you need?" he wrote.

"Huh?" I texted back.

"You've tried to Facetime me several times in the past few hours," he said. "I just wondered what you needed." "Facetime" is an iPhone feature that allows you to actually see the person with whom you are speaking -- a video phone call. Although Keith is a great pal, I would venture to say neither he nor I can even imagine a scenario where we'd wish to gaze at each other's leathery mugs as we speak over the phone.

"Dude, I dropped my phone in the toilet and it Facetimed YOU!" (Actually, I would have loved to see his reaction when he read that text!) It soon became clear my phone's random "Facetiming" was not just a once-in-a-lifetime glitch, nor was it limited to close friends. I woke at 4:30 a.m. the following morning when my phone spoke from the nightstand.

"Attempting to Facetime 'Mr. Smith'" (a local CEO who happened to be on my telephone's contact list from a long-ago newspaper interview.) I slapped the phone to the ground in the darkness and it spoke again.

"Attempting to Facetime Tiffany" -- one of my nieces who was probably sleeping between late-night feedings of her infant son at that moment.

I dove from the bed to hit the gadget's kill button.

In the ensuing days, each time I've left the phone turned on for an extended period of time it ends up calling or Facetiming some random individual from my list of contacts. I'm rapidly arriving at the realization that one of the only things my smartphone can't do is fix itself. Still, it seems "smart" enough to figure out a way of goading me into taking it to be repaired! (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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