How Do YOU Use Your Smartphone?

A023CB09-89DF-4A5E-B827-C42C3DDAB2C5Earlier today I wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post about how personal technology, particularly the now ubiquitous cellphone, has evolved over the last quarter of a century.

In a comment I received from Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith, she wrote about her smartphones, “We rarely ever use them as phones.”

That got me thinking that I, too, rarely use my iPhone as a phone (i.e., making and receiving phone calls). So if I don’t use it as a phone, what do I use it for? Well, here’s my list, in no particular order:

  • for texting
  • for WordPress
  • for instant messaging
  • for Google
  • to surf the net
  • for games
  • to get sports scores
  • to get the latest news
  • to get the current temperature and weather forecast
  • as a camera
  • as a photo editor
  • as a GPS device
  • to track my daily steps
  • as a notepad
  • as a reminder
  • as a dictionary/thesaurus/encyclopedia
  • as a calendar and appointment book
  • as an e-reader
  • to play music
  • to watch videos
  • for streaming
  • as a timer/stop watch/alarm clock
  • as a stock ticker
  • as a place to make online purchases
  • as a mobile banking device

But as a phone, not so much.

So what about you? Do you have a smartphone? How do you use it?

I Was Such a Nerd

Inspector-GadgetWas it just 25 years ago, give or take? Yes, it was. I was the epitome of a nerd. I had three devices hooked to my pants belt in holsters with belt clip thingies. One for my cellphone (a flip phone if I recall correctly), one for my pager (do you remember those?), and one for my e-mail-only BlackBerry. No wonder people often called me Inspector Gadget.

Sheesh, all I needed was a pocket protector or a large ink stain surfacing on my shirt pocket to complete the picture.

The cellphone was my personal device. But the pager and the BlackBerry and SkyTel pager were company issued. The pager was so that if my boss needed me, he could send me a page. He had instructed me to call him within two minutes of receiving the page or else. I always wondered “or else what?” But I didn’t have the balls to ask.

The BlackBerry was given to me so that I could receive and send corporate emails, meaning I was expected to read and respond to emails 24×7. This was before BlackBerry added phone capabilities to its devices.

And then everything changed when RIM, the company behind the BlackBerry, introduced a new combo Blackberry that included a cellphone. Suddenly I was able to merge everything into a single device and to drop down to only one device holstered to my belt. It was nothing short of brilliant.

Just about every business professional had a BlackBerry with them and the BlackBerry device literally ruled the nascent smartphone market.

Then Apple introduced its iPhone in 2007 and it was a game-changer. The iPhone had this magical touch screen where you could re-size the image with a pinch of your fingers. It had a virtual, rather than a physical, keypad. It had fast, easy web browsing. And it had apps. It had a camera, for crissake. You could not only get your e-mails, make phone calls, send text messages, and take pictures, you could access the internet, play games, and run all manner of cool apps. People gobbled the iPhone up.

I was a BlackBerry loyalist and pretty much held out from abandoning it to the iPhone. But in 2010, my company officially approved the iPhone as an alternative to the BlackBerry. Sorry BlackBerry, but at some point even an old fart like me had to admit that the time had come to stop buying records and to start downloading music from iTunes.

Yet I stubbornly continued to wear my iPhone in a holster attached to my belt. Until my wife and kids began to shun me. “You look like such a dork,” my daughter told me. My son told me it made me look geeky. And my wife said I looked like a nerd.

So about two years ago, much to the delight of my family, I gave up the holster and belt clip and started carrying my iPhone on my back hip pocket.

How cool does that make me? Old fart my ass!

More Than Meets The Eye

1165B906-A2CE-4B5E-AE77-B893A0D26A34Simon couldn’t believe his eyes. Was this the same young woman he had met just a few month before at that old apple orchard off of highway 51? She seemed to be there alone that day and he remembered how taken he was by the blue-eyed, raven-haired beauty. He couldn’t help staring at her and he followed her around the orchard, from a safe distance, of course, almost as a stalker might.

Then, as if fate intervened, she tripped on a tree root and badly twisted her ankle, which quickly swelled up and turned black and blue. Simon ran over to her and offered to carry her to his car and drive her home, since her ankle was too swollen for her to walk on. She demurely accepted his offer of assistance.

They began seeing each other and really hit it off. She was rather a tomboy who enjoyed hiking, biking, and playing softball with Simon and his pals. He couldn’t believe how fortuitous it was that he happened to be at the orchard that day and to have met this stunningly gorgeous young woman.

But tonight he was seeing yet another side to this multifaceted person, a side he had hadn’t expected. She had asked him to rent a tuxedo and to pick her up at her uncle’s home two towns over, but she refused to tell him what it was all about.

As he drove to the address she had given him, he was surprised to find a magnificent mansion at the end of a long driveway. Simon parked his car in front of the portico and was greeted by a uniformed man who opened his car door and gestured for him to go inside. When he got to the front door, another uniformed man led him inside into a grand foyer with an elegant spiral staircase toward the back of the expansive foyer.14DD1A03-1D1D-4F78-A012-FB65077E64D7There were perhaps a dozen couples dressed in tuxedos and gowns milling about, as if waiting for something important to happen. Simon was confused, having no idea what was happening. He felt as if he were in the middle of a “Twilight Zone” episode.

Then his phone vibrated and he pulled it out of his pocket and read the text message. “I’m coming down” was all it said. And at that moment, he saw her as she began descending the staircase. All eyes were upon her as she slowly, step-by-step, made her way down. She was dressed in an elegant lace gown and the only word that came to Simon’s mind was resplendent.

Was this exquisite creature really his tomboy girlfriend? As Simon belatedly found out, she was, indeed, that same down-to-earth girl. But she was so much more, as well.


Written for these prompts:

Image credit: “Woman In Lace Gown On Staircase” by Jill Battaglia.

FOWC with Fandango — Swollen

FOWCWelcome to August 6, 2018 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “swollen.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.