Smart Phones – Not So Dumb After All

Andrea Freedman

For the longest time I resisted getting a smart phone. I was hesitant about even having a cell phone in the first place and I didn’t see what all the hype was about.

When people would say things to me like “You can download [this or that] on it” or “You can watch videos on it”, I did not want any part of it. In fact, it irritated me and I protested that I was not interested in doing any of those things with my cell phone; I just wanted it mainly to make calls with in emergencies.

I realize that the norm these days in society is to be plugged in twenty-four hours a day; I for one find that difficult to accept, which is why only a select few even have my cell phone number. Not to mention, I find if I stare at that little screen for too long a time it makes my eyes hurt.

It drives me crazy when I see someone become absorbed in his or her smart phone, constantly checking it, or when I have to repeat myself several times over as the person I am trying to speak to is distracted by their smart phone.

Oh and the scrolling – I think you know what I mean. It is sometimes almost impossible to get someone’s attention for the simple fact that they are too busy checking e-mail or something else on a smart phone.

When I am watching a movie or sporting event with someone, something I think we are doing together, it really takes away from it if the person is more interested in being absorbed in his or her smart phone. I wonder what he or she could possibly be looking at, and what could be so pressing that I am being ignored as a result.

Now that I have recently purchased a smart phone myself I too can hardly stop playing with it and I have only just begun to explore everything I can do with it. At first I had my doubts about whether or not I would be able to figure out how to answer the phone, let alone how to use the other functions it offers but I must confess it is a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Every morning – sometimes even before I have had my first coffee – I get up and scroll through my e-mails, all conveniently viewed on my new phone without even having to start up my computer.

I like the audio notifications like the bird chirping sound it makes when I get a text and the little ring I hear when I have a new e-mail message. The memo section has come in handy when I wanted to write something down instead of waiting until I got home and risking forgetting what I wanted to write and the camera is great!

As a writer I admit I do anxiously check my e-mail over and over again to see if I have received any responses to any of my submissions. Now I do not have to anxiously walk back and forth to my computer constantly and I no longer feel like I have to go home in the middle of a beautiful day just to check my e-mail messages; I can do that wherever I can find a spot that offers free Wi-Fi.

Another simple but nice thing about my new phone is that, on the few occasions when I do receive or make a call, as opposed to my previous cell phone, I can actually hear the person I am speaking to on the other end!

Although I have a long way to go when it comes to being an expert smart phone user, I have finally begun to allow modern technology into my life. I am still getting the hang of things and I suspect I will be getting to know just how smart my new cell phone really is for the next while.

That does not mean, however, that I will ignore someone if they talk to me, choosing instead to bury my head in my telephone screen. Smart phones can be useful, as long as they do not replace actual face to face communication or get in the way of real in-person relationships.

I vow never to become one of those people walking down the street with their heads in their smart phones, barely avoiding being hit by a car or a collision with another pedestrian. Furthermore, if I get carried away checking my smart phone I will not mind at all if someone trying to speak to me brings me back down to reality.

That being said, it turns out that something I had so strongly opposed is actually – and I can hardly believe I’m saying this – making my life easier not to mention that it is kind of fun to use. I give in; modern technology can in fact be great – that is, as long as we’re smart about it.♦

Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2013

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About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on October 27, 2013, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Still not convinced. Like my e-reader, though.

    Like

  2. Are you using EverNote? If not you’ll wonder how as a writer you ever managed to live without it (to be effective you need it on your computer and your phone); I’ve found it such a useful tool to take notes and tag items when out and about. I featured it some time ago. here at my blog.

    Like

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