Why tech gods, why me?

Photo by Billy Bui

My tech is supposed to work flawlessly inside and outside of the house, for I am its master.

There needs to be a word for portable tech that doesn’t work
By Matthew Fraser, Editor in Chief

Like just about everyone these days I have two distinct groups of technology that assist in my day-to-day living. On one hand, I have my home tech. My TV, my desktop, my HiFi setup and a few other things. On the other hand, I have my portable tech; my cellphone, laptop and handphones to be precise. For some ungodly and unknown to me reason, my portable tech is all too frequently on the fritz.

Like any and every other real audiophile, wireless headphones just won’t do. There’s the latency and the compression, the interference and the artifacts. Most importantly, is the seeming inability for me to put aside my prejudices in order to embrace convenience. As such, I have permanently resigned myself to periodically replacing headphone cables. It’s not that bad, save for when a cable dies in an unbelievably short period for no apparent reason.

In a strange and unnerving twist of fate, I dropped my trusty cellphone a few months ago in my house while it was raining and on the way to the SkyTrain a wee little driblet of water fell into a newly opened crack between the screen and the case and shorted out my previously beautiful full-colour screen. For a little over a month, I was forced to use my ancient by cellphone standards phone just to listen to my beloved music and podcasts—given that no one texts or calls me.

To add insult to injury, just last week, the touchpad on my laptop stopped working for two whole, unbearable days. Luckily I have a touchscreen so I was only moderately inconvenienced and atrociously annoyed, plus I mostly use my PC at home, but still, my tech is supposed to work flawlessly inside and outside of the house, for I am its master.

It’s the first-world problems and minor inconveniences that give my life its spice. The completely and totally asinine situations that have zero real impact on my existence just make my blood boil. As I look at my only moderately recovered cellphone and see the white bar of dead pixels that just ruins the damn thing, my eyebrow starts to twitch and I get the urge to gnash my teeth uncontrollably.

Is it still cool to make up words to describe things that we experience on an all to regular basis? Maybe I should make up a word for broken technology to make myself feel better. I should work hard on my new word night and day, scribbling away on scrap pieces of paper, muttering to myself in public and staring forlornly at my headphones whenever one side cuts out. I don’t know what this word will be, but I think I’ll feel better about my janky tech if I try to make something up.