Monday, February 4, 2013

Are You Smarter than Your Smart Phone?

My answer to this question is, in a word, “No.”

Yesterday, my husband dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century by buying me a new cell phone that also happens to be a smart phone. I was not an early adopter of the cell phone, and I kept my original cell phone for about 7 years in the hopes that I would eventually learn to use more functions than simply the phone. (I succeeded in mastering the Snake Game.) I learned to take pictures with my second cell phone, and I mastered texting with my third. But it was time for me to have access to more. It was time for me to enter the Smart Phone Zone.

He gave me a Droid. I know that it’s a Droid, because it told me so. I charged it up, just like the manual told me to, and then, hesitantly, I turned it on. It hummed for a split second, then politely introduced itself: “Droid.” It wasn’t much for small talk after that, but it did make me feel a bit less intimidated. How scary can a phone be that tells you its name?
And so between last night and this morning, I wrestled with the instruction book. I carefully followed the directions on how to hook up my old phone to the computer so I could download (or is it upload?) all of my saved data to my new phone. Unfortunately, since I am apparently the last dumb phone holdout, the software did not support transferring data from my old phone. But that turned out to be a good thing, since when I originally input my contacts, I didn’t know what I was doing and I ended up with separate entries for people’s home phones and cell phones, not to mention tons of outdated contacts that I’d never figured out how to edit or delete. So after much weeping, gnashing of teeth, and pushing of wrong buttons, I figured out how to manually enter all of my contacts. I hit a small roadblock when I accidentally saved a new contact before entering all the information and realized that I had no idea how to edit it, but eventually my clumsy fingers came in handy as I accidentally bumped a button I didn’t even know was there and up popped the menu I needed.
Once my contacts were all set, I started exploring some other functions. I discovered my menu of ringtones, much to the delight of my children. I chose a ringtone that made them both giggle, figuring that if I ever don’t hear my phone ringing, maybe their giggles will clue me in. I searched around and found both my calendar and my alarm. I found my camera and took several photos of the kids, playing with the focusing and zoom functions. I made one of the photos my wallpaper, and I even managed to attach another to a text that I sent to my husband. And he replied, so I even knew that I’d done it right!
Then I got really wild and crazy and checked out the Kindle button. Boom! There was my entire Kindle library. In. My. Phone. Dude, there’s a library in my phone. Whoa. I don’t have to curse myself the next time I find myself waiting in the doctor’s office having forgotten my Kindle Fire, because my library is IN MY PHONE.
I even explored the accessories package that came with my phone. I clipped on my cool belt holster and immediately felt like the hippest fast-draw techno-cowboy ever. I put together the car charger and found the right port for the USB cord (even though I’m not 100% sure what it’s for).
Now all I have to do is sit around and wait for someone to call me! Wait – I don’t actually know how to answer the phone. Excuse me, I have to go…I have something very important to figure out…

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