Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Silver bullets

Shortly after Noah was born in 2007, my Silicon Valley friends visited us in Munich.

As I pushed Noah in his stroller through the gardens at Schloss Nymphenburg, they showed me all the cool features on their fancy iPhones, which were, amazingly(!) receiving calls from California while mapping our walking route through the trees.

"But it doesn't refresh fast enough for mapping in the car," said Leslie, shaking her iPhone as though it might just work faster with a little physical encouragement.

Those iPhones: they felt like a definite step up from a clam shell! But I still couldn't really think of a good reason for ME to get one.

After Trixie was born in 2013, I confided to my friend, with a baby about the same age as Trixie, that I couldn't go anywhere in a car without the newborn Trixie screaming, screaming, screaming. I'd sing, I'd enlist the boys help, I'd cycle through songs on CDs, I'd (carefully!) break or accelerate a little faster, hoping to distract her. Nothing.

"Oh!" said my friend, "I just throw my iPhone in the baby seat. I have an app for white noise!"

My new sister-in-law is pregnant. She has an app for her phone telling her what foods are safe enough for her to eat. She uses it in restaurants. The waiters get a workout between the table and kitchen while they trace down the source of all the ingredients in the food. Some eggs apparently have significantly more toxins in them than others, you know.

I'm pretty sure that the precision of these concerns would simply NOT be possible without a smartphone.

A few weeks ago, I missed another important text from a friend regarding our children. And I felt (again!) the guilt of my technology aversion. Maybe it's time I finally got a smart phone rather than using this dumb phone. I'm ruining my friendships! This really has to change, it's time I grow up and get connected.

I've thought about buying myself a smart phone with my very modest earnings from my Etsy store this fall. But, I have to confess, I'm still not sure I can bring myself to do it. I'm not sure I really trust myself to put the damn thing down. And what if I stop singing to my kids because my smartphone really is a silver (or rose gold!) bullet?


Pregnantly Plump said...

Do you have a texting phone. You could try that first. My uncle recently upgraded his iPhone, and gave me his old one. I like the group text option, but rarely check my email. I don't have any apps on it, but the photos are nice. It came with a compass, and the boys love to play with that, the calculator and look at photos. Baby Plum loves to read my texts and respond to them without my input. He responds either OK or Thank you. I will say I do text more, but most of it has to do with this play. I think it will slow down greatly once the play ends.

Jennifer said...

Oh boy! We just read The Circle by Dave Eggars for book club - a definite argument for being less connected!! I do think smart phones are great and probably more reliable these days than other types of phones. I think you would be able to manage it easily and not let it control you!

Ann Wyse said...

Pregnantly Plump - I do have a texting phone - the old fashion texting where you use the numbers and cycle through the letters! Fritz was showing me last night how he SPEAKS his texts into his phone and I just about fell over. You don't even have to TYPE?!? Is that how Baby Plum is answering Ok or Thank you? Wow! No photos on my cell phone. I'm sure I would enjoy the photo taking abilities on the iPhone!

Jennifer - Hmmm. Maybe I'll have to read The Circle and see if I can up my no-iPhone resolve.

Katie said...

I've fallen in love with my iPhone for the camera and for when we travel. I've recently started using a map app that tells me the directions as I drive - up until recently I still mapquested all my photo shoots and wrote the directions down by hand - constantly looking down while I drove trying to find my way to new places. Eric also speaks all of his texts which blows my mind. I have no clue how to do that (nor do I think I want to)! ;) Love catching up here. xx