About Me

Pearl City, HI, United States

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dumber Than a Smart Phone*

My new...thingy.
*Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, September 6, 2009

Copyright © 2009 by Ralph Couey

We are fortunate (or cursed) to live in a time where technology is rapidly forging ahead. What was cutting-edge in January is hopelessly antiquated by June. Our kids, steeped in this exploding environment since birth, swing with the changes with what seems painless facility. We adults, particularly the boomers, find ourselves struggling to understand even the simple stuff. Rare is the parent that hasn’t been rescued from computer hell by a 9-year-old.

For a long time, it was easy to discover the technologically challenged among us, the scarlet letter being the steady blinking of "12:00" on the face of their VCR's. But as the future becomes today, we all risk being left in the dust.

Nowhere has this accelerating complexity manifested itself more than in the cell phone universe.

My wife and I were relative newcomers to the cell revolution, not getting our first phones until 2002. We floated along, safe in the knowledge that our phones didn’t exceed our comprehension.

However, since last fall, we'd been talking off and on about our phones. We could upgrade again with our provider. But frankly, we were ready for a change. Still, we procrastinated until a series of events forced the issue. Cheryl inadvertently left her phone out in the rain, and the phone belonging to Tigger, our youngest daughter, had suffered some kind of blunt force trauma (no explanation offered or sought). Since we would be all together over Memorial Day Weekend, it seemed the best time to make the switch, using my birthday as the excuse.

“Tigger,” (fully recovered from her hit-and-run accident, thanks for asking) went with us, ostensibly to “advise” us on the purchase. I had already decided on a model with a full keyboard, since texting with a regular keypad had become decidedly too slow. Cheryl was ambivalent about any particular model, but with Tigger, the consummate techno-booster at her side, she never really stood a chance.