Not long ago I fell prey to peer pressure and got a smart phone. The only problem is if you have a smart phone it helps to have a smart user. Let’s just say the last half of the equation may or may not be up to the challenge. Besides, it “depends” on how “smart” is defined, right?
My life will be so much better [with a smart phone], I rationalized. I straddle my technological phobia trying not to look down and fall into an abyss I think will swallow me whole. I try to utilize technology in life but to be honest, if I can’t find items on my real desk top, chances are I won’t be able to on my virtual one either. So now, instead of having one messy desk top, I have two and I definitely don’t feel any smarter – quite the contrary.
The gps/driving directions app will make my life so much better, I believed. I quite like the great visuals – especially since I learn best with pictures. Now, I’m a really helpful navigator for my husband on trips. We’re the cute little blue “you are here” ball, and every few miles, I proudly confirm our direction by making utterly amazing remarks such as, “You’re still on the blue line!” However, this became painfully incorrect on a recent trip to New Orleans when I inadvertently had us going in the opposite desired direction. Can I help it that whoever is in charge of updating those silly directions, or maps or aligning the satellites does not make changes in a timely manner? I understand now why the men in my life prefer navigational directions such as north, south, etc. Is it really necessary to question my mental “astuteness?” Let’s just say at that point, my husband and I were definitely not on the blue line. Actually, I think the problem lies with the horribly inefficient traffic routing and congestion we experienced while being irrevocably stuck after a Halloween Parade. And you thought Mardi Gras was where the action was. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Texting. Yes, now that will make my life so much better, I told myself. Besides, I am a trained journalist. I’ve typed my whole life – well, at least since 10th grade when Mrs. I Can’t Remember Her Name Typing Teacher gave us oral quizzes. A – S – D – F – Q – W – E – R-rah – R-rah – R-rah… Keyboards don’t scare me. I can conference with one of my writing students at school and respond to emails without looking at my screen. The astounded looks give me great pleasure when they realize I’m doing both. It’s called accuracy. Well, yeah, about that texting perfectionism.
You see, the helpful people who programmed my smartphone figured I couldn’t maintain my percentages, so they included the “never helpful” auto correct feature. And that, my friends, has not made my life better. It’s made me embarrassed and here’s a real live example to prove it.
I volunteer once a month to provide a cooked meal for 60 college kids. It’s a great system. When it’s ready, I text the young man who picks it up and delivers it to one of two college campuses where our Methodist student ministry conducts worship and Bible study.
The young man, whom I shall not name to protect his identity, makes it so easy for me to help! He sends a reminder text. He oks menu ideas or suggests alternatives. He reminds me when he’s dropping off the Walmart gift card I use for the grocery shopping. And it was during this recent exchange of ideas that the auto correct did more than was necessary. All I was trying to do was confirm that sloppy joes would be good. Yet it wasn’t until after I typed whatever I typed and sent the message that I became horrified and irrevocably convinced.
I really should downgrade and not have all this pressure from a smart phone. I can’t handle the responsibility.
Simply put, my message should have read: “How about sloppy joes?” Instead, it said, “How about a sloppy kiss?”
I immediately sent a retraction, a correction, an apology and whatever else I could think of! And then, when I mentioned it my college aged son, he was horrified – especially since he knows the unnamed young man of whom I am speaking.
So, really. If it wouldn’t cost me $230 to end my contract early, I’d downgrade so my life right now so my life could get an upgrade.
Until then, I’ve got to get back to my online Christmas shopping.
Wonder what I can find when I search for “hippity hope.”