Sunday, May 27, 2012

Smarter than


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.

35 comments:

  1. Of course you know you're being tracked via the Phone's GPS ... Don't be surprised if black helicopters land on your yard or Dick Cheney kicks in your front door (or bathroom stall).

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    Replies
    1. Bill, I know that GPS situation bothers me. Thank goodness Dick and I have an agreement.

      Delete
  2. Chachi and I upgraded to iPhones when our last contract was due. It is taking me a while to get used to Auto Correct.

    MY iPhone has a dirty mind, and regularly edits rather mundane notes to FILTHY commands. I learned this after sending what I thought was a MEETING REMINDER to the head of my Writer's Group. The very attractive, very male, very SINGLE head of my WG.

    Yeah. My iPhone kind of propositioned him. It now takes me additional time to ensure that "Let's meet at XYZ" doesn't translate to "Lay me".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my word, Renn. Your hot writers' group leader got a "lay me?" That is both mortifying and hilarious.

      I wonder what caused your iPhone to turn into a comedian. Interesting.

      Delete
  3. I hereby challenge you to Words with Friends, Lisa!

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    1. Sarah W., you would stomp me into wine on Words with Friends.

      Delete
  4. i hear you on those furry outfits and the saddle chafes....i mean sexting is rather enticing you know...it keeps the fire lit...as long as you are not so tired after work that sext is all you get but i digress...

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    Replies
    1. Brian - the chafing. Yes, such a nuisance. I'd much rather do some warm up activities via phone, but the sustaining stuff is definitely the action. I've learned to stay awake for it because it's so worth it.

      Delete
  5. And these are just more reasons I'm glad I don't have one. I spend so much time online as it is that when I leave my house it's the only vacation I get from social media!

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    1. Keep resisting, Suzy. I feel nagged when my phone tells me I have a new email.

      Delete
  6. When I'm on the Wheelie Bus and see all the Bright Young (+Old) Things updating their Zuckerbooks and sexmailing the cubicle denizen on the third floor, I chuckle waiting for the Snake Plissken moment, then cry knowing my schadenfreude will never come.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Randal. You get points for using a Snake Plisskin reference even if you won't be part of the herd.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. An Android is another type of smartphone. It's not an iPhone, but it has some of the same features, Downith. In other words, it's like crack.

      Delete
  8. Jon Stewart is so dumb for not hiring you.

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    1. MSB, you are so kind. Jon Stewart can't have me on his staff because I would always be embarrassing myself by hitting on him.

      Delete
  9. my visits to CVS, IHop and The Pink Pony.
    Which Pink Pony, North or South?? We used to live a couple of blocks from the one between I-85 and Buford Hwy on the Northeast side. They must have done a good lunch judging by the number of cars in the parking lot at lunchtime. I hear they had a good steak special.

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    1. Kulkuri, at some point or other, I'm sure it will be both Pink Ponies. I hear they have a great steak special.

      Delete
  10. I had an android for two days. Couldn't handle the touch screen bullshit. Went back to my Black Berry....there is such a thing as too much technology....

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    1. The touchscreen does make me a little nuts, Jimm. I'm always doing things I don't mean to.

      Delete
  11. I recently got a smart phone, a Droid something or other and I am having a time getting to use it. I still don't know what costs and what doesn't. I have three books on my books app and dont know if I'm paying when I read or if they are just free ones. I have taken pictures but have no clue how to upload them to my laptop. It's a learning curve. We are gonna hire a tech kid to advise us on the total package of a new computer, tablet, music MP3 player etc, and how to integrate them all. Otherwise we won't ever get it.

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    1. I love the idea of having a total package like that and the instruction for it, Sherry. That's very smart. P.S. I hope you're loving your new place in the sun!

