I talked to someone who got a new smartphone today. It’s her first smartphone, if you don’t count her Blackberry, which I don’t. Those things don’t seem very smart to me. She says she doesn’t give a damn about what it does; she just needs to text, talk and email. I said you haven’t used the navigation features yet, just wait. Have you checked out Instagram? It’s great for pictures of your cat and other people’s children. She said she’d rather just use a map, and fuck other people’s children; who needs pictures of some snot-nosed brats?
Miffed, I ask, how do you know where to get good Thai food if you can’t use Yelp? How on earth are you going to get more badges than your friends on Foursquare if you can’t check in everywhere you go? And how the hell are you going to tag your location on facebook? You can’t do that from your desktop you know. People want to know where you got that fabulous blue cocktail. They also want to know who you’re drinking it with, and they need to know before you get home and sit down at your computer that night. How are you going to remember where you parked with out ‘Find My Car’? How will you know where you stand if you can’t scan your picture with the Ugly O Meter? I’m sorry, if you can’t use Shazam, what do you do about that song stuck in your head. How are you going to find out who sings it so that you can download it from the Google Play store?
It’s a lot of questions, I know. But I do all of these things and more on a daily basis. But really, how can someone live without a smartphone?
I’m finding out because I left phone at work. I’m not lost at sea, or stranded in the wilderness, cut off from all human contact. I’m in my apartment with an internet connection and a landline. I’m posting on facebook, I’m tweeting, I’m sending emails, I’m letting everyone know about this horrible predicament I’m in. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. But what if I did? Everyone at work knows my landline number for emergencies, so my professional obligations are being fulfilled. I even sent an email to my boss, apprisisng her of the situation. Except I said that the phone was malfunctioning. I’m going to let technology take this hit for me. I did mention that the problem would most likely be resolved by the time I come in tomorrow. As people couldn’t figure out that I have a back up number, and they should call it if they need to. I felt the need to re-explain this concept. It eases the panic I’m feeling about being disconnected.
We did, at one time, live without cell phones. My grandma had a rotary phone, and shared the phone number with a few neighbors up the street. I’d pick it up to find her neighbor was already using the phone, and I was interupting their conversation. Imagine needing a phone so little that you could share it with the neighbors. I wonder how they called each other? Now everyone has one phone number themselves, and often more. I have 3 if you count work.
And at one time, all the phone did was make calls. You could only receive calls if you were at home. We didn’t even have answering machines. Clever, in the 1980′s, when answering machines were new, the size of phone books, and had a cassette tape in them; we’d play introductory music, then asked the caller to leave a message at the tone. Wasn’t technology something?
If you tried to tell me then about the smart phone I have now, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
The above picture has nothing to do with this post. I just came across it while reading an article about Mitochondrial Eve and thought it was cool. To whom ever took it, I’d like to credit you but I couldn’t find your name. I’d totally have that blown up and framed and have it hanging in my living room if I could. Actually, I might look into it.