I confess. I bought my own Christmas presents early this year – a 10-inch tablet plus a smartphone. So now I struggle to straddle the digital divide between computers and smartphones. And, that gap is far wider than I thought. Becoming smartphone-ized takes time and a lot of patience.
Used to be, thumbs were calloused by hard physical work. Now, even eight-year-olds have them from thumb-typing itty-bitty keyboards made only for pint-sized "pokers".
Everywhere you go, young and younger are busy thumbing little boxes that double as cell phones and midget computers. There’s a weird fascination with them.
I’ve seen moms, dads and even their kids all thumbing those electronic attention-getters, while ignoring each other at the dinner table. That's scary! Someday, I wonder if maybe the only way they’ll be able to “talk” to each other is via virtual keyboarding. So much for personal interaction. And we think marriages are in trouble today!
Smartphone class for the smartphone unsmart
On Saturday, I swallowed my pride and took a class – Remedial 101 for Smartphone Dummies. There I sat, with fellow e-fumblers, most of whom had a lot more gray hair. Somehow, it wasn't comforting to be the youngest in a class of oldsters.
I faced the truth: I’m not half as smart as either of my hand-held e-tools. That’s why I was there at Remedial 101, confesig my unsmartness.
I asked one of the young things instructing us: “How can I get a monthly calendar instead of hour-by-hour? Her kind smile said one thing. But after being swamped with questions like "How do I get email?" she rolled her eyes, sighed and replied, “Just press this icon.” And instantly the calendar switched to the monthly mode. Duh!
It’s also humbling to have a grandchild who’s smartphone-smarter than I am. I guess that’s why so many older folks balk at taking the technology leap. I'm a whole lot more sympathetic.
Now, all I have to do is muster up courage to take Smartphone For Still Dummies 102. I've got a gazillion more questions.
So if you're over age 40 and still haven't been smartphone-ized, take the leap. Buy yourself a smarter Christmas present. It's always good for your brain to be exposed to new ideas. It'll at least plug you into wireless technology and help you better understand your next generation. Oh yes, also expect to spend time getting smarter about your new smart e-tool.
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