My iPhone has become indispensable to me. It evolved from being a sometimes useful, always entertaining novelty into my Swiss Army Knife for life. There are apps I use to countdown upcoming events, trips, and conferences; apps for tracking my time spent on projects, and regular access to all the social media tools I have come to rely upon for timely information on what is happening in my industry, circle of friends, and from thought leaders around the world. How quickly the world has changed without me even realizing it.
When I was in grade school I recall a teacher railing against the use of calculators. "Pretty soon," he said "no one will be able to do any kind of math without one!"
I was scared when he made such a grand statement, but also thankful I was around for the calculator since my forte was not in arithmetic. I was thankful for my digital watch and thankful for my time spent in the hallway playing "Oregon Trail" on one of my school's few computers. I had special privileges to use it and did on a regular basis. I quickly adapted to what seemed normal around me with only irregular outbursts from people like my teacher who predicted the downfall of intelligence based on the little machines we used to practice our multiplication and spell out "boobs" (60065) upside down.
But then my iPhone stopped working as I was driving home and suddenly I felt vulnerable. What happened if my child's daycare tried to reach me? How could I access my next appointments? How would I find the address to the next meeting? What the hell was my husband's cell phone number?!?
That's right. I don't even have my own husband's cell phone number memorized. We have been married over five years, we have a daughter, and share many responsibilities...yet, without my cell phone I have no idea how to reach him.
I love gadgets and technology and web tools and all of the nifty things you can do to use and re-use information. But was my teacher right all those years ago? Am I useless at doing things now without my SmartPhone? How quickly we adapt!
Maybe it isn't as bad as it seems...
- I can now donate to worthwhile causes from my phone
- I can now book a doctor's appt for my daughter on my phone
- I can avoid forgetting where I parked in a garage because of my phone
- Unless we all still had rotary dials, I never had a chance of memorizing my hubby's number
- I'm not good with numbers...period.
- I can track what's happening at work while stuck in a line or waiting to meet someone at a restaurant.
Sometimes when it rains, I like to turn off everything and just listen to the quiet. This doesn't happen much anymore because usually I have a two-year-old running around me, but occasionally I still find these odd pockets of time in quiet. And I feel centered. I take account of where I am in life and I take a deep breath and feel really happy.
When the rain stops, the phone begins to buzz, and I come back into my usual noisy life; I realize that I don't give a damn that I need a calculator when I balance my checkbook. I don't mind taking advantage of the handy devices created to help and entertain us all. As long as my math skills are good enough for me to calculate 20% off for sales and I keep a card with my husband's number secured in my wallet (and car console, and jacket pocket, and dropbox) I will be just fine.
I just pray my iPhone doesn't fail on me again...