Direly warned by my children that I was falling into a technical abyss, I reluctantly traded in my dearly loved 5-year-old “Sherryberry” for an iPhone 5. I considered waiting for the new BlackBerry, but my old one had a key or two that wasn’t working and the battery was almost shot.
Besides, “How can you live without apps?” they all questioned. My daughter, Melissa, especially felt life was passing me by without Instagram and Pinterest.
It has been over a month now, and the learning curve I feared is still hovering because I haven’t taken advantage of the free classes Apple offers. The truth is I have the time, but as patient as the tech helpers are, I know I may likely leave with an aching brain.
Things have gone somewhat all right so far, as we’ve had a siege of grandchildren, and when I get stuck, even the 4-year-olds can help me out. They are better teachers because they go slower. The teenagers show me so fast, I don’t catch what they are doing.
Without my BlackBerry keyboard, my text messages sometimes don’t make any sense because of the suggestions sneaked in by the iPhone or my fat-fingered mistakes. It’s getting easier, but since texting is the new form of communication, especially with grandchildren, it is such a necessary evil. To my surprise, one text sent to my son, Jim, was immediately answered by a phone call.
“Mom, I just got your text. You got lucky this time.”
“Oh, Jim, and why is that?”
“Well, mom, you need to watch who the message is going to. You just replied back on a group text so the message went to the whole family.”
Not being in the habit of sending salacious or even unkind texts, I still got the message: Mom, watch what you are doing especially when you do not know what you are doing.
My kids are right. All this updating really is necessary to remain viable in the world.
In a fascinating Time magazine tech special issue, “Your Life Is Fully Mobile,” Nancy Gibbs, who wrote the article, tells us, “Just as remarkable as the power of mobility, over everything from love to learning to global development, is how fast it all happened. It is hard to think of any tool, any instrument, any object in history with which so many developed so close a relationship so quickly as we have with our phones. Not the knife or match the pen or page. Only money comes close — always at hand, don’t leave home without it. But most of us don’t take a wallet to bed with us, don’t reach for it and check every few minutes, and however useful money is in pursuit of fame, romance, revolution, it is inert compared with a smartphone — which can replace your wallet now anyway.”
Right now I’m deciding whether to get my current computer updated or get a new one so I can have iCloud connect my computer and iPhone. Don’t ask me what cloud is but, again, everyone thinks it is necessary. Actually, I think I’m already in a cloud.
When I try to hook the iPhone 5 to my computer, it tells me I must upgrade iTunes, and iTunes tells me I need more software. It wouldn’t surprise me if one day my computer sends up a note straight from a Randy Glasbergen cartoon where a man and woman are sitting in front of a computer screen. The man tells her, “The computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with the new software.”
Is there an app for that?