Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I got my first Smart Phone last month. I didn’t want to. But my flip phone broke without warning one afternoon, and that was that. I pulled it out of the deep abyss I call my “purse”, and the industrial strength plastic around the hinges fell off. Then the phone refused to close, and suddenly I was thrown headlong into progress. I hate progress.
I had no idea which phone to get as a replacement, but there were only three flip phones in the Verizon store—rotary dial, at that—and I knew I’d have to enter the new millennium sometime. Which reminds me. Since when do we need an entire building devoted only to Polly Pocket-sized phones? And these stores are crowded! What’s so thrilling about shopping in a telephone store? I. Am.So.Old.
So I interviewed Smart Phone users. Owners with experience. Professionals. Ten-year-olds mostly. I needed to know which one of the nearly two million different Smart Phones currently on the market would meet my personal needs. The overwhelming opinion there was that I should definitely upload Angry Birds and Words With Friends as soon as the battery charged up.
However, no one told me the one thing I needed to know more than anything else—how to dial or answer my new phone. Which I now prefer to call my Smart Aleck Phone. The first day I had it, while attempting to place a call to my son, I somehow brought up the qwerty screen and couldn’t get out of it. So I texted him this frantic message: “Call me. At home. I don’t know how to answer my cell phone.” Of course, he lives in Kentucky and I don’t, so the communication gap wasn’t narrowed much, even with his help. And besides, he uses a Blackberry.
I spent the whole afternoon reading the directions tucked into my box from Verizon, as well as their shortcuts for dummies, trying with very little success to teach myself how to use my own phone. Until finally, at the end of the afternoon, I did it. I overcame the learning curve.
That little rectangle of frustration landed square against the wall in one straight shot—with no curve at all.
I may be old, but I have pretty good aim.