Gavin Smythe, of Chagrin Falls, USA, needs his iPhone battery replaced...


Originally published at:

Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH Gavin Smythe, of Chagrin Falls, USA, needs his iPhone battery replaced


“It’s not funny 'cause it’s true.”


I did this recently, and while I’m capable of entertaining myself in a major shopping mall for an hour or two without a phone, I couldn’t find a single dang clock in the entire place to figure out when to wrap up my aimless puttering. So I spent my hour of waiting meditating on the dilemma of having to retrieve your only time-measuring device after a specific period of time.


Gone is the art of asking a random stranger what the time is.


But, in your home, there are clocks everywhere you look, right?

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I worry about the babies who grew up with one of these fondleslabs in their hands like a gd pacifier…
My Enklings are damn well addicted to the memeplex. Pavlov would be proud.


I wonder if the lack of clocks in that mall was less a reaction to everyone having a timepiece, and more taking a page from the casino book, where they want you to wander aimlessly, not realizing how much time you’re spending, while they hope that eventually you’ll become disoriented and more susceptible to impulse buying and food court raids.


You know, it’s quite possible to tell the time without a phone or finding a clock. It’s called a “watch”. It’s really a handy technology and many of them are quite attractive (I’m partial to Seiko 5’s myself).


I live in a smallish apartment, but actually yes: wall clock in the main room, clock on the windowsill over the kitchen sink, oven and microwave clock displays visible from the couch, alarm clock in the bedroom. No clock in the bathroom, but everyone knows time doesn’t exist there. Maybe that makes me sound like a Batman villain now, but in my pre-smartphone experience that’s a pretty normal number of clocks for a living space.

I’m sure that’s the case, and it was very annoying. But I’m pretty high-strung and more likely to become anxious and antsy than forget myself that way. It probably works better on people who are less neurotic about being late.

Well yeah… everyone has a phone, so why would you need to? /s

Buying a watch specifically for the one hour every few years that I can anticipate being without my phone and neither in my car or in front of a computer sounds like an extremely efficient solution with no potential downsides whatsoever.


I know you are being sarcastic, but really, what is a downside of wearing a watch? At worst it is neutral, and the more attractive ones are practically a form of fashion. I wear a watch 24/7 except in the shower, and even that might be me being overcautious as my main watches are water-resistant.


Me, I am very partial to the Casio calculator watches. Hardly ever used the calculator, but I thought it looked cool back in the day. You can still get 'em for under $20.


Sorry to poke fun. I did wear a watch up through college until I got a smartphone, but I found it uncomfortable when the weather was hot and didn’t like sleeping in it at all so I was taking it off and putting it on every day. I didn’t even have trouble with that habit until I got a smartphone and then had my watch battery die… the inconvenience of having to get the watch battery replaced and the fact that I had the phone on me constantly (plus I was out of college by then and working a desk job, so I was no longer schlepping myself around on foot to a variety of locations I had to reach on a strict schedule) meant I procrastinated enough to get pulled out of it entirely. I’d go back to a watch if I stopped carrying my phone everywhere, but that’s unlikely in my current circumstances.


Oh, that was nothing. I was sure he was going to get the:

I’m sorry sir, but you phone is “bent” so we can’t replace the battery


Sir, we see that your phone has a non-apple replacement screen. If it breaks when we open the phone we won’t be able to replace your battery

I can translate these for you:

If you’ve messed with your phone at all we want you to get another phone, and btw we’ve stopped Amazon from selling used phones.


Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.


If your battery dies, then it can come back.

(Also, when did that become an art?)

Okay, the real deal is that I have never liked dealing with watches (except for the ones that transform into little toy robots). Back when I wore a watch, I always wanted a decent calculator watch. When I couldn’t get that, I settled for some other variety of Casio.

Bracelets suck (for me). Even the velcro bracelets, which wind up smelling after a while, need to be removed, and cleaned or replaced. This is not as convenient as wiping off the otter box and then it’s done.

Watches on the whole are substantially less convenient for me than a phone. I live in Alaska, I’m going to carry a phone of some variety or other, in case we get stuck, stranded, and need a tow or a lift somewhere.

But if I’m going to have a phone anyway, what good does a watch do me?


I do like those. But I’ve also recently, very gradually, crossed a threshold where it became harder to see the display without cheaters (which I am prone to losing).

Even the smallest screen on a smart phone displays the time in an extremely legible format that my eyes can read without any assist.


Well, you can just look at a watch. You have to take a phone out of your pocket and often press a button to wake it up (granted, also a problem on many so-called “smart” watches) to tell the time. I am often in meetings that seem to last forever. I can manage a glance at my watch. Pulling out my phone and playing with it would be an obvious sign that I was bored, not generally a good look in a professional context.


It is an absurdity of our age that this can be considered labor.

Sounds like a good social norm to change.


There were some prototypes of different sorts a while back, but I would live to see a phone that has a small digital LCD built into the back that displays the time. Ideally the phone would shut down when it still has some battery (do they do this now, to preserve short-term memory?), and the LCD would continue to display the time until the battery is completely dead. hell, throw on a little solar strip and add a calculator. why not?

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I keep a library on my phone for when I have to wait somewhere. Does that count?