THAT LINE was part of a skit on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, a skit which lampooned the high tech commercials on television for smart phones and internet access. In the guise of Verizon, the spoof commercial talks the jargon of today’s smart phones and their users. The fake commercial ends with this on screen slogan: “Verizon - it’s an old person’s nightmare.”
I literally laughed out loud at that, because those things are this old person’s nightmare. I can barely stand to use my old standard cell phone. It is seven years old and I’ll use it another seven if I can.
Six months ago, I was sitting in a hospital waiting room with a dozen or so other people. Everyone except me was on their smart phone, checking emails, posting on Facebook, sending texts, looking up things. I was staring at mine like I was thinking “why can’t you do any of that?” It was looking back at me like “you picked me the way I am!”
I thought I would try a mini step in the direction of getting a smart phone. I got an iPad. Not the second or third generation. The first generation. I got it set up and starting trying to use it. After a few rocky efforts, I finally got it down. The problem was I really didn’t need it. If I was at home, I have my hard drive. If I am on the road, I have a laptop. And I prefer a real keyboard to a virtual one.
I have not used the iPad much. The iPad is harder for me to use because I find the typing tedious without a real keyboard. I don’t know that I could even operate a smart phone, with that fine print and the very small pictures.
My son loves his smart phone. There is no doubt it is a valuable tool in his hands and he can use it his advantage. But I just don’t want to learn all that and do all that. I’m an old dog who doesn’t want to learn these new tricks. I know I should suck it up and get to it, but I’m going to grumble about it every inch of the way.
One of my concerns about the smart phone is the incident of accidental calls. Everyone I know who has a smart phone has accidentally called me. I can hear them talking. They are unaware their phone is engaged and broadcasting whatever they are saying or doing to me. If it happens with my number, it has to happen with other numbers as well. The idea of my phone calling someone who can then hear whatever I’m saying to someone else in person is a little disconcerting.
There are applications for smart phones which make your exact location obvious. I will admit to having a poor understanding of applications and what they entail, but it seems that one has to give them access to the smart phone, and all sorts of tracking implications follow.
I suppose when comes right down to it, I prefer talking on a land line, at my desk. The sound is loud and clear. I never lose a call on a land line. I can take notes as I talk. Most importantly, the conversation does not occur while I am in the car, walking through a store, or eating at a restaurant.
I’ll probably get a smart phone eventually. It may not be until this old phone quits working and I have to get a new phone. This old dog will howl a while then go learn that new trick, but not until the old phone gives up!
© 2012, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.
Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his firstname.lastname@example.org