Are you smarter than the average smart phone?
By John Toth
I bought a new smart phone. Now, I feel like a dummy.
The phone is great. It’s the operator who is learning to crawl after years of using an older model and knowing by heart how it worked.
I knew this would happen – that I would have a learning curve, and that once I got into it, I would stay up half the night trying to mastering this new-fangled device.
Which brings to question: What did we do before cell phones? I’d like to call that period “B.C.”
Remember pagers? I hated those things. Every time I received a page on the road, I had to rush to a pay phone. The first one was occupied. The second one had too much ear wax. The third one was completely ripped out.
Then, some bulky, awkward cell phones started appearing. I was working for a major metropolitan newspaper in the ‘80s, and they finally broke down and issued us cell phones. I had a choice between the bag phone and the Motorola brick phone.
I already had a bag, so I chose the brick phone.
But there was a glitch in the phone. I never got around to telling my editors. Sometimes, when they tried to call me on a Friday afternoon, I couldn’t get a signal ... inside the bar.
Some weeks I couldn’t even get a signal on a Thursday afternoon. It must have been the metal roof.
The brick phone was multi-functional, however. It didn’t have anything fancy like a calendar, the Internet, or texting. But one time, when I couldn’t find a hammer and had to fix my fence, it came in handy. Then I got a phone call, and hit myself in the head.
This thing was heavy, too. The battery weighed a ton. I had to hold it with two hands and drive with my knees.
I was in the mall recently, when a young man in his 20s was walking with a cell phone stuck in his back pocket. Then he got a call and some rap song began playing really loud. All these curse words were coming right out of his butt.
I thought about asking him to turn down his butt, but didn’t want to get involved. I was hoping that he would just answer the phone. Why do rap songs have cursing, anyway? That’s another column.
I just have a regular ring on this fancy new smart phone because I have not figured out how to set one of the songs I like as my ring tone. These are disturbing problems that must be overcome each time I get a new phone (which is not all that often).
Being a typical guy, I have a perfect way to try to solve these starting gate obstacles. I just push buttons until I hit it lucky. Reading the instructions would be just too simple.
There are a lot of buttons on this thing, but I think I got it. The Internet is active, texting, calendar, music, and all the apps are in place. Great, I’m done.
It’s ringing. Now, how do I pick it up? It’s locked. How do you talk on this thing?