It's not fair to call me slow just because smart phones and IPads puzzle me; it's just that for over six decades I learned different skills. I know about buttons, switches, dials. I know about touching images, I touch microwave buttons. But it's confusing that pushing harder does not help. Hearing that finger moisture makes an electric current is surreal. I do a vague angle reach for the alarm clock so having to type letters straight up and down is maddening. I've typed on keyboards since my teens, but seeing each letter soar back up at me is disarming.
I've used wide keys. What a perfect storm to make keys this small just when my vision needs them to grow. I'm in a whole new world of spelling errors. I know of icons; I drive on roads with signs of a fork for restaurant, tent for campground…But who chose these icons? Though kids no longer learn to seal envelopes the icon for mail is an envelope. My phone already calls it mail; it's the end of an era.
My technical advisor, sporting road rash from skateboarding, told us seniors a hint: green is for calling, red for disconnecting. I know red and green from street signs. A box of dots looking like cornbread means the keyboard. The hot water bottle apparently means the battery is charging. Who uses megaphones anymore, but a horn with a line through it means no sound, while wavy lines mean vibrate? It looks more like a member of the orchestra fell overboard and is drowning. I'm mature, I don't just hang out, yet apparently hangouts will now be key to my life. I already know what a mouse is, I know no glue is involved in pasting, to log on is not a lumberjack's term. I mean, I get it, but a blue tooth? Then it took me ages to figure out what 'data' meant. It should mean information, but now it means scary bills. I pay for 'minutes' but that's not the same as data. Let me get this straight: If I use a cell phone to call a cell phone we both pay for the call? In the old days, and by that I mean last month, a long distance call was paid for by the caller. Software is not only not soft but intangible. When someone says 'App' I wait; surely they will add appendage, appreciate, appendix-- but then they quit talking. I have passwords now, some with letters, some with numbers, some with punctuation marks. It takes an age just to remember my username. Like a stalker, my phone knows where all my contacts live, maybe even their blood type. OK, I exaggerate, (I think.) I could use this phone even if I had significant memory loss. All I have to do is remember my username, passwords, how to turn it on, where the home key is, how to press on icons and what they mean. Then I can take video of my massive chin and depress myself for days with a selfie. Facebook is not a big draw since the world does not care what I had for dinner, but what fun to look up old friends! Like opening a treasure chest; suddenly I'm a secret agent. I find out who they married, the birthdays of all their kids, where they holidayed…Sometimes I go for a walk without my cell phone. Then we make up and go out again, buddies after all, but it does not run our relationship. I'm still the boss, I think.