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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Dumb mom, smart phone

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Well I finally broke down and joined the 21st century and ordered me one of them fancy schmancy smart phones. I justified it cause of my new job 'n all. I was afraid with trying to balance my job duties and all my girls' activities, I needed a phone that could handle the task. I knew my old way of making lists on post it notes and the backs of used envelopes wasn't probably the best organizing method.

I tried asking around to see what smart phone would be the best for a dumb user and all the reviews pointed to one. Plus, my youngest brother suggested if I got the same one as him, we could play Family Feud together. Well then, I wouldn't want to pass up a rousing game of Family Feud with my brother who lives 4 hours away. Anyways, I took the plunge and upgraded from the oversized clunky standard cell phone to a high dollar, state of the art, kinda scary for adults over 40, smart phone.

Now my girls were WAY more stoked than me when the phone arrived in the mail a few days later. They had it opened, programmed and were downloading apps before I knew it was here. "Hey, that's MY phone, girls!" I sternly warned them. I told them I don't want nor need no fancy, complicated apps that I don't know how to use. By the time I ripped it from their young, technological hands; they'd already downloaded a few games I'll never play an app with some silly sounding cat who copies everything I say. They told me the games are for my 5-year-old, in case I'm waiting somewhere and have to entertain her with something, and the cat, well, that's just hilarious!

Once I finally got ahold of the tiny, shiny apparatus, I wasn't sure what to do first. Immediately I had to refer to the girls hovering over my shoulder admiring my new toy. OK, what do I do now?" I had to ask as the screen flashed "locked" over and over. "Mom, just slide your finger over it. Duh!" they sighed. "Oh. That was easy enough." Then, as most people my age do, I paused and started rummaging through the shipping box looking for the directions and the How-To Manual.

Newsflash! There's no manual for smart phones. I think the makers of these phones figure if you're so dumb that'd you hunt for a paper manual, then you couldn't possibly handle some on screen directions. However, I looked through that darn shipping box three times, just sure there had to be some sort of directions. Then I accused the girls of tossing the directions since they demolished the box frantically opening it to get their first look at our family's first ever smartphone. But to no avail. There weren't directions for squat!

I was forced to sit down and start tapping the pretty, brand new, smudge free screen. I didn't know if you should tap here or tap there, slide this way or swoosh down and it took me an hour to figure out how to go backwards. "Where in tarnation is the gol' dern back button?!" I frequently yelled out. "Just push the circle!" they yelled back from some other area of the house. "Oh .... OK, I got it now." Only to forget it three seconds later.

All I really wanted to figure out and basically HAD to figure out, was how to text and how to make a call since I'd already disembodied my old junker phone. I was bound and determined to, at the very least, figure out how to make a stinkin' call and a simple text. There was a lot I knew the phone was capable of, but for a child of the '70s, I gave myself some realistic goals for that first evening.

Anyways, a few weeks have passed and I've managed to insert my calendar appointments, set up some reminders and play several rounds of Family Feud with my brother. I know, thanks to my tech savvy kids, that there a million other features my phone offers but I plan to only figure out 12. I'm thinking that's about all I need. Any more than that might be a little too much for this ol' dumb mom.

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Jennifer Morgan
Motherhood Moments
-- Jennifer Morgan is the mother of three girls and lives in McCook.