It is now official. I ain’t smarter than a smartphone. And, to be honest with you, I think ‘smart’ phones are stupid. They are digital swiss army knives, and apparently there’s some international quest to build ones that can do everything except the dishes, and to cram them into ever smaller packages.
I’ve seen telephones evolve from huge wooden wall mounted models with no keypads, that had to be rung with handles, to ones that now look like ‘communicators’ used in Star Trek movies. I participated on the world’s first ‘party’ lines, and for decades listened to the whir and clicking of rotary dial phones. I recall the first ‘princess’ phones, ‘phones in a box’ and dials that evolved into keypads, and then to screens. I’ve seen phone cords go from being so short that you’d jerk the phone off the table when you answered it, to having none at all. But until the arrival of the smartphone, nobody had tried to build a phone that converts currency, advises mothers on prenatal care, or that allows users to talk to someone in Uganda using their thumbs.
I grudgingly conformed and adjusted to using each new phone as they came along, and until recently, had no problems with my old cellular phone. The keyword here, is old. Needless to say, Ms. Myne Allmyne decided it was time to ‘upgrade’. Well I have to admit, that upgrading and I have a real ugly past, so every time I hear the word now, I cringe. After researching smartphones enough to earn a Masters in communication, Mrs. Offwego chose one, and away we went. Unlike conventional phones, smartphones require a heap more ‘setting up’ than just plugging it into the wall. After getting ‘the basics’ from a hyperactive former auctioneer/clerk suffering from a caffeine addiction, off we went. When the smartphone still didn’t work many hours later, Urgonna B. Sorry asked my opinion. I suggested the phone might be defective. Assuring me that my idea was silliness and nonsense, that some mysterious ‘coding’ was the culprit instead, we returned to the store. The clerk determined that the phone was hooped. I said nothing.
Upon arriving home, my digital darling spent the next few hours mumbling cyberspeak. Every so often, I’d hear “Lol”, or her oddly screaming random letters from the alphabet, like, “OMG!” I reckon that darn phone does more than super-computers did a decade ago, but like ‘childproof’ caps, it presents challenges to some of us ‘older’ folks (as in me). When our old phone rang, all I had to do was lift the lid and press a button. The new phone has no lid. To answer it, I now have to ‘slide’ a green button across the screen, which, after having ‘don’t touch that screen’ yelled at me for fifty years, my brain’s developed a deep-seated aversion to. Needless to say, the contraption’s answering machine is getting quite a workout. Then, to add insult to injury, Senator Shutup found a case for it that looks like it’s from ‘Legally Blonde’ and Jeffery ‘thoughtfully’ bought it for his ‘Mom’. Now its dainty pink fake beads sparkle delightfully as I’m doing my dangdest to try to be macho. So, if you see a redneck cursing as he tries to answer a call by jabbing the screen on a sparkly pink smartphone, please folks, don’t laugh and stare.