I was supposed to spend my two weeks off from school over winter break looking for either an iPhone or an iPad, reading up on the positives and negatives, and actually visiting an Apple store, if necessary, in order to come to a decision about which small step towards the modern age I’d be willing to take. Except, I didn’t do it. I read a bunch of articles, and tried to read some books – smartphones for dummies, etc. – but I kept thinking, eh, couldn’t I just pay off more of my student loans and leave the modern age for later?
I have a computer. And I have a cell phone (though I rarely use it, and even more rarely remember to charge it). My thought was that, if I could get an iPhone the size of an iPad, that might be useful, because then I could, possibly, read something written on that damned screen. But I hate the sound of the phone ringing, and I would hate it just as much if it sounded like Beyoncé, or barking, or a doorbell. And I really don’t want to be answering the phone or texting at all times. I like privacy, and quiet, and boundaries. I don’t want to be expected to answer messages all day long, at someone else’s pace. I hate the urgency implied by keeping a phone on your person at all times – as if we have all become doctors, with beepers at our waists in case a patient goes into labor.
My cell phone stays in my pocket book (that’s why I’m always forgetting to recharge it). And I have a phone at home, it’s called a land line, and it has great reception (as opposed to many cell phone calls that sound as if your interlocutor is under water, in a tunnel, and having a light saber battle all at once). I prefer to not FaceTime, if I can help it. I dress up and do my hair when I have to go out; I don’t want to have to work that hard when I stay in, just to talk on the phone.
I don’t understand people who are fine with having private conversations in public, as if the smartphone creates a magic force field around you. I mean, sure, if each time you picked up your phone, an old fashioned telephone booth appeared around you, to give you privacy, then why not? But I have not seen an app for that yet.
Dogs don’t have to worry about iPads and iPhones. They get their messages through pee, and in no great hurry. They don’t need to be reachable at every moment, or know the latest world news and events. I wonder, though, if Cricket would like to have a smart phone, maybe attached to her waist, on a belt, so that she could keep track of Grandma at every moment. We’ve come up with all of this technology to keep an eye on our dogs when we’re at work, or keep track of children by GPS, but no one thinks about the dog with separation anxiety who needs to keep track of her people.
Cricket would probably also like to have a device with her on her walks, to help her catalog each smell that draws her interest, and post it on Smell-o-gram or Insta-smell. She could even send her smells to her sister’s phone, so that Butterfly, meandering ten feet away, would know that an important smell had been discovered and must be sniffed immediately!
I have my moments of iPhone envy, especially when I want to Google something on the fly, but there’s something wonderful about being able to imagine what Google might tell me, or making up answers for myself out of whole cloth. I like having some time spent in my own head, instead of strapped into the groupthink machine, just for a little while. Though that Smell-o-gram idea is starting to grow on me, for Cricket’s sake.