Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Electronically Challenged


I was one of the last of my peers to buy a Smartphone. When I posted the news of my purchase on Facebook almost two-years ago, my Atlanta son who never comments on my stream but monitors my posts for my infamous spelling errors, wrote, “Return it IMMEDIATELY.”

            Those friends who didn’t know of my total lack of fine motor and electronic skills as he did, objected. One wrote, “I’m ten-years older than your mom, and if I can learn how to use it, so can she.”

Unlike them, my son also knew I didn’t read directions that showed anything more than the location of the on/off switch. Almost two years later, I will admit I’ve only mastered a few features, so my son and friends were both partially correct. I can take pictures—sometimes—and then post them on Facebook, a socially acceptable way to brag because here friends can ignore the post if they chose or hit “like” if they truly care.

It took almost one year to learn how to enter phone numbers, but I still can’t delete old ones even though I have even been shown twice. I’ve learned how to text, but only individuals, but I can send one email to multiple people.  I still have yet to activate the phone’s voice and probably never will. If the computer that types my dictated text or email can’t understand me, I’m not sure it is worthwhile to turn on the voice feature. This morning when composing an email, I said “all okay” into the phone’s microphone; however, “ooo k” appeared on my screen.

            My husband and I bought the car I am driving before we purchased our cell phones. Our dinosaur phones were compatible with the car’s Bluetooth device. They worked faithfully, and the driver’s phone was automatically connected. Not so with our new phones. Keeping them connected was like attempting to stand still while inside of a revolving door. The phones somehow adversely affected our navigation system. We were making more trips to the dealer than the doctors—and neither is a great way to spend the day. After replacing three car radios—thankfully under warrantee—one mechanic at the dealership finally found the cause of the problem. My husband’s cell phone, a Window’s model, was incompatible with the car’s radio/Bluetooth/navigation system. The mechanic then disconnected my husband’s phone from our car’s Bluetooth device. Hubby looked as if someone told him he could no longer have permanent custody of our television’s remote.

As soon as we were home, he researched and found out no “cure” was available for his phone’s incompatibility problem. Hubby had no choice but to remain “bluetoothless” until our cell phone contract was up.

Ironically, even though his phone is disconnected, somehow when he is behind the wheel, the screen on the navigational system/radio keeps changing. Even worse, my phone is automatically disconnected. It makes me wonder if electronic devices can be haunted by bad electronic memories.

 I have mastered the Words With Friends app, but the music and communication apps frustrate me. Once I had the music on, I had so much trouble turning it off, I never used it again. Our alarm clock broke, and I attempted to use the one on the cell phone. It actually worked the first time, but not the second. No clue what I did wrong, and since we almost missed an early morning appointment, I bought a new, old-fashioned alarm clock.

Recently, I took the reading list for my community’s Book Club to the library only to discover that most of the books were on hold, or they didn’t stock them. The librarian said some of them might be available to check out electronically. I thanked her, too embarrassed to say that I didn’t own a Kindle.

I drove home thinking that perhaps it was time I purchased an electronic reader, after all, “everyone” else I knew swore by the electronic books. My fear of not being able to learn how to use one was preventing me from partaking in Book Club.  “After all,” I said to myself, “I am learning to use my phone—slowly, yet learning.”

That night, after researching on Google, I decided to purchase the Kindle with the fewest gadgets and did so the next day. 

I would like to say I have mastered al the in's and out's of using the Kindle, I would like to ....but can't. Give me another year and I'll let you know.

1 comment:

Chelle Cordero said...

Cute, LOL. I finally went to a Smart Phone a year ago after much coercion from hubby and my son. I admit, I do love the features and have used quite a few. However lately my phone is sounding more like Hal 9000; I turn off Hands-Free, it turns itself back on; Randomly & unexpectedly the phone decides to talk to me almost always beginning with a nicety "I hope you are making the most of your day" (creepy); once when I had an incoming call and I HAD to accept by voice (it would not allow me to touch accept) it actually asked me "Are you sure you want to accept this call"!!! I think it's possessed.