Saturday, March 12, 2011

Primitive Mom vs. Smart Phone

Somewhere back in my DNA, a cro-magnum strain remains and every so often reasserts itself.  As a tween, I held onto disco longer than was wise, then latched onto the equally poorly executed Valley Girl/prep styles after they had grown long in the tooth.  Usually I begin liking a trendy television show in its last season, only after all water cooler opportunities for discussion have long since passed.  I am one of those lost souls who perpetually lives in the world of the jumped shark but at the time thinks that "Joanie Loves Chachi is as good as what came before.  

This slowness to spot what everyone else sees and loves is most obvious in the worlds of fashion and technology, where newness is everything.  For example, I didn't realize shoe laces had gone out of style until I made my annual pilgrimage to the mall to acquire new sneakers.  In the discount rack, laced shoes were everywhere, unlovingly dumped into a large bin labled "All Sales Final." I asked why the large shedding of inventory.

"No one buys laces anymore." the clerk explained and I wondered if I needed to stock up and place said laced based footwear in the garage next to my horde of incandescent light bulbs. There weren't any lace shoes my size so I tried on the new fangled sneakers. Cro Magnum Me said they just felt wierd so I left without buying any even though I know opportunities to shop come few and far between.  

Part of it is my temperment, and part of it has been born of repeated experiences of frustration.  I don't trust the new to be better than the old, only more of a hassle to get the job done.  I know how the old works.  New machinery and appliances tend to thwart me even after I've read the directions until I feel Cave Man type desires to use an old fashioned club to whatever is the problem.  Thus it was with great hesitation that I allowed a charity to cart away the old TV I'd stored in the garage for a few years.  It still worked provided you wired it up in the back, but it had knobs for "on" and "volume" and "vert."  I told myself "Getting rid of the old tv would help limit access to screens for my family."  It did. 
For me.

With the new TV, I remain a complete ignoramus.  I keep hoping one of my kids will make a poster Rosetta stone so that when they leave home, I'll be able to do more than dust the televison until they come back for Christmas.  So far, I'm stuck relying on my toddlers. While I still don't know why it takes three remotes to make the machine play a VCR tape of Bambi, my five year old can operate the television, hook up the Nintendo and watch Blue Ray special features and find the Easter eggs if given full reign. Fortunately Mom still knows the most important thing, how to turn it off Cro-magnum style. Hulk Mom no like 24-7 tv, Hulk mom smash! (I pull the plugs).  The day they invent wi-fi energy, I'm in trouble.   

Now the new thing is a Smart Phone.  With it, I could have a calendar, a phone and address book, a GPS and a computer.  I could access the internet, keep my mom updated on my status with Facebook, twitter, pay bills, answer emails and download all the books I've been meaning to read but haven't. The Luddite genes have been roused!  They don't want a Smart phone, they like their dumb one thank you very much or at least one that I could out think.   But, my son pointed out, I could look up how to program the VCR, and watch every episode of Happy Days from when it was good; there's even a app that would allow me to purchase laced sneakers online with a touch of my finger, provided I learned how to operate it.  It would eliminate about 12 to 2700 lbs. of what I carry around in my daily bag for errands purposes. 

With it, I would lose my ability to over schedule, forget, get lost or fall behind. All actual errors with regards to errands would be due to sloth or my own idiocy.  This is presuming my purchasing of such an item would not sound the death knell for this fad, sending it the way of Beta, laser discs and leg warmers.  

Except I learned yesterday that leg warmers are coming back.  My daughter bought some.
She Hulk Mom will have to think on this....


Linda said...

A technology that I have found, and love, is the Kindle. I've put a lot of manuals and reference material on it, so it's handy to carry around (which, the computer is not - not even the laptop is as portable). The Kindle is easier to use (and you can make the type as large as you want), so it's great for us folks that have trouble squinting at the phone screen.

Diana said...

I have to say that I love my new iPod. We didn't want to pay the ongoing monthly costs for an iPhone, so this works great. I feel so hip now. ;)

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