Monday, 26 November 2012

My Emails are Getting Shorter...

OK, at the risk of this blog becoming a forum for its author's whining (so many are) I have to say my online exchanges have become remarkably short considering the amount of new communication electronica that has entered my life.

Both SWMBO and I now have tablet PCs. Work gave me a Blackberry. SWMBO has a smartphone. Chuck has become a textaholic. We now have more modes of communication floating around the house than we ever have before, and yet, I feel less inclined to communicate electronically than ever before. The reason is that the technology really doesn't help communicate at all. In fact, it gets in the way of it.

A recent exchange between SWMBO and I on facebook chat went like this:

"You downstairs?"
"Bring up a Sprite when you come up?"

Here we are in the 20-teens, and the best use we have for our great technology is to not have to yell down the stairs for a can of soda. Pathetic.

The trouble with communicating via tablet PC is the tablet. Typing on a tablet is akin to smearing finger paint on the front window to invite the neighbours over for tea. You jab and point and swipe in a most painful manner, only to realize when you are done that half the words autocorrected to something you didn't mean at all, and the other half either should have caps, but don't, or are spelled entirely wrong. But the tablet does have a wonderful interface to move photos from memory into a blog post or email, something our laptop cannot do nearly as neatly(unless I want to cart it around to take photos).

Which brings me to trying to put together a blog post on a tablet PC. You cannot format a blogpost on a tablet. OK maybe you can, but I don't have those super-powers. I mean my pudgy fingers can barely pick out a hotlink let along format, align, highlite, etc. So on weekends I find myself thinking about great blogposts, and promptly dismissing the ideas. Too much work.

If I do get all inspired to post something, I'll take the photos with the tablet, and import them to blogger, then go to the laptop to type and format, and then post from a PC where I can edit with a reasonable expectation of accuracy. 3 devices, one post. Much pain.

Gmail has now become unstable on most of my devices. I mean, it may be user error or whatever, but between constant hounding to upgrade my browser to Chrome, the new pop-up message box, and wanting a cell number to link my account to, I can barely get an email out. If that stuff comes up while I'm on the tablet, I'm screwed. My emails are now condensed to one or two sentences with the grammer and writing quality of a 2 year old while I dodge pop-ups and error messages. If I go to write an email and that stupid new compose box comes up on the side of the screen, I just shut off the tablet and don't bother. I'd rather call you than deal with the headache of emailing. My tablet won't even show the full text box, so I wouldn't know what I was emailing you anyways.

Of course I tried to find a 'user feedback' spot on Google's website, but I guess they get too much fan mail, and so don't offer a spot to let you send a message. If i did, I know it would be filed under 'Junk' which is OK, because at least one more whiny email added to the piles of whiney emails would at least help get the message across that their platform ain't all that and a bag of chips. Although it still beats a number of the alternatives.

The Blackberry is too new to really whine about, but how the heck do people use those tiny keyboards? I know my boss gave it to me for increased productivity, but I can't type on the darn thing, and if I do, it takes for bloody ever to write anything. UGH. I sound old. Maybe I am old. I can't figure out how to text on it at all, but Chuck has one and she fires away at the keyboard on it like a sniper picking off gophers.

I wonder what kind of user feedback was given when we went from writing on cave walls to clay tablets. Bet I woulda been the guy complaining in teh back row then too. Anyway, if you are waiting for an email from me, keep waiting. It may come soon. Or not.

(As if to prove my point, Blogger's spell check is refusing to work now. I guess I'll have to spell check this later.)

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