Ode to an iPhone

October 31, 2016

 

I think my iPhone is like my brain – I only use 10% of it.

 

When cell phones first came out, I didn't want one. I didn't like the idea that anyone could call me anytime, anywhere. To me, there would be no escape from people wanting to talk to me. I had a pager in the early 1980's and even that drove me nuts. I was driving down the highway one day and the pager went off. Open the window, throw out the pager and . . . BOOM . . . no more pager. The perfect solution. My assistant finally convinced me that I needed to be available in case there were problems and, reluctantly, I went with her to move into the new age.

 

At the cell phone store, I kept complaining about being bothered all the time by phone calls. Finally, the salesman looked at me and said, “You do realize that you can turn the cell phone off?”. Actually, I hadn't realized that and, suddenly, the cell phone became OK.

 

Eventually, I upgraded to a Blackberry. The salesman was telling me all of the features. This phone could take phone calls, receive my emails, send texts, play my music, hold my pictures, give me directions and videos and all sorts of other stuff. I asked if I could get one that just did phone calls? No, I couldn't do that. With great concern, I decided to give it a try. I loved my Blackberry but I only used it for phone calls, mainly because I couldn't figure out how to do the rest of the stuff.

 

Apple comes out with the iPhone. Hoorah! I'm an Apple guy so this should be a no brainer. Well, turns out the iPhone could put the Blackberry to shame. I could now do stuff with my phone that I didn't even know was stuff. They had these things called “apps” that would literally transform your phone into a computer more powerful than NASA had on Apollo 13. Great, I thought, but can I still make phone calls? Not to worry, he promised, I still had a phone.

 

Everything was fine until one of my stepsons got hold of it and started showing me what “apps” can do. I started downloading all kinds of apps. Apps that made business easier. Apps that would edit my photos. Apps that would play a game with me. (Yes, I'm now an addicted Candy Crush player). Apps that would balance my bank account and apps that would improve my love life. I now have pages and pages of apps that I don't use. I forget to close them and, eventually, I start running out of battery life after just a few hours. Why can't Apple figure out that, if I'm not using an app for a few days, maybe they should just close it for me? I guess the phone's not that smart.

 

Have you met Siri? Siri is the dumbest app on the planet. She's completely useless. Louise's Siri is some British guy but he's not any smarter. Frequently, I hear Louise ask her Siri a question. The next sound I hear is Louise saying “Bollocks, you useless, stupid man” (she's British). I have a moment of panic when I think she's talking about me but I soon realize it's the other stupid, useless man.

 

When I try my Siri, I almost always get “Here's what I found on the internet”. If I wanted to find it on the internet, I would have just gone to the internet. I wanted you to tell me about it and you can't even do that. So far, artificial intelligence just isn't very intelligent.

 

In any event, I now have dozens of apps I don't use draining my battery, thousand of pictures I never look at, thousands of songs I don't play, maps I don't use (men don't need maps), and piles of stuff that I keep forgetting to delete. Between the telephone, texts, emails, facebook and lord knows what else, I can now be annoyed 24 hours a day.

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