Thursday, January 17, 2013

Messaging Krishelle

There's a recessive gene that stops people from understanding technology. Those people can't help their ignorance and should be given extra, nonjudgmental, help. G-Mac has it. My dad has it. Despite being relatively proficient with technology, my mom is apparently a carrier because I have it, too. It looks like this:

Bob: tt
Cathie: Tt
My Sisters: Tt
Eli: ttx*

*x signifies a mutation that enhances the features of the gene it trails.

This problem has led to many nonsensical conversations with my oldest sister, Krishelle, similar to the one we had via gchat a few days ago:

Gchat with Krishelle

Eli: When I move back to the US, will you help me get one of those phones that you can do internet on from anywhere?
Krishelle: Um . . . A smart phone? You know you already have one of those. I gave you my old one about 6 months before you moved to Palau. Remember? I taught you how to use it? We had a whole lesson one night. You asked me to show you "the ways of this so-called phone magic."

Eli: Oh, silly Krishelle. So young. So naive. That was a Galaxy phone. I want a smart phone.
Krishelle: A Galaxy is a smart phone.
Eli: Well, obviously not a very good one because I could only do internet when I was able to get really good reception. And that wasn’t very often. I've had friends who can do internet all the time.
Krishelle: Ok. We’ll talk about your use of the word “reception” later. For now I want to focus on this: in order to “do internet” from anywhere, you need a data plan. You didn't have one with your Galaxy. So you could only access the internet when you had wifi. 

Eli: Krishelle, that doesn't make any sense. You don't even know what you're talking about, do you.

Krishelle: I do know what I'm talking about. You needed a data plan. Your phone was capable of doing this. But you needed to sign up for a data plan with the phone company.
Eli: I don’t understand.
Krishelle: With a data plan you can access the internet even without wifi.

Eli: Huh? Are we still talking about phones?

Krishelle: You need to call the phone company and get a phone plan that allows you internet access on your phone.
Eli: ???
Krishelle: Phone gets email if you give the phone people more money.
Eli: Come again?
Krishelle: Phone people can flip a switch and make your phone do internet if you call and ask them.
Eli: Preposterous! How could phone people control what my phone is capable of doing without even opening it up and fixing it!?
Krishelle: Ugh . . . Well, they come when you’re asleep and switch out your phone’s insides. That’s what you’re paying for.

Eli: So, like Santa?

Krishelle: Exactly like Santa.

Eli: And what about the world wide web?

Krishelle: What about it?

Eli: Do I have to get a different phone for the world wide web?

Krishelle: Remember when we talked about this? The world wide web is the same thing as the internet.

Eli: No.

Krishelle: Yes.

Eli: Ok. Thanks for nothing. You are being so unhelpful.

Krishelle: No. You won't have to get another phone. The phone people will make sure you can do internet and the world wide web.
Eli: Ok. This is making more sense.
Krishelle: No. The opposite.
Eli: I feel like I am really starting to understand technology!
Krishelle: No. No you are not.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Hallelujah! There IS someone out there who is more technically inept than me. I must show this post to my sons so they can stop teasing me.

  2. Technology is a very strange thing.

  3. This sounds just like a conversation I would have with my mother. Hilarious!

  4. Bahahahahahahaha! I love it!

    BTW: I'm laughing with you, not at you.

  5. I suspect you may be a hitherto unknown relative of my husband, because that is *exactly* the type of conversation I have with him

  6. Having to explain to my dad how to use the internet on his phone was a 6 month process. Love this post.

  7. But it's not your fault, Eli! It's that dang mutated gene!
    We're getting my mother a smartphone in March, and I'm glad that it'll fall to my father to help her understand the joys of an iPhone. (It only took me a few days and several phone calls from Dad to get him to grasp his iPhone. But don't think this makes me proficient; I only understand my phone because I paid lots of money for it--and I still stumble across really neat things by accident every so often.)
    Go ahead and make the call to your phone people; I think it's more along the lines if voodoo than Santa that gets the internets to work on your phone, but whatever it is, it IS magic, and it works!

  8. I've had that exact conversation with my 90 year old father about a dozen times in the last year. He also keeps asking me to explain how googly works and the difference between facespace, tweeter, and email.

    1. He got one of the names right, at least!

  9. Neither of my parents has mastered the voicemail on their cell phones. If they ever get that down, we'll move on to texts.

    I shudder to think what would happen if they suddenly decided to "do internet" and wanted new phones for it.

  10. This is your mother do know that the job I have (that you think is for the C.I.A.) is as a Professional IT Asset Specialist. I manage 40 iPhones, plus air cards, cell phones and 100 laptops, servers etc. I get everything up and running plus repairs, set-ups, software installs, imaging, etc. etc. etc. My gene should be IT.....which does not help you at all. And by the way - YOU have given your Father waaaayyy too much credit for his competency in IT...but he is getting better after years of my laborious tutorials. You don't know how THANKFUL I was when his new work printer came this week and it was PLUG and PLAY!!! If you don't know what this means, Eli...then I GIVE UP!!! Xoxoxoxo Mom :)

    1. Your genes should be it! You know way more than most - Eli learn from your mother!

  11. Krishelle should be given some sort of medal for even having this conversation with you.

  12. My parents somehow mastered texting, but just bought new phones that don't even have qwerty keyboards!? No T-9 for these folks though. Yep, all responses require a five-minute waiting period while they search through letters to appropriate a response. Oy. :P

  13. I just bought the smart phone deal a couple months ago, I feel so daft, when someone tells me something to do and I then have to say, How do you do that? I have embraced my technology slowness, and make people explain in slow small terms how to do what they want me to do.
    So don't fret, you will one day grasp the internet is the nickname for the world wide web.

  14. Laughing so hard right now! I want to meet your whole family.

  15. I'm pretty sure my mother has the same gene as you, but mutated several more times. Ttxxxx. Unfortunate.

  16. Hahaha!! I can't wait for her to explain 'Facetime' and how you are able to see her on your phone ...voodoo, magic and miraculous all in one!
    ~ Dr. V

  17. lol I love this. Right as I am reading this my mom is teaching my dad how to use his smartphone...a lesson which is bound to repeated nightly for the rest of his life.

  18. Loved it! We've spent the last month trying to get my mother to understand her new phone (not even a cell phone) because her old "cordless" phone that was held together with a rubber band finally bit the dust. It had an on and off button and numbers - that was it. We've had to black out the buttons she doesn't need to mess with - "flash" "mute" etc. I dread the day when she thinks she wants to go to a cell phone. I may move away.

  19. This reminds me of so many conversations with my grandmother.

  20. bahahahahaha I feel like I have had a similar conversation with my father!!! hahahaha

  21. may be I'm a dick, but if this was me explaining a phone I would never do it again. no joke.

  22. Great article! I work with college students and will pass this on! Thanks so much :)