Sunday, May 27, 2012
Once you go smart, you never go back.
I had no idea how much I'd love having a smartphone. It doesn't even matter that it's a hand-me-down.
Does your family do this? Chloe bought a used iPhone from a friend. Nate had an Android we got for a deal that didn't require a contract. Sophie and MathMan have newish unlocked phones. I was using the mobile phone equivalent of one of those black metal phones with the metal thing you clack up and down while saying the operator's name. I was fine with it, too. I could make calls, text and take grainy photos.
Another friend of Chloe's got a new iPhone and gave Chloe her newer used iPhone. Nate took Chloe's first iPhone and, feeling full of first iPhone magnanimity, bequeathed his Android to me. He then spent an exasperating hour trying to show me how to use it.
A couple of weeks later, a friend spilled something on Nate's iPhone leaving the screen unreadable. He gently suggested he'd like his Android back.
I'd be more likely to give him one of my kidneys, a cornea and my entire set of Leif Garrett collectible lip gloss tins.
I may not be an early adopter, but I know love when I feel it. This phone and I are just into our honeymoon phase. I don't even mind that the phone is the Alpha in this relationship. I consider it a mark of my maturity that I appreciate its intelligence and versatility.
Despite my affection for the phone, the learning curve has been steep. On my old phone with real buttons, I zipped out messages using my fingernails. On the smartphone, I have to press my fingerpads to the glass screen. Unless, I'm drinking, it's a slow, laborious process peppered with uttered oaths and localized sweating. Add alcohol and I'm texting with my thumbs like any sixteen-year-old with a pressing need to communicate.
I can't always turn to alcohol to facilitate the process, so when I'm in a hurry and alone, I use the voice-recognition feature. I talk into the phone and it types the text. To me, it's space age magic.
The system isn't infallible. Proofreading is required. I say, "Hello, baby" and it types Ruby Dee. Every time I say me it types Maine. I didn't realize this the first time it happened which explains why MathMan received a text from me reading "Ruby Dee, I am on my way. If you're going to go late, text Maine."
The good news - if I speak like Siri, the voice recognition works better. The bad news - talking dirty in a Siri voice sounds more antiseptic than sexy. It's the subway voice instructing you to take off your clothes instead of warning you to stay clear of the doors.
No matter how I say boobs, in my own weird accent or deadpan as Siri, the voice recognition refuses to type boobs. It offers other suggestions. Power. Nice, but no. Good. Sure, but still no.
If I want to dirty text my husband and have the described action include my boobs, I have to use the proper anatomical term. Knockers.
If you're scandalized by my behavior, my defense is simple. MathMan started it. He texts me when he's peeing. That was the gauntlet hitting the floor. Things escalated because I'm not about to be outdone by potty humor.
Besides, the sexting keeps things interesting. Why pay a marriage counselor? We've got the love thing nailed down. It's the excitement that needs constant nurturing. Sexting beats the hell out of those Furry costumes. They're stifling in the summer heat.
There are other phone features about which I know nothing. I try not to mess with them for fear that I'll end up ordering a delivery of fried shrimp for the International Space Station or launching an app that will download Celine Dion music without my knowledge.
Apps. I don't even know where to begin. I love Instagram and I blame Averil for that. My attempt to use the virtual assistant ended in cat fight. She refused to let me swap her out for the chap with the British accent. I called her a joyless clerk and threatened to fire her. She said I'm dreadful harpy and intimated that she'd sue for discrimination. When she threatened to send my next sexting dispatch to my entire list of contacts, I relented.
I'm still learning how to use the vast array of apps available, but I am comfortable with the standards - Facebook and Twitter. I've even checked in a time or two, but don't feel it necessary to bore everyone with my visits to CVS, IHop and The Pink Pony.
I do feel like I've finally joined the rest of the world by being able to check my email in the bathroom at the office. I can check email, Twitter and Facebook, read my news subscriptions, visit your blogs and even write my own posts on the Android.
Which means that by the time most of you are using the iPhone 8, I'll be discovering Angry Birds and Words with Friends.