Monday, March 14, 2011

Smartish Phones

Being a huge technogeek, I am typically on the bleeding - sorry - LEADING edge of things technological. So yes, I have an iPhone 4 which I find indispensible for things like the timer and the calendar. Now that I actually wear the timer on my belt clip, I have never forgotten something on the stove or in the oven. I'm almost 100% on appointments too. Now if I could just restrain myself from entering appointments that read "Tuesday, 10:00 AM" (where I should have written "Haircut" for instance) in the Tuesday 10:00 AM slot I would be perfect. As it is, 30 minutes before Tuesday at 10:00 AM, my phone lets me know that I am supposed to be doing something in 30 minutes but it is not sure what it is. I have 30 minutes in which to panic and call around to various places - dentist - work - car place - like a demented person asking if they are expecting to see me any time soon.

But, as the man says, I digress. I also have the local news station on my phone and have activated alerts so that every time bad news happens, my phone basically goes "Are you sitting down?". Actually it goes -beep- but you get the picture. I can't remember a time when my phone beeped to let me know, for instance, that the trains were all on time, pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training in Florida (how we know Spring is, in fact, coming to New England) or that today, nothing horrible happened.

It is especially disconcerting to find one of these notifications on my phone when I wake up. I feel as though my phone is reproaching me - "here's something that happened last night and if you had been AWAKE, maybe you could have avoided it." No matter that I have absolutely no influence on the political situation in Farawayistan, I still feel that I should have been at the helm at the very least, monitoring. I would shut it off but I'm sure the iPhone, being, as they say a 'smart' piece of technology would probably feed me this message: "Good Morning. Bad stuff happened in the world last night but you told me not to tell you so I'm not gonna. " (Phones can be a little snarky . . .)

Then there is the little matter of the phantom audible tone - a little snippet of a song that my phone plays for no other reason than it has something to tell me. But I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. This is the electronic equivalent of the kid who repeatedly rings your doorbell and runs away. I'm almost convinced that there is some little electronic gremlin sitting inside the phone who whispers "made you look" every time this happens. Or maybe it sends a message to AT&T - "Call this woman. She is such an IDIOT that she spends 5 minutes looking through the phone even though there is nothing to see. You could probably sell her the Brooklyn Bridge. Or a new phone contract - whichever is cheaper."

I could go to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store but having to admit to Wally, the Beave and Eddie Haskell that I have no idea why my phone is making random noises goes against the grain. I have used cellphones older than them. Enough said.

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