Technology is great.
Except, of course, when it explodes in your pants. I’ve never really liked cell phones to begin with, and now that they’ve started self-detonating, I like them even less.
Curgently, Samsung is investigating why its Galaxy Note 7 phones are bursting into flames — a feature Samsung officials say wasn’t supposed to become available until next year.
As you might expect, cell phone sales have dipped slightly as a result of these incidents. That’s because luxuries like instant messaging, Internet access and live video feeds 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.
It would be different if exploding cell phones were an optional feature, i.e., for an extra charge, you, as a cell phone customer, had the option of detonating an annoying person’s cell phone with the press of a button. Nothing serious, just a subtle hint that they need to learn better manners…
“Hello? No, that’s okay! The movie just started! What? Really? No way. And what did SHE say?”
[WARNING! Detonation sequence has been initiated! Beginning countdown! Five..! Four..!]
“Hey — you mind if call you back? Yeah, someone’s about to reduce my phone to ashes again…”
While Samsung 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 games, SnapChat and post to Facebook I’d just stay at work.
Comparatively, the life expectancy of today’s cell phones is about one year. That’s assuming everything goes well and, out of sheer frustration from having to retype “I’ll pick up milk and bread” so that it stops auto-correcting to “I lick up filth with Fred,” you don’t end up crushing it in your fist like a grape.
From what I’ve been told, that 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 issued the following safety tips to motorists:
1) 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.
2) Make safety a priority and wait until you’re back on the highway before multi-tasking with your electronic devices.
3) 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…
Ned Hickson is a nationally syndicated humor columnist with News Media Corporation and the editor of Siuslaw News. He is also the author of Humor at the Speed of Life, a collection of more than a decade of humor columns; and Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 shucking years as a columnist, a writer’s survival guide. Both are available from Port Hole Publishing.