Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Face to face with the iphone

Face to face with the iPhoneI recently had lunch with my eldest child, who is now, choke, a grown woman. She was telling me all about college life and her new home when she leaned in close and whispered, "I have a landline now."

"Well, it's nothing to be ashamed of," I said.

But, to a child who has grown up surrounded by technology, I guess it is. I'm sure by the time my other two children reach her age, landlines will be close to obsolete. Frankly, I'm not sure why we even have one. The only calls we seem to get are from politicians and annoying non-profits. Not to seem heartless, but non-profits would be much better off soliciting for money through the mail instead of calling during dinner, early morning and dozens of times in between.

At one point, I got so frustrated with a certain non-profit that has "hope" in its name that I told the person on the other end of the line, "There's no hope in my ever giving you any money!"

But I digress. In the next few days I will be the owner of one of the most important pieces of technology out there -- the iPhone. Yes, I know it's old news, and I'm already behind the curve. I know this because I don't have one. I don't think people who own them realize how they act with them. Most people I know who have one rarely take it out of their hands. In fact, I've often wondered if they've become one with it, kind of like Doc Ock and his metal arms in Spiderman.

Obviously, there is something wonderful and addicting about this coveted piece of technology, and I want to be a part of it. I realized that I was missing out not long ago when I went on a girls' night out. There was a lull in conversation, and I looked up, and every single person (sans moi, of course) was on her iPhone, smiling and giggling like they were sharing some sort of inside joke. Not to be left out, I picked up my dinosaur of a phone and pretended to type in some sort of message. At least now I know how to text. When I first got it last year, I pulled it out at work, poised my fingers over the tiny keyboard and asked my manager, who just so happened to be walking by, "How do you type on this?" Her polite response was, "I think you use your thumbs."

Ooooh, you use the thumbs.

Now, I'm about to dive headfirst into the world of Apple in which I'm sure to make a fool of myself (again). My younger daughter recently asked my permission to mention me in a paper she was working on for school. Since I write about them in my column, I figured there was only one answer to this, "Sure, but I want to read it first!"

Her main idea was basically how smart technology leads to poorer communication. Her example? Moi.

Her paper went something like this: "Even though my mom is a specialist in communication, she can barely operate her phone ..."

Sigh. Well, at least I didn't raise a liar.

I did agree with her thesis, however. Nowadays, we text, email, facebook, instant message, but do we really talk? Although I'm about to jump on the bandwagon, I can't help but wonder if a better idea is for us to all put down our phones and give face to face a try.

There's definitely hope for that.

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