Technology is great.
Except when it explodes in your pants.
I’ve never really liked cell phones to begin with. Now that they’ve started self-detonating, I like them even less. According to a news article sent in by Dan Collins of Alpharetta, Ga., Nokia has launched an investigation into why, once again, two of its cell phones burst into flames.
And yes, I said AGAIN.
As you might expect, demand for Nokia cell phones has dipped slightly as a result of these incidents. That’s because luxuries like instant text messaging, computer games and video imaging don’t mean much if your cell phone suddenly ignites into flames, turning your morning commute into a flaming lap dance and an appearance on The World’s Wildest Police Chases.
That said, I was hoping the new iPhone5 offered a feature that would allow you, as a cell phone customer, the option of exploding someone else’s cell phone with the press of a button when the situation warrants it …
“Hello? That’s okay — the movie just started. What? Really? NO WAY! And what did SHE say?”
“WARNING! Self-destruct sequence has been initiated by someone in your area! Beginning countdown! Five..! Four..!”
“Hey, do you mind if call you back? My cell phone’s about to explode.”
While Nokia officials are blaming defective batteries as the root cause of Exploding Cell Phone Syndrome, I have to disagree. The fact is, cell phones are simply being asked to do too much and, because of it, are having a total melt down. I’ve had my cell phone for five years, which by today’s standards means it should be part of a traveling history exhibit for school children. However, I’ve kept it because it provides me with all the functions I need in a cell phone:
I can call people.
People can call me.
I can hang up on people.
That’s all I’m really looking for in a cell phone. If I wanted to play video games and exchange text messages with friends, I’d just stay at work.
Comparatively, the life expectancy of today’s cell phones is about one year. Which is about how long it will be before you go blind using it. Apple is bragging that its new iPhone5 has a four-inch screen. I know I can’t speak for everyone, but in my experience four inches is nothing to brag about.
And what happens when, out of sheer frustration while trying to call an optician on your tiny iPhone screen, you end up crushing it in your fist like a grape?
In most cases this isn’t covered under warranty. The same thing goes for any damage your phone might incur after accidentally triggering a gas-station explosion. That’s right. According to a recent warning from AAA, static discharge from cell phones “has the potential to ignite gas vapors, although it’s still safer than if your cell phone actually explodes.”
Because of this danger the National Fire Protection Association has offered a couple of tips to motorists.
The first is to avoid using cell phones, laptop computers or portable radios while refueling. And if you happen to be using them all at once, you’re just asking for trouble. Be safe; at least wait until you’re back on the highway.
And, most importantly: If a fire starts, don’t try to stop it. Leave the area and call someone.
Unless, of course, that’s the reason the fire started in the first place.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at nhickson@thesiuslawnews. com, or visit his blog at www. nedhickson.wordpress.com)