Subscribe to our RSS feed

Popular News Stories

  • Fuck poz guys!
  • Tom Hanks in Philadelphia Changed my Life
  • Canadian AIDS Society’s AGM and PHA Forum in Ottawa: some scholarships for HIVers available
  • Semen goes viral – or does it?

Hobbies

Sep17

I am too dumb for a smartphone

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // Hobbies, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow admits he didn’t read the fine print on his smartphone contract, and he made a bad purchase, but he likes the photographic capabilities it comes with

I am too dumb for a smartphone

To everyone who gave me advice when I decided to get a smartphone, I confess, I should have listened.

What a difference a year makes. What I thought would be a good thing for me has turned out to be a nightmare. I’m not talking about the smartphone itself; my rant is more about the service provider. I was totally sucked in by their sales promotion, a free phone and a $130 Blue Jays jersey to top it off.

The plan they sold me became the problem I’m having right now. It started off with a data plan that I thought would be suitable, something that all of my friends had. But I learned after receiving several bills that were nearly $100 more than I expected that my data plan was for only 150,000 MBs. When I called the provider about it, they said the amount of data I had would only allow me to check a couple of emails and do a few Facebook postings per month; anything more than that was going to cost me.

I told them at the time of purchase that I do a lot of social media work, including for PositiveLite.com. I need a plan that would allow me to do thatr and I trusted that it was what I was getting, but it wasn’t. I didn’t ask questions, I signed without reading it all. In my defence, the contract is several pages of small print - and who really takes the time to read all of it? I shouldn’t have gone alone.

That's my first admission of being too dumb for a smartphone.

As I mentioned above, my displeasure has nothing to do with the phone I chose. The Blackberry Z10 was what I wanted. I didn’t care how bad it was compared to others because even now I don’t use many of the apps or programs on it. I don’t even use the calendar to schedule my appointments, I have a paper list. I use it the most for texting and photography. I am getting some amazing photos from it.

The initial reason to get a smartphone was for the social media aspect but when I found out how annoying all the alerts were and that you actually had to check them to get rid of them I had had enough. Six months ago I disabled the alerts and I only check those things when I’m in an area where there is free wifi.

That's my second admission of being too dumb for a smartphone.

To finish off with this venting/rant/truth, I bought a tablet, the Samsung Tab3. I got it so that I could load my photos on it to show potential customers who might hire me for  my photography work. As I began playing with the tablet, I realized I could do all the social media stuff on it for free. I just need to be where there is free wifi and I’m online.

So with this new revelation, I contacted my service provider and asked that they drop my data plan, and I got a big “no, I can’t do that or I would be violating the terms of the contract and there would be a penalty to do it”. At the time of signing the contract, they were three year terms. I am 15 months into this contract so for the next twenty-one months I’m locked in to paying for data I don’t really need. Alternatively, I could buy my way out of the contract for $300 at this stage.

That's my third admission of being too dumb for a smartphone.

Well you live and learn, even at this age. I will listen more from now on. This being my first smartphone is no excuse, I should have asked the questions.

When I ended my call with the service provider, she tried to slip in another offer; she asked me if there was anyone in the family I cared to add to my plan. This is where I got really smart and because the call was being monitored for training purposes, my comment back to her was:

”Lady, I’m am not pleased with what I got myself into or the way you choose to help me resolve it, so the last thing I will do is recommend your service to anyone.”

“Free” rarely means free, I will end up paying for this phone for three years by the time the contract ends.

On the upside, the smartphone camera is still amazing. Last year I had one of the top 20 photos in the local ‘Guelphonography’ contest, and I have just been notified that one of my entries for this year’s contest is one of the top twenty. The top three winners will be announced on September 26th. Wish me luck!

Here is a sample of my smartphone photos.

Arts and Entertainment Section

Activism Section

Current Affairs Section

Events Section

  • What hit hard at AIDS 2014

    What hit hard at AIDS 2014

    CATIE ED Laurie Edmiston “From the community perspective, AIDS 2014 was a strong conference, with an emphasis on key populations and the critical importance of human rights for these key populations.” And of course its emphasis on the treatment cascade
  • HIV/AIDS is everyone's business

    HIV/AIDS is everyone's business

    DJ Relentless on the difficulty in getting people living with HIV to events designed for them and his recent efforts to challenge stigma and make people living with HIV more comfortable about being visible.
  • Divas Simply Singing raises vital funds for HIV and AIDS

    Divas Simply Singing raises vital funds for HIV and AIDS

    Our LA correspondent Kengi reports Sheryl Lee Ralph was fabulous on stage and did not disappoint her fans in a night filled with music and plenty of laughter at the 24th Annual Diva’s Simply Singing at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.

Features and Interviews Section

Health Section

International Section

Legal Section

Lifestyle Section

Living with HIV Section

  • HIV/AIDS is everyone's business

    HIV/AIDS is everyone's business

    DJ Relentless on the difficulty in getting people living with HIV to events designed for them and his recent efforts to challenge stigma and make people living with HIV more comfortable about being visible.
  • Security of PrEP

    Security of PrEP

    Poppy Morgan has been undecided whether or not to use PrEP to conceive her second child with her HIV-positive husband. What did she decide? Read on.
  • Divas Simply Singing raises vital funds for HIV and AIDS

    Divas Simply Singing raises vital funds for HIV and AIDS

    Our LA correspondent Kengi reports Sheryl Lee Ralph was fabulous on stage and did not disappoint her fans in a night filled with music and plenty of laughter at the 24th Annual Diva’s Simply Singing at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.

Media Section

  • PrEP pops up on cruising sites

    PrEP pops up on cruising sites

    Marc-André LeBlanc says that PrEP is a hot topic in HIV prevention circles. There is more and more discussion about it in gay media, on social networks, and even in mass media. But is it even on the radar of the average gay man?
  • Open relationships? It’s a no from me

    Open relationships? It’s a no from me

    From FS Magazine, the case for monogamy “But at the end of the day, what works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for others.”
  • Top Ten for September

    Top Ten for September

    Bob Leahy reviews the posts that got the most attention last month and notes that half of the most popular are on the hot topic today, what it means to be living with an undetectable viral load

Opinion Pieces Section

  • What hit hard at AIDS 2014

    What hit hard at AIDS 2014

    CATIE ED Laurie Edmiston “From the community perspective, AIDS 2014 was a strong conference, with an emphasis on key populations and the critical importance of human rights for these key populations.” And of course its emphasis on the treatment cascade
  • The latest

    The latest "Sort It Out”

    Never had sex and terrified of HIV. From FS Magazine, when it comes to sex and relationships there is no such thing as a stupid question. Here are our answers to some of the things you asked us
  • HIV/AIDS is everyone's business

    HIV/AIDS is everyone's business

    DJ Relentless on the difficulty in getting people living with HIV to events designed for them and his recent efforts to challenge stigma and make people living with HIV more comfortable about being visible.

Population Specific Section

  • Security of PrEP

    Security of PrEP

    Poppy Morgan has been undecided whether or not to use PrEP to conceive her second child with her HIV-positive husband. What did she decide? Read on.
  • The latest

    The latest "Sort It Out”

    Never had sex and terrified of HIV. From FS Magazine, when it comes to sex and relationships there is no such thing as a stupid question. Here are our answers to some of the things you asked us
  • HIV/AIDS is everyone's business

    HIV/AIDS is everyone's business

    DJ Relentless on the difficulty in getting people living with HIV to events designed for them and his recent efforts to challenge stigma and make people living with HIV more comfortable about being visible.

Sex and Sexuality Section

MarketPlace