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The Telegram
  • Michelle Teheux: From Luddite to iPhone addict in 24 hours

  • I’ve officially relinquished my Luddite of the Year standing with my acquisition of my first smartphone.

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  • I’ve officially relinquished my Luddite of the Year standing with my acquisition of my first smartphone.
    I tend to always be a late adopter of technology, or sometimes a non-adopter.
    I like to wait until all the bugs have been worked out of new technology, which pretty much means I’m getting into something just as everyone else is moving on to yet a new thing.
    That’s OK with me. You should see the deal I got on my last eight-track tape player!
    OK, I don’t really still own any eight-tracks, but I actually still have a few cassette tapes, and a large collection of vinyl records.
    Left to my own devices, I would still be carrying around a dumb phone, which despite its limitations would still be too much phone for me. Sad but true story: I just learned how to text a few weeks ago.
    However, my husband surprised me last week with a new iPhone. Previously, my method of choosing a new phone consisted of walking into my provider’s store and asking, “Whaddya got that’s free?”
    The iPhone actually was free, though of course they’ll get their money out of me via the monthly charges.
    That’s OK. I have to admit I’m delighted with the thing, although my husband already regrets his fit of generosity.
    And my daughter, who greatly covets a smartphone of her own, is having another kind of fit.
    We were sitting at dinner and I was very cleverly managing to secretly check things out on the new phone by balancing it on my leg, out of anyone’s view.
    Well, not so very cleverly, I guess, because my husband and my daughter both called me on it immediately.
    Especially my daughter, who had been the target of many rants from me when she was younger and would attempt to text during dinner.
    She regurgitated all my points about how rude and improper it is to bring one’s phone to the table. One would think she had actually recorded my words back in the day and memorized them, just waiting patiently for years for her chance to give her performance.
    There’s nothing like having your young-adult daughter give you the same lecture you were giving her just a few years ago. It’s sort of hard to argue against what you know darned well are your own brilliant words.
    So I had no choice but to meekly put the phone away (and eat dinner very quickly so I could get back to my phone).
    My husband now says he will “never” get a smartphone because he sees it’s turned me into a phone zombie. He didn’t foresee this, me being a well-known technophobe and all.
    Page 2 of 2 - Ha, it took maybe 24 hours for me to complete the change from Luddite technophobe to iPhone addict.
    It’s not really that I’m against technology. It’s that I’m against confusing and irritating technology that doesn’t always work properly.
    But the thing is, the iPhone works pretty darned well. I had an easier time learning how to use this phone than just about any other form of technology I own. This includes the VCR, the DVD player, the microwave, my alarm clock and the old-fashioned non-flat-screen TV in my house. The one I change the channel on by walking up to it and pushing a button, because I find the remote too confusing.
    But having this connection to the world in the palm of my hand feels very much like how it felt when I bought my first car and my first cellphone — and by the way, I think my first cellphone was actually larger and heavier than my first car.
    The point is, I already cannot see how I ever lived without it. I have the ability to find out if I’m driving in the right direction. I can look up who sang that one song with those one lyrics. I can talk to anybody at any time, assuming they haven’t learned how to block my number to keep me from bothering them 24/7, which I now can do with ease.
    Best of all, I know I can get a really great deal on eight-track tape players with just a few taps on my touch screen.
    I know because I surfed eBay during dinner. Don’t tell my daughter.
    Michelle Teheux may be reached at mteheux@pekintimes.com.
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