Wednesday, June 1, 2022

An Open Letter to Samsung

Dear folks over at Samsung,

I think, as a smartphone owner, I really don’t have a ton of demands or expectations about performance or features.

Your younger smartphone users – let me pause here for a moment and point out that I didn’t call them “owners.” If they had to pay for these damned things, they would have a lot more respect for them!! Anyway… your younger smartphone users expect quite a bit more from you than I do. They are spoiled little brats. I grew up when the only phone available was bolted to the wall in the kitchen.

I’m fifty, so I’m in the age group that missed the original brick phone, bag phone, and car phone. My first cell phone was a flip phone, and even with that kind of crazy-awesome new technology in the palm of my hand, texting was still damned near impossible.

Kids today will never know the pain of texting a word containing an “ss” on a flip phone. Hit the 7 key four times. Wait until the first “s” registers. Hit the 7 key four more times. Wait for the second “s” to register. Congratulations, you typed “ss.” On the other hand, they have never had the sheer, unbridled awesomeness of ending your phone call by flipping the phone closed.

The Blackberry came out shortly after that, and having a full keyboard was a mind-blowing game changer, even if we had to sacrifice the insanely cool end call flip.

So you see, based on my history, anything a current smartphone can do is just simply gravy. I understand the past and the evolution of these things. I get it. I’m easy.

All that being said, I’m writing you today to take serious issue with one feature I recently noted. I think you can agree, that based on what I’ve told you about my age, history, and expectations, if I’m concerned, you should be too.

There I was last Thursday, just minding my own business, working in my office. My Samsung Galaxy S21 was sitting face up on my desk, directly to the right of my computer screen, plugged into the charger. Things were shaping up to be a fairly normal day, right up until the phone woke itself up, opened the camera app, and took a picture of the desk.

Since the phone was sitting directly in my field of view, I watched the entire thing take place, and I can assure you, my hand never even went near the phone. I hadn’t even bumped the charger cord. It just decided to take a picture all by itself.

Now, again, I don’t demand a lot from my smartphone, but autonomous picture taking is not a feature I’m at all interested in. Pictures on my own phone are one thing, but who’s to say that the next one won’t go public? I mean, my phone decided to take a picture all by itself. Why wouldn’t it decide to upload the next one to social media? Why not, right?

I can think of a whole bunch of reasons not to have this feature, but the main one off the top of my head right now is my shower.

When I shower, I prop my phone up on the bathroom counter, facing me, so I can see the clock on the screen. I’m almost positive the last thing this world needs is shower photos of my fifty-year-old butt on Instagram.

We’ve got enough problems out there. Let’s not add to it with unwanted shower selfies.

Kindly look into that issue for me.

For all of us.

For mankind.

With much appreciation for all you do,



Copyright © 2022 Marc Schmatjen


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