A Scratch on My Galaxy S8+ Freed My Mind
I’ve had the Galaxy S8+ for about four months now, and it’s a quality phone.
Then yesterday, I found a small squiggly scratch near the top of the screen. I’ve never bumped anything into the phone. I’ve never dropped it on its face, and only one time did it gently roll out of my pocket onto a floor. It spends most of its life in a nice soft pocket or on the wireless charger on my desk.
Then I found this big ol’ thread on the Samsung forums. Seems this is a thing that just happens sometimes with this phone. It might be in the actual glass…but it’s more likely a scratch in the oleophobic coating rather than the glass itself.
I can’t feel it with my fingertips but my fingernails will get a bit stuck on it, and sometimes if the screen is bright enough the scratch blows out the pixels a bit into a bright rainbow of color, like a line of water would.
I don’t know if I bumped it into something without knowing or if it’s just a weird random defect. I could deal with Samsung support, but apparently they don’t usually consider scratches enough for an exchange. I could use my insurance through my carrier, but I’d then have to pay a deductible and go through the whole claims process for what isn’t a crippling defect and…
Take a breath.
Think about how you’re using your phone.
When I first get a new phone, I’m super stoked about it as I would be any new piece of technology. I try out a bunch of old and new games. I install a bunch of random stuff. I marvel at its screen and at all the features.
A few months later, and I am predictably using about a third of those features.
I use my phone for texting, podcasts, an occasional social media post, and to buy things at Starbucks through their app. And a few times a week, I’ll poke at a free-to-play game.
That’s literally everything I do. Half the time I don’t even take a single picture in a week.
I’m not a hardcore phone user, but I keep buying flagship devices.
I didn’t set out to buy a “flagship” when I bought the first iPhone. I wanted the multitouch and I wanted to scroll through my iTunes library.
But that got me in the pattern of always buying the new phone.
I’ve had a bunch of iPhones, one Windows Phone, and this S8+. And each time, I always fall into the pattern of usage I’ve described above.
I really like how powerful this phone is, and I had fun using some of the VR apps I bought for it through the plastic headset thing. But none of it is essential. And most of the time, all that power I paid for is going to waste.
“But wait!,” says the other side of my brain, “you got the phone at a good discount!” And that’s true. I didn’t pay full price. But that still doesn’t mean I actually needed this phone.
After one hour of panicking about a small scratch, I realized how I had become a slave to the technology instead of what it does for me.
I do most of my content consumption through a laptop, a desktop, and game consoles. The phone is more of a secondary device for me…yet I bought the phone that tries to be everything to everyone. It has a bunch of cool functions and features that are “fun,” but not actually that essential.
That means they’re not really fun, incidentally. If something is truly fun, you will make it essential in your life at least while you’re enjoying it.
I am really grateful for the opportunity that this brain meltdown gave me to re-evaluate my usage patterns. For my next phone, I might go back to something a little more basic. Maybe even something smaller that I won’t worry as much about dropping.
Technology is hitting a point where most of it is pretty good, and I need to remember to focus on what I’m doing with it and not the things themselves. I lost sight of that, and it made me feel a little stupid.