Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spin Cycle: My mePhone

This week's Spin Cycle is about Technology. I posted this in April of 2009, but have decided to re-post it as a Spin Cycle entry since it seems to fit with the theme. This is a tongue and cheek look at how technology could go too far…

Do you have that new mePhone yet…

Until the brown paper parcel landed on my welcome mat
Even the pretty secretaries who wouldn't even
All recognize my handwriting
And return to sender as a matter of fact

Lately I've been receiving mail indicating that I have won a new cell phone which got me to thinking… What if they actually sent you the phone instead? I currently do not have a cell phone— nor am I going to fill out those forms to get the one I just won. Of course you have to realize that many new phones have GPS built in for E-911 tracking purposes— which makes you wonder what else is being tracked. I'm curious what would happen in a world where they forgo the application form and just send you the phone instead…
Come jump in my adjective dementia dimension machine and I'll take you to that world:

When I got home from work my wife lets me know that there is a package on the front stoop with my name on it and jokingly asked if would I please take it inside before the neighbors call the bomb squad again. As I open the box there appears to to be a green glow emanating from under the packing peanuts. I start reading the promo letter that came with the package:

Congratulations, you have just won a new mePhone.
There is no need to activate this phone because it has already been activated for you. Service is free to all mePhone subscribers. All we ask is that you use our service and enjoy your new mePhone.

I try to empty the box of the packing material and accidentally spill the phone on the floor and the glowing stops. My wife picks it up and says I broke it and hands it over to me. Instantly the green glow reappears the moment it touches my hand and the glow starts to pulse as well. I quip back… "it's not broken— it's just sleeping".

I snickered a bit when I saw "11G" on the case (4G is so passe— I guess it goes to 11 now). I tried calling a friend to test out the reception and got the following automated message:

******** is currently on the phone with ******
If you want to leave a message, press 1…
If you want to page this person, press 2…
If you want to leave a text on their phone, press 3…
If you want to locate this person, press 4

Intrigued, I pressed 4 and was instantly displayed with a map. Not only that, but the balloon indicator was moving rapidly across the map as if the person was in a car traveling along. Unwilling to continue, I hung up.

A few minutes later, I got a call from the person who I tried calling earlier…

Friend: Hey, I didn't know that you got a new phone
Me: Uh, I didn't even leave a message—
Friend: That's OK, pretty cool how it said it was you and that you were looking for me— how sweet.
Me: Yea, just trying to figure out the phone.

I hung up and was instantly asked to give an audio prompt to identify this caller for future reference. I spoke their name and pressed save and turned off the phone. I then wondered how it knew how to find this person and instantly the phone came back to life and proceeded to ask If I wanted to find ********… and repeated the name I just spoke using my voice. It was at this point that I knew something strange was happening.

If I were you I'd change my name again
They don't care what they do to you believe me

I put the phone down and decided to take the dog for a walk. Funny how I kept seeing a plain colored Civic with a strange tripod on top silently turning the corner every time I walk down another street with the dog. And why is it that all through my walk I kept thinking the phrase: "If you would like to make a call— please pick up and try again"… I think I'll return the phone now.

I'll write this story down, but you'll never guess the
Final Twist
Blow the whistle on the whole design
As they find my name on that fatal mailing list
I hear the clatter of a typewriter
Another rookie eating up the reams
I think it's time to place my feet under the desk

1, 2, 3 Excerpts from the Elvis Costello song: "King of Thieves" from the album Punch the Clock.

small cycle


Sprite's Keeper said...

We're only COMING to that? I thought we were already there! The fact that there's a website that can place you anywhere by tracking your cell? Scary.
You're linked!

Jan said...

I'm with Jen - you mean this isn't how things are now?

Anonymous said...

Ah! My new career awaits me! I would love to be the car with the tripod doing the following.

Because that would require casual dress right? Sweats would be okay? And no make-up right?

Yep, sounds like heaven! hee hee

Kerry said...

Hey I don't have a cell phone either; didn't realize there were two of us (good thing we never have to actually call each other:)

Robin said...

Oooh! Creepy! Creative post!
I am impressed that you don't have a cell phone. But on the other hand, if we were married, I can't say I'd be too cool with that. (Just ask my poor suffering husband.)
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I've seen your comments around the interwebs... it was only a matter of a post or two before we collided. :)

Anonymous said...

Blame the government. I find if I do that, people just nod in agreement.

Mama Badger said...

This is how things are! PB and I contantly get krappe from our friends because we don't have the stupid "ap" that lets them track us. Uhm, I'm at home with my kids. Want to verify? Drive over and have a real converation! Big Brother, indeed. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Yes, very big brothery creepery ish.... I'm sure this tracking stuff happens all the time. It's rather scary. Like when you look at your cell phone bill and what numbers you dialed and it tells you WHERE (area) you placed the call FROM? No sense in saying "Yeah honey I was at such and such a place" when all they have to do is look at your cell phone bill to see where you really were! YIKES

great spin

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