The Coast News Group
Small Talk

Yeah, there’s an app for that

Hmmm, what? Just a sec. I’m in the middle of downloading another cool app.Yep. With great trepidation, I finally made the leap into true 21st-century personhood and got a smart phone last week. To my enormous relief and delight, it isn’t nearly as complicated as I feared, and I wonder what that means. At my age, you want it to mean you are still quick-minded and computer-savvy. It probably means they have managed to simplify it to my level or that I may never know how to use the really important, secret stuff that the 20somethings won’t even tell you about. I think it is hidden in the games. I can’t seem to get the simplest game to just open up, yet I see 3-year-olds happily flinging birds and fruit across their mother’s phone screens. This remains my challenge.

Don’t care. I am having far too much fun with it and feel pretty darned clever. I figured out that if I set it on U.K. English, my assistant’s voice becomes a man with a delicious British accent. I then programmed it to call me Your Majesty. Oh yeah. My own personal British butler who appreciates my true status. That’s nice. The problem is that now all I want to do is think up questions to ask him, just to hear the voice and my new title.

The other small challenge involves hitting the proper key on the teeny keyboard with my man-sized hands. Now they are clumsy with age to boot. Basically I can’t wait until all these smug young speed-texters hit their 50s and their hands get arthritic. I’m going to stay alive just to say, “See, I told you so.”

Now that I know how endlessly distracting these glorious toys can be, I am a little surprised that any forward progress of mankind hasn’t completely stalled. It is far too easy and tempting to slip into texting or messing around on some fun application. The smart phone looks to be the permanent antidote to boredom, which I love, but I do not know how high school and college teachers will ever get their students’ attention again.

Meanwhile I look for excuses to pop open my Sky View app and gaze aloft to see if the moon is in Taurus or Aquarius is rising. Hmmm, what? Oh, yeah, sure. I’m getting back to work now.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer spending far too much time staring down at the small screen in her lap. Contact her at [email protected]