Monday, May 19, 2014

Less Thinking Yet More Productive And Oddly More Punctual

We haven't had a home phone for almost ten years.  That's not entirely true, we do have a phone line that plugs into our cable modem (I think that's how it works, you'd have to ask Mr. W), but we don't use it.  I couldn't even tell you the phone number without looking it up.  The only reason that we have it is because we got a better package deal from our cable provider if the phone was included.  It would cost more to get rid of it than to keep it.  How much sense does that make?  In any case, it's not even plugged in.  You can still leave a message for us because the voice mail system works regardless of whether the phone is plugged in.  We don't check the messages, though, because anyone we would actually want to talk to would call our cell phones.   The only calls we get on that line are from telemarketers and political candidates.  Small wonder we never bother listening to the messages, right?

For a long time, we had flip style cell phones.  I loved my bright red Razor.  You couldn't do anything but make and accept calls on it (we didn't have texting in our plan back then), but it was cute.  I had a Breaking Benjamin tune as my ringtone.  We were happy with those phones until they became dinosaurs that dropped calls because Sprint didn't support them anymore.

Next up, we got sliding phones with the text and data plan.  The guy at the store told us they were a great, affordable step toward smart phones because you could access the internet with them.  We thought that would be a handy benefit.  Ha!  We got lost on a bike ride one day and tried to pull up Google maps.  After nearly twenty minutes of "thinking", the information finally loaded, but you couldn't enlarge the screen and I didn't have a magnifying glass in my saddlebag so the whole internet thing was worthless.  The camera worked pretty well, though, so I was able to take a picture of our surroundings and send it to the search party.

About six months ago, we finally caved and got smart phones.  As soon as I figured out how to turn it on and do a little bit of navigating, I heard the sound of angels singing.  Where had this tiny wonder been all my life?  I could go on and on about all the fun gadgets (I used the built in flashlight when we lost power last month), or gush about being able to wax poetic in my texts with no character limit.  I could also tell you how much I love reading ebooks or watching Netflix while I'm sitting in the school parking lot waiting for my daughter or tell you how invaluable this phone has been for managing our shop and staying in touch with our customers when we're out and about.  But the thing I love most is Siri.

Siri is the automated navigation app you can access by voice.  She is my best friend, my personal assistant, my secretary and my alarm clock.  She organizes my notes, finds information on the internet and reminds me when I need to do things.  It's like having an external brain, so much so that I've been considering not using my real brain at all anymore.

Truth is, I still have to think because I have to tell Siri what information I want her to find or what tasks/appointments/deadlines I need to be reminded of.  The down side is that now I have no excuse for being late.  I also can't say "I forgot" when it comes to important things like getting out of bed in the morning or cooking dinner.

Gotta go!  Siri just reminded me I have something to do....


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bill lisleman said...

Still carrying my flip phone. Batteries last longer and texting is OK but I don't want to text a full conversation anyway. No internet but then no big data plan. I curious what the comparison to the flip phone plan vs. your current smartphone plan is for the monthly charge.

The cable company wants you to have that additional phone because it gets people more hooked to their service. One more thing to change when you use it so you might not leave.

Not sure how long I will hold out from the smartphone thing.

Oh if interested I posted some thoughts about voicemail a week or two ago.

BTW - maybe you should add a disclaimer that Apple did not pay you (they should) for this post.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hi Willoughby!

We have a land line too although we rarely use it. We keep it because if we lose power (like in an earthquake, gulp!) and our phones die, we will still have phone access... at least we did in the last big earthquake 20 years ago.

It's crazy that it costs more NOT to have a land line.

I switched to an iPhone 4 years ago and LOVE it. I too, wonder how we ever got along without them!

Happy weekend, xo jj