The 21st century called, and I finally decided to answer. Recently, I traded in my six-year-old slide-out cell phone for a new-fangled smartphone. Receiving that first call was a frantic swiping game reminiscent of an orangutan trying to wipe butter off its thumb onto a piece of glass, but I’m happy to report that I was indeed able to eventually connect with another person via my fancy touchscreen handheld cellular telephone device.
Since that initial foray into the technological realm that nearly all residents of developed countries have inhabited for years, I have expanded my smartphone skills to include taking pictures, forwarding texts, and having my husband download apps for me. He can’t spell worth a darn, but that cowboy is surprisingly tech-savvy. Without his help, I would still be writing Facebook posts asking friends to tell my husband I am on my way home from town, because I couldn’t figure out how to install Messenger on my own.
I was leery of the phone when I first brought it home, because so much has been written about their addictive powers. They suck up all your time, give you bad posture, ruin your relationships, and hand out your personal bank account information to criminals like candy at a Christmas parade. I was afraid to turn my back on the phone for fear it might steal my soul. When I turned in for bed that first night, I was edgy.
“What do you think the smartphones are doing right now?” I asked my husband as I climbed beneath the covers.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Charging?”
“Let’s never bring them to the bedroom and scroll before bedtime, okay?”
“I don’t usually look at my phone in bed,” he replied.
“I know, but you’re a veteran smartphone user. Help me stay strong. I feel like it can sense weakness.”
I’m not sure if my phone can actually sense weakness, but it can definitely sense where I am at all times. Before I switched over to the smartphone side, I prided myself on my ability to perform tasks such as driving from Arizona to northern California aided by nothing more than a jug of water, a road atlas, and a dozen phone calls to residents along the way asking “Did I miss my turn? The exit I needed was closed, what should I do? Does this road always have two names? Where’s the nearest Taco Bell?”
Now, I can use Google Maps, a handy little app that helps drivers navigate unfamiliar cities. Or, in my case, my hometown. Thanks to location finding technology, I no longer have to worry about complicated concepts such as “from which way did I come?” “am I driving in circles?” and “east” or “south.” I just follow the little blue arrow and watch the distance between my vehicle and my destination gradually increase, because I still can’t follow a map, even one equipped with the latest in modern satellite technology.
But the biggest benefit of owning a smartphone is my newfound status. Besides the ability to swipe and attempt to utilize its location-finding abilities, now I can finally say that coveted phrase savvy, smug smartphone owners utter every day: “Oh, shoot, my battery is about to die.”
Here is an actual photo of me trying to use a handheld device, accompanied by one of my offspring.
Photo credit: Shutterstock; Photograph by Jessica Darmanin