REFLECTIONS

A phone on the fritz and cracked

Your dreams should be bigger than what you can afford

In Summary

• With some phones, you get the bare minimum in terms of specs

Cracked smartphone
Cracked smartphone
Image: COURTESY

I had an existential crisis embodied in the trials and tribulations that three smartphones put me through.

Phone number one had served me well for years. One fine evening, this phone decides to go on the blink. Next morning, I take the phone to the neighbourhood phone repair guy and after 30 minutes of tinkering and hooking my phone up to some smartphone resurrection software, he returns with the verdict that the phone is completely dead. This is not what I needed to hear right now.

Here’s the problem, it’s been a slow year for me. Work projects have gone off the rails, others just aren’t coming together as well as they should. This has led to my having an out-of-money experience, and by bringing this funds-deficiency reality to the fore, it felt like this dead phone was kicking me while I was down. That said, I still needed a good phone, even if I couldn’t afford one.

The trick to getting back on track when things go off the rails is to reroute your energies and come at what you want to achieve from a different direction. This brings us to the second smartphone.

Phone number two was a good phone that had been lying around the house for a while. It had had serious problems with the touch screen functions, but the screen had been replaced and, as far as I could tell, judging from the fact that the kids had been playing games on it, the phone was fine. So I requisitioned it.

For like a day and a half, it was smooth sailing with the repaired phone. It was a far better phone than my dead one. Turns out, though, the touch screen was still on the fritz, only the problems were new and occurred occasionally. Add on to that, the phone fell and it now had a hairline crack running a third of the way up from the bottom of the screen.

Luckily, that didn’t seem to make the screen problems any worse. Other than those occasional glitches, however, the phone was spectacularly good. But I prefer perfect and like my life at that moment, this new direction I’d taken with the phone situation wasn’t going as comfortably and smoothly as I’d like.

Enter phone number three. Brand new, it looked nice, it suited my unimpressive budget, but it was slow. As it happens, its operating system was a pared down version of what you’d get in a more expensive phone.

I should have read the online reviews on this phone before I bought it. They said, and I quote “…you get the bare minimum in terms of specs – performance will come as a shock to anyone used to pricey phones”.

Now I was depressed. Here I was, hunched, with this rubbish, slow phone because I couldn’t afford a better one. Is this my life? Should I pare down my dreams and aspirations as well to a level I can afford because better isn’t working, is uncomfortable and not perfect?

Nah, I’m using phone number two. A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections — Chinese proverb.

Your life may be cracked and sometimes go on the fritz, but no matter how it looks at this moment, your dreams should be bigger than what you can afford. Don’t settle for less.