Android anxiety

Android anxiety

My smartphone stirred to show a cryptic message that said, "Wylan is running".

The first time I used the smartphone, which my daughter had given me for my birthday, I was in the dentist’s chair getting a root canal done. Suddenly the phone in my lap trilled. I jumped and almost fainted with the pain. Fortunately, no damage was done.

The phone trilled once more when I was thanking the dentist, and he said, “Someone seems very anxious to talk to you”. The phone went on ringing and finally I had to ask the dentist how to answer it. “Just swipe it,” he said, turning to the next patient. I did not know where to swipe it, but luckily the phone stopped ringing.

I was so scared of my new phone that I did not use it for a month. Then, I gritted my teeth and asked my neighbour’s teenage nephew to explain its workings. He fiddled with the phone for the whole afternoon playing games, and finally said, “It is just like your computer. Easy, aunty,” and sauntered away leaving me as ignorant as ever. It was my sister who gave me the idea of asking Google.

My head started to spin looking at the hundreds of sites, but I managed to understand how to take a photograph. With a thudding heart, I went out into my garden and pointed the phone at my orchids and clicked, but it took my own photo – complete with disheveled hair and faded kurta. The darned thing was taking a selfie.

I tried sending the photo to my daughter on WhatsApp, but it always came out with a ‘retry’ message. Perhaps, it wanted me to dress properly, complete with full make-up on. I had a feeling that the thing was an alien playing tricks with me. How else would you explain the alarm going off loudly just as I dropped off into a well-earned nap every afternoon? I tried going to bed at different times, but the darned thing always got wind of my intentions and the alarm sounded loudly and urgently just as I slid into a slumber. I made it mute just to show who the boss was.

Now, I was neither disturbed by the alarms nor by any phone calls, but the thing’s muteness itself caused me anxiety – did I miss some important call or a life-altering message? My cherished afternoon nap was now a mirage. I would check the phone every ten minutes only to be educated about the ill effects of smoking or a new sale in the mall. The calls I had missed were all from insurance salespersons.

Yesterday the android stirred itself and I received a cryptic message from probably outer space saying, “Wylan is running”. I ran to my laptop and googled Wylan, and learnt that it is a village in the remote northeastern part of Poland. Perhaps there is an election happening there. The message could also be about the French footballer, Wylan Cyprien, who is perhaps getting in shape. Or is Wylan a game? Who or what is Wylan and why is he/she running and where to? The tension is becoming too much for me.

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