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    Volume 10 |Issue 07| February 18, 2011 |

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A Touching Story


It is a strange and mind-boggling phenom-enon that, while the rest of the world is plunging into the age of the techno-savvy, there are some of us for whom these 'awesome' little technological advancements present fearful, difficult-to-elucidate challenges.

Say, for instance, you are in the techno-phobic category and by some default of fate (mainly because you just got too ambitious) you own a touch-screen mobile phone. It has you will find way too many 'features' to be of any use to you. It also has a mind of its own. You may find that while there is no question regarding the benefits of having a little world in your phone - constant updates on your email, e-books, e-diaries, e-games, e-relationships and so on-there are some unexpected situations cooked up by this little devil of a device, that leaves you a little paranoid.

One of the first lessons you will learn when using a touch-screen phone is that it is as sensitive as an adolescent with raging hormones. The slightest provocation, in this case even a feather-touch, will set it off doing all sorts of unwanted activity. These cellular phones are also designed for humans with chiselled features - high cheekbones, hollowed cheeks and very tiny fingers. If you are a skinny little six-year-old you should be all set.

Such allegations, no doubt, demand some sort of explanation. Perhaps a scenario may help: You are talking to your boss, trying to make up believable excuses as to why you didn't show up for an important meeting (the real reason being that you overslept) when BLANK -the line goes completely dead. The phone screen gleefully shows that it has decided to go 'on hold' or worse, to 'end call'. You had barely moved besides standing up (you are talking to your boss after all) and the only thing you did was hold the cell phone close to your ear lest you miss a single precious word of your employer. At first, the plausible deduction would be a network problem. On the other hand it could be that the darn thing is trying to sabotage your job. But when the same thing happens while talking to your mother, your friends, colleagues, family members and official contacts there is only one conclusion: this mobile phone simply does not like you. Just leave it at that and move on -to a more compatible device.

But being rational beings we must probe further. After a thorough investigation you will discover the unpleasant truth.

Apparently, your face is too fat for these sleek, snazzy pieces of techno-miracles. Every time you get too close to the phone your well-endowed face touches the 'on hold' and 'end call' button and hence the sudden disruption in the conversation. This cruel reality may hit you like a crushing boulder but there is nothing to do but accept and move your face away from the screen.

Try explaining this to even those you trust and be ready for the few seconds of silence followed by muffled or rasping laughter, depending on how sensitive they are to your feelings.

As mentioned earlier, these devices require your fingers to be extra-slender. If not, you may find that the witty responses you have texted look like a drunkard's desperate attempts at feigning sobriety. All sorts of unnecessary letters have crept into some words making them sound like one, big, unintelligible slur. Instead of 'she is a dear friend' you have typed 'shexis a drear friendgh'. Thankfully most people are intelligent enough to know what it means even if they may question your ability to spell or even your sanity.

And all this, you think, because you have fleshy fingers? That hardly seems fair and even a bit 'anti-chubby'.

There are other embarrassments caused by this over-reactive touch-screen device: a silly remark meant for a close friend ends up being forwarded to all your contacts just because your stupid, fat finger barely brushed against some command; strangers keep asking if they can 'chat' with you because you have 'accidentally' activated some cyber chat network; calling for an ambulance when all you wanted was to talk to your friend Ambreen; having to explain this to the irate ambulance driver who was on his break and therefore fast asleep.

We all know it is unhealthy to become paranoid and that we should always try to find rational explanations (no matter how humiliating) for unexplained fears. Having said that it is hard not to shake off that uneasy feeling sometimes, that you were just not meant for this particular time of human civilisation when a thin, little rectangular object can twist you around its little figurative finger.


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