My friend just bought a Droid x. Why, you may ask, would she need a handheld super computer? Because her son told her it would be too hard for her to use. Sure enough, when she talks on the phone she accidentally pulls up a map of Indonesia with her chin. I’m talking about how my dog vomited his breakfast, while she’s looking at the weather report for Jakarta.
I lie awake at night wondering how you would clean the fingerprints off the screen without calculating the value of π to the 372nd decimal place. On the bright side, this phone of the future only takes slightly longer to learn than the wait in line at the phone store. My friend asked for operating instructions and was given a 2 page leaflet. The clerk told her, “you just have to play with it.” What the hell? A phone that can do everything except my laundry has no instruction manual?
In 1961 I attended the Seattle World’s Fair. There was a section set up by Bell Telephone, featuring the phone of the future. Little did Bell know at the time that the touch tone phone would pave the way for an epidemic of self-inflicted eye gouging, while people wade through endless menus just to find out why their health insurance won’t cover that rash.
I can remember when there was only one model for the standard home telephone. The rotary desk phone weighed about as much as a bag of kitty litter. There was great hoopla and rejoicing when Bell first came out with the alternative wall-mounted phone. The only nod to individuality was a choice of colors: black, white, or red. You only used a red phone if you were the chief of security at the White House, or Batman.
As it is, if I accidentally press the button for speaker on my noG phone, it’s going to stay on speaker until I can get one of my kids to turn it off for me. If I ever decide to get a computer programming degree and buy a 4G phone, I’m holding out for one that can do my laundry.