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The Alarm(ing) Bell 🔔

Posted on 07/08/2021 by Trivia – The Spice of Life

Mobile Device Tips: How to Use Your Smartphone as an Alarm Clock
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Ever since the mobile phone – especially the smart phone – proclaimed its presence, there are so many objects that have become obsolete in our lives. The list is in fact endless. Be it the torch, the calculator, the camera, the camcorder, the appointment diary, the mirror, the stopwatch, the transistor or the landline phone – all of them have now been relegated to oblivion. There was a time when we bought all the objects listed above and used them quite regularly. However, today a large part of the unused objects in our homes are on account of the advent of the smartphone. Almost all the objects listed above have been incorporated into the smartphone; many of them can be accessed without internet.

Traditional wisdom has maintained that all eggs must not be put in one basket. However, we all are guilty of defying the adage. Our dependence on the smartphone has only been increasing. In fact, the first object we touch as we get up in the morning – especially on working days – is the smartphone; this is to put off the alarm that has been set on the phone. Even though we set the alarm diligently every night, this is perhaps the one sound that we would not want to hear the first thing in the morning, so that we can steal a few more winks of sleep. Thus, the snooze button is used more often than not, once the alarm starts ringing.

The rooster’s crowing (cock-a-doodle-do, which is also a ringtone available on smart phones, though it cannot match the real one!) is the best alarm that nature has provided us. However, this is often concomitant with the serene countryside and is therefore beyond the purview of us city dwellers. This can be enjoyed only on vacations when you stay overnight in a rural area.

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Have you ever thought of the time when there were only the mechanical wind up alarm clocks? The shrill bell of the mechanical wind-up alarm clock would ring and the only option available would be that of shutting it off. The alarm bell’s sound used to be so rattling that even a dead man would wake up. The option of snooze for the extra winks was nowhere in sight. This kind of alarm clock had an old world charm. It would sit pompously on the bedside table, biding its time to go off. Then came the digital alarm clocks. These were sleek but stumpy. In these there would be no margin of error while setting the alarm. The timing could be set perfectly.

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But with one swipe (of the smartphone!!), all these have been rendered anachronistic (!!). No one has time for the old alarm clock. Some days ago, enlightenment dawned upon me and I bought a digital alarm clock with no snooze button. I now keep the smartphone out of sight and reach and set the daily morning alarm on the digital one. The alarm(ing) bell ensures that I begin my day on time without touching my smart(!?) phone.

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6 thoughts on “The Alarm(ing) Bell 🔔

  1. Anita,
    Writing ‘Trivia’ requires a lot of talent. I am impressed by how you are able to see trivial objects and things, and write on them.

    I recently saw Cary Grant’s ‘Penny Serenade’ (1941). The parents have set up alarm to give feed to the sleeping child. The alarm has to be stopped immediately so that the child’s sleep is not disturbed. (The infants have the unique ability to feed on the bottle while asleep.) The mechanical alarm clocks had this strange habit of conking off at the most inconvenient time. The alarm clock would refuse to stop. Cary Grant struggled with it, cursed it, and finally broke it with a loud bang, setting the kid to a deafening bawling.

    There is no getting away from the smartphone. One discipline I maintain is not to download all sorts of Apps, and not to keep it always on wi-fi or mobile data. I check up messages about three times a day.

    I have some gadget-innocent friends, when I ask them why they have put wi-fi, mobile data, Bluetooth, Location, all on when they are sleeping in the night, they have no clue what I am talking about. They try to jog their memory; either the dealer did it at the time of purchase or some niece did it to make his life comfortable.

    Most of us do not use more than 20% of a smart phone’s capability. We don’t know what is in there and we don’t care. Yet the manufacturers keep on charming us with more and more features. We don’t need them, but we don’t want to be left behind. The manufacturers have now resorted to a new strategy; with new launches they phase out the old models. No spare parts, no service available. If you take your three year old phone to the repairman he would give you a condescending look, ‘अभी भी आप ये रखे हुए हैं? ये अब कहाँ चलता है.’ He would also recommend you some new models.



    1. AKji, thanks for reading and sharing your experience. I am now tempted to watch the scene that you refer to. It is really difficult to keep away from the smartphone. Modern day schooling with WhatsApp groups for every single activity has only made life hell. And now there is online schooling to top it all. There is no way you can stay away from the phone for long. And the fear of missing out is always lurking in your mind.


  2. Anitaji,

    A thought-provoking post on a seemingly trivial but relevant topic.

    We have all successfully transitioned into the world of smart phones. A single gadget that remains in our hands for over three-fourth of the time that we are awake, controls our daily routine from the moment we get up.
    Cameras, torches, calculators are all gathering dust lying somewhere inside the cupboards. Non-use make them non-functioning.
    I remember how initially, our family continued to use the alarm clock even after the advent of the mobile phones but finally switched over to the alarm option on the phone. Even my 75+ year old mother uses the alarm on the mobile now.
    I am wondering if the older alarm clocks still find buyers or not. A few years ago, digital alarm clocks used to be distributed by various companies as giveaways at medical conferences, but no longer.
    In fact, last year, I had even stopped using a wristwatch to minimize the touch points with the sanitized hands. After all, the smartphone was there to tell the time. Only recently, I have started wearing watches again.

    The only time I use the alarm clock is when I am staying in a hotel and they have a clock on the bedside table.
    But I would like to follow your idea of at least using the digital alarm clocks. Its time to remove them from the storage and place them on the bedside.


    1. Thanks for reading, Dr.Deshpande! I am not surprised when you mention that your mother uses the mobile for setting the alarm. in fact, the senior citizens have taken to this gadget just like the duck takes to water. They are the ones who have learnt how to use various apps quite enthusiastically. I am also glad to learn that my post has inspired you to fish out your digital alarm clock!!


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