Monday, April 5, 2021

Me and my phone

 As I have intimated here, I have gotten my first proper smart phone, or, as they call them nowadays, a "phone". I have a phone. In my pocket. Connected to Internetland. 

I am late to the party as far as this goes, and arriving at this party so long into it, after hearing so much about it, and seeing it from outside for so long, and even occasionally complaining about how much noise they were making when I was trying to sleep, has had a few eye-opening moments for me. In talking with my colleagues, and in adapting to an ever present pocket device, I have learned new things about these phones, their culture, and my own tastes. In fact, I have learned exactly ten things. They are as follows: 

1. As a general rule, the older a person is, the crappier their phone is. Or, for the positivists, the younger a person is the better their phone is. People older than me don't know what model their phone is and bought it for $200 three years ago. People younger than me know exactly what model their phone is, just got it, and it's the most valuable thing they own.

2. Most people only marginally know how to use their phone, and even the best are talented amateurs. 

3. Ebooks on a phone are, and I don't say this lightly, amazing. My phone, which has now replaced my wallet, is now also a small, but readable book that I open up and read from exactly where I left off at any given moment.

4. As much as I am enjoying this phone, I love the leather wallet I bought for it even more, and sometimes I just like to hold my phone without using it. It was all an excuse for the wallet!

5. The apps are all byzantine and sprawling, designed for breadth and not depth, which explains list item number two. Everything can be in your phone, but it tends to sprawl wildly from that point.

6. It's kinda heavy.

7. Looking at the phone while talking about it, or about anything else, is non functional and just as obnoxious as all the times I experienced it from the outside.

8. It utterly disconnects one from reality despite its seeming accessibility in nearly any situation.

9. It calls to me.

10. The fact that I can use it as a phone is a funny perk of the thing that I only occasionally recall.


  1. I am definitely an older person. I do not know the model of my phone, and I didn't even buy it. I used it to participate in some research, and I was allowed to keep it when the research was done. I have no idea how to change anything on it, including the time; I have no password for it. I don't know what is meant by "sync the phone," which is something the researchers did every few weeks.
    I am, finally, fairly proficient at using it as a phone, though I often forget to check for messages in my mail box.
    I recently changed my "plan" so the phone is ONLY a phone. No Internet, hence no apps, whatever they are. I get messages sometimes, but I rarely answer them because it's too darned hard on the tiny keyboard. I won't use it while driving, of course, and I rarely use it outdoors because I can't see the screen in daylight. [I know there is a way to make the screen brighter, but I can never remember it--and I can't see the screen to look for the "make brighter" trick.
    If I had my druthers, I'd go back to a land line and an answering machine that would blink to tell me if I had messages. The good old days.
    On the other hand, a year ago I often couldn't even manage to send and receive phone calls.

    1. Ah yes, well, I don't think you're really missing anything, except maybe the camera convenience for "Every Library I Can". But then I think you know that you're not. Nevertheless I am one of "them" now, fever eyed and taken, poking at my little screen at any given moment.

      Oh it's horrible! (cackles madly)


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.