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I Finally got a Smartphone


In the midst of all the drama of this summer, my flip phone stopped holding a charge. I would leave it on the charger overnight, put it in my pocketbook, and take it out later in the day to make a call, and, nothing.

dog with phone

“Woof?” (not my picture)

So, after years of resistance, I finally gave in and bought an iPhone. The flip phone was embarrassing, but as long as it did what it was supposed to do, I could live with the shame. But once it wouldn’t even do the one simple thing I asked it to do. Pfft. That relationship had to end.

I was still not excited about dealing with the new phone and all of the unknowns though, like: invisible fees building up, the potentially addictive aspect of smartphones, the hacking issues, the dropping-the-darned-thing-on-the-floor issues, etc.

puppy with phone

“Please Mommy, don’t make me get a smartphone.” (not my picture)

I forced myself to take a class at the Apple store and realized how quickly I could fall down the rabbit hole, as my instructor clearly had, in choosing ten different ring tones, and buying apps, and staring at my phone at all hours of the day, spending all of my money on its care and feeding. That scared me off for a few days, but then I decided to go at my own pace.

I learned how to type with one tenth of one finger, and I even sent a text, or at least answered one. I haven’t really switched from my regular camera to the camera on the phone, though, both because I don’t know how to upload pictures from the phone to the desktop, and because I don’t know how to take good pictures with the darn thing yet. I thought I would be listening to podcasts and audio books all the time, but that hasn’t happened yet. I can check the news whenever I want to (but this is more of a bug than a feature).


There is not enough peanut butter in the world to make the news bearable.

One thing that I love about my iPhone is that I can do my language courses whenever I want to. I don’t have to sit at my desktop computer, in the living room (where the air conditioner doesn’t reach), and practice my French and Spanish. I’ve become addicted to Duolingo. I can even use Google Translate to help me read Harry Potter in Hebrew (paragraph by painstaking paragraph). And I found some videos on YouTube of songs from the animated movie Moana in Hebrew, and they work very nicely as a way to block out Cricket’s barking when she’s trying to make me do whatever it is she wants me to do.

I still think there should be an iPhone for Cricket, so that she can call Grandma anytime she wants to, like, from the kitchen. She’d probably abuse the privilege, it’s true. But, what if there could be brain games for dogs on the iPhone? Find the Kibble? Or Catch the Leaf? Or Dig out the weeds?! Cricket would be addicted in no time. She might even forget to bark, once or twice.


I have also recently discovered the value of having a phone to stare at when you are sitting and waiting somewhere and don’t want to look like a doofus with nothing to do, even if that’s exactly what I am.


“Why are you looking at me like that?”

I should probably take more classes to learn how to take better pictures with the phone, and decide which apps are worth buying, but I haven’t had the energy, or the will, to tackle it yet. But I am up practicing my French at one in the morning, so that has to count for something. And, I even made a few phone calls.

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

134 responses »

  1. I used to work for Apple and turned down the “free” iohone, I’m so afraid of the fees and know I could be easily addicted. In my case, I use the ipad with VoIP for my calls (fixed price at $15 a month for service worldwide, and no per-minute charges).

    As long as there is free wifi, I can make calls. No wifi signal = no phone. So, I’m a mix of old school / new school for being accessible.

    As for the photos – I simply upload anything from my ipad onto facebook under the “only me” visability setting, and then download it to other devices from there. Be careful – you’re going to love the phone photography features, if you’re anything like me. Enjoy !

  2. Entertaining and uplifting! Good luck with your new phone.

  3. So funny. Welcome to the iPhone world Rachel…. it’s terrible hahaha

  4. I finally broke down and got an iPhone in May, after 15 years with a dumbphone. The GoogleMaps alone (which a friend kindly downloaded for me) are worth the cost. Messaging is SOOOO much easier (and my social circle’s median age is like 35). but I had all the reservations you have and largely have been ignoring my phone like I always have. Ish. Mostly…

  5. I’ve still never had one, I’ve never even text message before!

  6. LOL — I just got my first smartphone a couple of weeks ago, as well — and for the same reason — my $10 flip phone finally died, after only 12 years. 🙂

  7. I still mostly use mine as a phone and for texting.Doing the banking is handy and catching up on FB. Also for emergency “who was in that film” moments in the middle of movie discussions. It also takes great photos that I email to my secondary email account as that is the only way I know to transfer them. Although I am sure Siri could show me the other options if I asked. Have fun and use your phone to take photos, you can always delete them as you go. I also use my normal camera but find there are times I can’t wait to show someone a photo so I whip out my Iphone and snap away to email later in the hotel room.

  8. Hi,
    That’s great – there really should be apps for dogs, I agreed. I mean, you can get those goldfish apps for cats on iPads, can’t you?
    Re photos – I couldn’t work out how to get pics to my laptop desktop either, so now I just email them to myself then open the emails on the laptop.

  9. Really enjoyed your style as well.

  10. I love and agree with you about the “rabbit hole” of apps and tones, etc. And the prospect of spending all your money on the “care and feeding” of the phone. I discourage cell phone calls and ask my friends to leave messages on my land line. It is so much more organized than the ADD feeling of responding instantly or calculated ignoring.

  11. Great post! I only recently got my first smart phone too!!! I wrote an entry about my new phone experience and the mixed feelings I had about taking the plunge, here is the link if you are interested:

  12. Another great thing about the iPhone is Siri. If you have an idea or need to remid yourself of something, you can just tell Siri (the virtual assistant built into the iPhone) to “Remind me to ___ at ___” or “Note that ___”. Siri is a powerful tool, and can make a text or call by voice command. To activate her, just hold down the home button. You can also set up “Hey Siri” in settings so you can activate her handsfree. Good luck!

  13. Hello Rachel,
    I don’t know if my last comments went through but hopefully they did. love your blog, your Jewishness, Weight watchers, and you’re great writing! Thx. for liking my brownie recipe!


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