      Delete
  12. The times they are a 'changing! Once upon a time a lady wrote about how she can't stand people writing about which cell phone to get! I have a *stupid phone* that pisses me off. It IS jurassic- right down to having to punch the button multiple times to get the letter you want to appear. It is so slow, I have to wait for the letter to appear on the screen before I can hit the next letter. Add in 2 carpal tunnel surgeries for severe nerve damage & no wonder I literally want to throw the thing under the bus. Plus there are times I need to look up a number & having a smart phone would do the job. So many whiz bang features now... it will make your head spin! What's holding me back then??? Those 2 year contracts & the $30 a month data package. As the main breadwinner heads into unemployment @ the end of June.... would I be choosing a fancy phone over a mortgage payment? Saw a pluggers comic w a kid complaining they are "suffering" with ancient 3G technology! No coincidence all the coolest phones w the best features are the spendiest. The "basic" phones do seem like olden days. No doubt I would love 4G & iphone wizardry, but would I love the monthly bill???

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    1. Yes, times have changed, Fran. But I think that woman (I hesitate to call her a lady) was griping about cell phone posts on Facebook. There must be a big difference, right? ;-D

      I hear you on the nuisance of having an old old phone. I guess the question is what do you use it for?

      Me? I'm having fun playing with my phone, but I still mostly use it for texts, photos and calls. Old dog, old tricks here.

      Delete
  13. Oh hell yes, I LOVE talking to my phone and it typing my messages for me. Siri is my new BFF. For reals. And Instagram = pure fun.

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    1. I'm with you on talking to my phone, Mel. It's a riot. Although my virtual assistant doesn't have Siri's sense of humor. What a stick in the mud she is.

      Delete
  14. I'm so far from being electronically connected 2 tin cans with a string between them would be an upgrade. Hell, I didn't even sign up with Skype until recently after having finally looked at my phone bill and seeing I was being charged $1 per minute to talk to my elderly aunt in England. She's 87 and takes her calls on a G4.

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  15. Lisa, Moriah, and I all got iPhones a few weeks back, and the difference is like, I don't know, like drinking Old Style Beer then being handed Leinenkugels; listening to the Beatles on a transistor radio versus standing in front of the barrier at Shea Stadium; mastu . . . never mind, you get the idea. The old thing got the job done; the new one, well, it gets it done the way it's supposed to get done. You can take my iPhone when you pry if from my cold dead fingers, but I'll bleed all over it first and ruin it so you can't have it!

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  16. Actually your adventures at the Pink Pony would be great reading I am sure and do you Words With Friends or Scramble?

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  17. I got a new phone and it has all these wiz bang features that I am still trying to figure out. I am terrible with texting so far. It has voice recognition but that has scared me off. I can check email and stuff but I haven't yet. I do check the weather. I send pictures. I text my kids. I am still learning all the stuff this phone can do though.

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  18. You know who shouldn't have smart phones? The three Facebook friends who post disgusting photos of their minor injuries to the newsfeed, and the grown woman who always complains if she only gets seven hours of sleep. Those four should not have access to technology. But you, Lisa, will only make the world more interesting with yours.

    I think bathroom internet access is definitely the main reason for smartphones. Good call.

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  19. Grrrl, you're so far ahead of me on this front! I'm still in slack-jawed awe of my old-school cell phone, the last of the rotary-dial ones.

    In my world, "apps" are shrimp cocktails from Big Boy.

    It might brand me to admit that I've never texted, as I don't know how and don't care to learn.

    And the only pictures I've ever taken with my phone were of my balls, desperately under-exposed, and completely unintentional, I swear!

    Good luck fending off The Progeny to keep your Jetson, you can do WAY more damage with it than they could ever envision! :)

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  20. You remember Leif Garrett too?!! I am also painfully backward with my iPhone. I don't know how to use anything except email and messages. I can't stand ear plugs so I haven't even downloaded music. I am also hopeless but in love. What that phone gives, I take with gusto, even lust! Perfect for sexting but I do prefer boobs over knockers (just got knickers for that)!

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  21. Ha! Ruby Dee, text Maine.
    So, enquiring minds want to know, did he get his phone back?

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  22. You collect Leif Garrett lip gloss tins too??? Is there an app for that?
    Call me a Luddite, but I kind of think that so called Smart technology is making people stupider. Read a map? Why should I? I have GPS! (Just one example.) So you tell Nate that it's for his own good that you're not giving him his Android back, that he should just go outside and bounce a ball against the house or race his car down the main drag with his arm around his girlfriend like kids USED to do for fun.

    ReplyDelete

And then you say....

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