Demons of Technology

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

As usual, I was among the last people on earth to get a smart phone. I think there are three tribesmen in the jungles of Brazil who still don’t have them, but I finally do. I’ve even learned to make phone calls on them, although that, apparently, is not the primary purpose for having one.


Most people I know text, work their emails, read books, watch movies, play all sorts of games, and do just about everything except talk on them. I text now and then, glance at my emails once in a while, and make or receive two or three phone calls a day on mine—well, on a busy day.

The main reason I bought it was to use the Android GPS on a recent vacation. Sorta like the time years ago I bought some motivational course because I wanted the tape recorder that came with it. By the way, all my decisions are rational. I never do anything on impulse. Ever . . .

Anyhow, the primary function of my smart phone is to weight down my shirt pocket. I know, I could carry it in my pants pocket, but by the time I retrieve it from there, whoever called me has made three more calls.

So why would this phone, which I use so rarely, run out of juice and need to be recharged in the middle of the day. I knew when I got it that, unlike my old cell phone, which needed a charge maybe once a week, this one would need to be charged every night, but this fool thing wouldn’t even last that long.

I took it to the AT&T store where Chris, the friendly and helpful manager, told me it was because I left my navigation function on and that it sucked juice out. He showed me how to turn it off. (Okay, laugh that I had to be shown.) That made it last much better than before. It would make it to mid-afternoon without a charge.

After putting up with this for a while, I went back to see Chris again. This time he called someone in his company’s technical department. When he got off the phone, he told me that my Pantech Burst had a normal battery life of around eight hours before it had to be recharged. There was nothing wrong with my phone—just with my expectations.

*Censored* *Smoke escaping from ears*

Should I accept that or see about going back to my old dumb phone? I really gave this serious consideration, especially since I didn’t take much advantage of the features and capabilities of this one.

A couple of weeks ago my twelve year-old nephew was at our house while his mother, my wife and their older sister looked at family photos. Nick decided to join us men in the den rather than listening to all the cackling in the kitchen.

Like most kids his age, he sat playing with his smart phone most of the time. At some point during the afternoon I mentioned my gripe with my phone and he piped up and told me I needed Juice Defender.

Juice Defender?

Yep. He told me it was a free app I probably just needed to activate.

I should have handed him my phone right then and asked him to do it for me, but I missed that opportunity. I couldn’t find it among my apps, so I looked it up online, but I couldn’t download it from there. Back to Chris at the AT&T store.

Chris wasn’t familiar with the app, but he found it on my phone and activated it. It was free.

I don’t know what kind of magic hocus-pocus this app provides, but all of a sudden I find that my phone uses less than half the battery juice it used to use. I still have to charge it every night, but it’s usually only down about fifty per cent when I plug it in instead of being totally dead.

You’d still laugh how little I understand about it, but at least it holds a charge decently now. If you have this problem with yours, try Juice Defender. It saved mine from the junk heap.

Finally, after having this phone for two months, I’m almost happy with it. I wonder, though—why do they put the volume control on the side where your fingers naturally fit when you hold it? Apparently I turn the ring volume down all the time, and then I can’t hear it when it rings. *Sigh*

Do you have problems with any of the devices modern technology has placed in our hands to make us feel foolish? No? Then you’re almost certainly under fifty and likely much younger than that.

Tell us about your struggles with or victories over the demons of technology.


For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx


About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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28 Responses to Demons of Technology

  1. Jane Merrick says:

    I loved this, David, I can so identify with what you are going through. I loved our weekend together, it was really meaningful and fun. Love you, Jane


  2. Haha, I do sympathize. I’ve never been into smart phones, but I upgraded to one last month so I could check my email easily while I’m at work, which doesn’t give me access to a computer. And texting is the primary way I get jobs. Other than that, I’m definitely not installing Facebook or Twitter apps on it. Like I need to be more addicted than I am when I’m on the computer. 😛 And while I mostly love the new android, I was also disappointed about the battery life. I turned off the WiFi and GPS to use less battery.


  3. Lynn says:

    I love my smart phone, but the autocorrect may be the death of me. I have sent some pretty humorous text messages by mistake because I didn’t notice the changes that were made. If only it knew what I meant to type!


  4. What can I say, David? I’m in love with my yellow legal tablets.


  5. I’m not smart enough for my smart phone. I just got it in January – umm…maybe I better stop say “just”. I still don’t know all it can do. I don’t use it for email. I’ve used the internet maybe twice. I make calls and I text basically. There’s this really cool flashlight app though that is great if you need one. My phone is always nearby, so that’s handy. Oh, and the calendar, and notepad. Those are pretty handy too. And the rooster alarm sound really makes my cat go crazy. 🙂


  6. I’m surprised a techie wouldn’t already have one, Ashley. Good luck with it when you get it.


  7. Julie Glover says:

    I have learned to LOVE my smartphone, even I was slow getting one (my first was about a year or so ago). I have told many adults that the way to learn anything on your smartphone is to find a teen and ask him/her. They are natural tech wizards!

    By the way, the few times my kids didn’t know how to use something, I Googled my question and found an answer. What would we do without technology now?


  8. Catie Rhodes says:

    My husband bought me my first iPhone in November 2007. I said, “What do I need with this thing? I never even talk on the phone.” He shrugged and told me to take it back and get something I wanted more. Then, I started playing with the stupid thing. Now, almost five years later, I am on my second iPhone and think I really need it.


  9. Barbara Estinson says:

    Oh, and I once opened a savings account at a bank because I wanted the free plant they gave with new accounts.


  10. Barbara Estinson says:

    Apparently Sharon and I are with those three tribesmen in Brazil. You aced me on this one, Bro. But I’m sure I’d be even more befuddled than you are trying to make it work right and get sufficient charge. I’m so much in the dark ages that my cell phone doesn’t even have a
    text feature. That is fine with me, because I can’t see well enough to text anyway. Ah well. Have fun with your dumb old smart phone.


  11. LOL!! Oh David. You sound like my Mom. She got a samsung galaxy and was forever going back to the store to get the guy to show her how to use it. And you know what, that’s what it’s all about. It takes time to master new stuff. Even if you are familiar or adept with it. Whenever I get a new gadget….I invest time playing around to learn. I think that’s the difference between me and Mom, I enjoy playing around – she just wants to make it work. But sometimes, she misses out in learning about functionality she never knew she’d love…
    I say play around…find the uses,….master the phone! Be the master of your phone! LOL!!
    GREAT post!!!


  12. Sharon K. Walker says:

    We just can’t keep up with the technology, can we! Guess I’ll be the very last person to get a smart phone.


  13. Sounds like you have your own Tech Support over there. Next time, listen to him. He knows of what he speaks. They all do. But yes, they still suck — battery life, that is — especially compared to old phones which could store a charge for days.

    My prediction? You’ll either start to love your phone in about a month or you’ll go back to your old one. Youbdidntbgetbrid of it, did you?


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