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Guest Post: Lisa Salinger

Pushing Buttons

Am I losing my mind-The other day, my iPhone lost its mind. There was, at the time, no other rational explanation. Of course, this happened at the worst possible time. I was on my way to exhibit with Mel for BlindAlive, and all of a sudden, my iPhone started talking to itself.

Yes, I know, it does that all the time. Text messages, weather alerts, and the occasional game notification cause my phone to be far more chatty than your average inanimate object.

This time, however, my phone wasn’t just saying things…. it was doing things, or at least it was trying. It would attempt to unlock itself, then inform itself that the incorrect passcode was entered. It would do this repeatedly until I was locked out of my phone. I teach the intricacies of iOS to others, so I knew many ways to make this little problem go away, except that nothing worked. I toggled VoiceOver on and off many times, performed a variety of resets, and powered my phone off and on a handful of times.


I thought a newly updated app could be the problem, so I temporarily removed it. Then, it seemed the problem only happened when I moved a certain way. I had the phone clipped to me, and suspected a problem with the proximity sensor. I was a little proud of myself for thinking of that one, to be honest, except that I was wrong.

I have no doubt that some of you have figured out my issue, and have likely done so from the beginning. The culprit was my Bluetooth keyboard. Normally, this sits innocently on a shelf. I use it when I need to post a large piece of text that won’t work well with dictation, and I use it when I’m teaching some iOS lessons. However, I brought it with me, figuring that if a little technology was good, then more was better.


The keyboard had accidentally gotten switched on, so I spent the whole day thinking my phone was acting very strangely when in fact, it was responding to input just as it should. It turns out that I was the problem. I was completely unaware of forces outside myself that were affecting my phone.

This leads me to my question, and to the point of this story: What is pushing your buttons without your knowledge? Is it a friend or family member who tries to sabotage your efforts to live a healthier life? Maybe you allow TV or other media to decide how long you will stay up, so there’s no way that morning workout will happen? Once you’re aware, getting the button-pushing to stop is easy. For me, finding the actual problem was far more challenging than was merely flipping the switch to make it stop.

Your way forward might be a bit harder. It might involve difficult conversations with yourself or others, or it might mean re-examining your priorities. In any case, I hope you’ll find that getting to the root of the problem will get rid of a lot of needless distress.

What pushes your buttons, and what ways have you found to fix it? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


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