Wednesday, February 01, 2012

My Smart Phone is Smarter than Me


There I was in my beauty salon where I spend so much time I should not only look a whole lot better, but they ought to name a sink after me when I realized I forgot to make a dinner reservation for later that evening.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that my young hairdresser Danielle, was stunned to see me dial 411 for the restaurant’s number.
If she wasn’t concerned about smearing my fresh manicure she might have roughly swiped my phone from my highly polished fingers.  Instead, she just stared at me in disbelief, shook her head and scolded me.
“You have a smart phone, Carol.  No one calls 411 anymore!”
Apparently, a 20-something cannot compute that I am a woman of a certain age who to remember how to reboot my computer I have to sing-song
CONTROL-ALT-DELETE,   CONTROL-ALT-DELETE.
I now understand why my grandmother continually hummed.  She was attempting to secure a place in her head for her shopping list:  BUTTER-EGGS AND BREAD, BUTTER-EGGS AND BREAD.  I guess we were too poor to afford a pencil.
A month ago, I traded up for the latest phone, the iphone 4S and I tell everyone I justgot it.  Danielle knew better, though, just like my kids who say, “Mom, we know why you put on a foreign accent when you ask for directions in the neighborhood.”
Okay, so after I back out of my driveway I get confused.  Is that a crime?
Back to my phone ~ My friend Bob told me that the 4S stands for “For Steve” (Jobs) I retold this to many people and it seems I am the only one who fell for that. Bob’s version was sweeter, though, so I chose to continue to disregard the truth, as I often do when my shrink forces me to recreate my childhood.  Then I read Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography about Steve Jobs and discovered that he was anything, but sweet.
Sweet or sour, there’s no denying that he changed the world and and just to prove that he changed me too and I was not totally smart phone stupid, I sent a text to Danielle who was standing next to me.
“Hey, watch this.  It may not be second nature to me yet to google a restaurant, but Siri, the new 4S feature is my new best friend.”
“Really?” she said out loud. (how old fashioned can you be!)  “Let me hear you ask it a question. Do you want to know where the closest Starbucks is?”
“I can do better than that,” I said.  “If I say ‘Good-night’ she will say good-night back.’  (This was also from Bob whose credibility was already shaky at best) Was he pulling my leg, again?  I tried it out the night before without anyone around to poke fun at me.  I pressed the little button on the phone to reveal a small microphone and up popped ‘What can I help you with?’
Yes, I felt ridiculous, but I said “Good-night” to her and sure enough, Siri, my little robot friend inside the phone answered “Good-Night.”  Now, I was hooked and I wished her Good-Night over and over again.  Once she actually answered “Good-Night to you too” and I somehow felt a little closer to her.  Why not? I take her with me wherever I go, don’t I?
“Here goes,” I said to Danielle.  Her arms were crossed.
I pressed the button. The microphone appeared and with confidence I said,
“Good-Night!”
Siri responded, “It is 2:14 in the afternoon.”