Posts Tagged ‘smart phones’

Now who in their right mind wants to be found when they are exploring this beautiful country we live in. Photo of my parked RV taken by me while exploring the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in 2010 with my canine companion Maggie.

Or Else Its User is Dumb

I missed two zoom meetings recently, and didn’t notice I hadn’t received my normal 2 p.m. phone call from a son until about 6 p.m. – which had him calling my granddaughter to make sure I was OK.  And this is not the first occasion that I’ve let time run away from me.

My phone, which I also use as an alarm clock to remind me of things like zoom meetings, and when to take my clothes out of the washer and put them into the dryer, and for timing my writing, was out of order. But I didn’t discover that until I tried to call my son. Instead of ringing through, a message came up saying the device had no Sim card, and then said I should update the phone and reboot it. I did, and I, miraculously, had phone service again.

This is the second time in a month it’s done this to me. Did I mention that I actually hate smart phones. They’re not so smart, or else they have a dummy for a user. I’ll let you decide which.

I used a simple flip phone almost forever. I even went back to one when I retired from the traveling life. My son had bought me a smart phone when I was traveling because he wanted to know where I was at all times. I’m blessed that he loves me, but when you spend most of your life coming and going as one pleases, being tracked takes some getting used to. It also irks me that my children suddenly think I’m old and can’t take care of myself.

Meanwhile, what everyone else is doing on their phones today, I continue to do on my computer. The screen is larger and easier on old eyes, and I know how to use it, something I can never get the hang of with smart phones.

My children jumped at getting cell phones when they first came out, even when they were as large as breadboxes. I didn’t get my first cell phone until my work finally demanded it, and paid for it.

 Maybe I that’s why I kind of think of cell phones like a kind of ball and chain. I didn’t always want to be found. 

I don’t carry one in my pocket when I walk my dog, which my son says I should do. And I often forget to take it with me when I run errands. I’m trying to change that because I realized that if my car broke down, I haven’t memorized any phone numbers but my own — because they’re all stored in the $#&*@ smart phone.

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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“If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

I found Estero Llano State Park in Welasco, Texas, the old-fashioned-way, with a map. I'm not sure how the anhinga found its way here. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

I was in Dallas, returning from taking my daughter to work so I could use her car for the day. All I had to do to get back home was follow the GPS map installed on the dashboard of her Toyota Highlander.

But I decided I wanted to get a different view of the map. Silly me. As I’m sure you have already guessed, I pressed the wrong button and lost everything on the screen — and couldn’t get it back.

Because I had depended solely on the GPS to get me from one place to the next, I was confusingly lost with morning rush-hour traffic zooming all around me.

I was fortunate that I eventually came to a landmark I recognized and, although it took an extra 40 minutes, I did eventually get back to my daughter’s house.

I then used a map, and my own handcrafted cheat-sheet of right and left turns, to complete the day’s errands and to find my place back to pick up my daughter from work later that day.

The truth is that I’ve had to be pulled, while screaming, into most technological changes. I was one of the last to finally get a cell phone, and it was only this past Christmas, and only because it was a gift from my son, that I got a “smart” phone.

On the other hand, I was one of the first to get a home computer. After using one at work to write my newspaper stories, I found using a typewriter for my personal writings impossible.

Without GPS, Monarch butterflies, like this one I found at Quintana Neotropic Bird Sanctuary on Texas' Gulf Coast, migrate annually between Mexico and Canada, although it may take three generations to complete the journey. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My first computer didn’t even have a hard drive. Everything ran from floppy disks. And the word-processing program on it came with a black screen and green type, or you could make the type orange.

Today, I can’t imagine life without my computer and the Internet. Such a thought sounds barbaric.

Ditto life without my Kindle, which was also a gift and which I’ve now had for a year. I thought I would miss the feel of a real book in my hand, but I haven’t. I think the fact I can be reading almost any book I want almost instantly is a miracle – well until I discover how much I’ve spent at Amazon each month.

I still haven’t got a GPS, however. My canine traveling companion, Maggie, and I still use maps, albeit it computer ones, to find our way across the country.  It seems a GPS might be as difficult for me to use as an electric can opener, which is why I still use a manual one. 

But I’ve got a Twitter account, maggieandpat. And when I announced it, my oldest granddaughter laughed and said: “Who would have thought it would take my Nana to make me get a Twitter account?” 

Her comment made this wandering/wondering old broad feel young – well at least until a pain in one of my joints announced a change in the weather.

Bean’s Pat: Vimeo: My Friend Maia by Julie Warr http://vimeo.com/31733784 A video to inspire all us old broads, and perhaps those still young among us, too.


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