While most people have been using smartphones for ages, I finally inherited a hand-me-down iPhone 5 from my husband’s secretary. At long last, I possessed that amazing little gadget that can do everything but wipe my backside. I can get organized, share FaceTime with family (here is an explanation on how to use it on any Android machine), text message friends and dance my heart out to iTunes. Just one problem, they don’t make smart phones for dummies.
Case in point ME. When I went to phone store center to trade in my antique Nokia, the clerk laughed out loud. “Wow, it’s been eons since I have seen one of these.”
Within 48 hours of activating my phone chip, I made so many gaffs the Frenchman threatened to confiscate it.
While walking home from school, I tried calling the hubby at his printing office in Lausanne; instead I rang my daughter at her pediatric clinic in Minneapolis. That went down real well.
In PE class, I thought I was recording students’ lap times; instead I was setting the alarm clock.
“Who’s calling?” I screamed waking up that night.
“You!” the hubby grumbled. “You set your phone to ring at two a.m.!”
When it comes to technology, I am one step behind and a term or two off beat. When my students told me about that instant messaging thing, I said, “Cool! I need to get what’s up.”
They laughed me out of the classroom.
“It’s not what’s up,” a student said, ‘it’s Whatsapp` an application for free messaging.”
Application? One uses an application to seek employment, to enter university, and to do calculus. What does “application” have to do with finding out, “What’s up, bro?”
It gets worse. During a staff meeting my sweatshirt pouch burst out singing in Janet Jackson’s voice. I swore I turned off my walking-to-school music. Savvy colleagues explained that moving around with an iPhone in your pocket could turn on iTunes.
Texting is a whole other ball game. Seriously, how can anyone text and drive? It’s like diving off a cliff with your hands tied to your feet. Even at my desk with both hands on my device, I have yet to text without falling off my chair. Besides by the time I punch in the correct letters, my brain’s faulty memory bank has already forgotten the message. Even my 81-year-old, nimble-fingered mom can text faster than me.
Stranger things keep happening. Yesterday all by itself my little iPhone burst into song and dance, playing Walk the Line by Johnny Cash…. I don’t even like Johnny Cash. Next thing I know Sandra Beckwith, a marketing guru, is telling me how to sell more books – from a class I took five years ago. My husband, who was watching Netflix on TV downstairs, explained that sometimes it sets off iTunes when the computer nearby is on the same network. Well, how dumb is that?
Worse yet, every time he receives a call for another crisis at work, my phone rings too.
And if these phones are so smart, how come they get lost all the time? Mine has little electronic legs and never stays where I put it. When I misplaced it at school, I stayed up all night worrying that a techie teen would crack my code and access my top-secret contact list.
But you know me; I am always willing to give it a go. So send me your cell number and I’ll ring you the next time I’m in your neighborhood, if can catch that darn phone that keeps running away from home.
Meanwhile my brain becomes more muddled; numbers scramble, fingers freeze on the keyboard, … applications, smapplications, crapplications…will I ever understand that mumble jumble tech speak?
I am convinced my iPhone 5 is possessed, so I am upgrading as soon as they invent that smart phone for dummies.