How smart is YOUR phone?
I promised a lighter post. Though I still feel like I could go on and on about heavy things, I’m going to tell you a little about the world of technology as it relates to me.
I have a smart phone. It is very smart. It is so smart that I almost don’t need the Informinator anymore. However, I still do need her for obscure protocols and regional trivia that even my smart phone doesn’t know.
My phone is a lot less blunt than the Informinator. It has never chastised me for my poor behavior or called me out for…oh, everything. I need to get a set of slightly more rebellious friends so that I can be the cream of the crop and not the ear the farmer thows away after a spanking. Do farmers do that? Maybe not. We are still adjusting to life in the country.
When I first got my smart phone, thus breaking my verbal contract with the Informinator to remain smartphone-less until February 12, 2013, I was convinced the purpose of the phone was to make me smarter. That was supposed to be the smart part of the whole deal. Three months later, I know the truth. It is a truth of an entirely different nature. The smart phone does not make you smarter. It is simply there to point out how dumb you really are. It exists for two basic reasons:
(1) To provide information in a lightning fast manner to dumb people.
(2) To mock the person using it.
It doesn’t make me smarter. It points out how dumb I really am. And it laughs at me as it does so.
For instance, recently my phone—I shall call her Gladys—offered me a better way to type on the clunky little touch screen keyboard. This offer came to me in a kindly worded, “Would you like to try Swype?” kind of way. It was friendly, warm, touching. So I thought it over. Surely swype was the next best thing to superpowers if it is offering it to me in such a lovely way. So I said yes. Sure. I’ll try your way of typing. For those who don’t have such a technology, this consists of swiping your fingers from key to key instead of plunking. My plunking is hamfisted and awkward and presents all sorts of misspellings in more than one language. Surely this new Swype is my ticket out of plunking, I said to myself. Let’s do it. This is gonna be awesome.
For awhile, it was. And then, recently, something happened. Call it a cruel trick. A bait and switch. I’m not sure how to explain it. But somewhere in the last week, Gladys has turned on me. I blame the Informinator.
Gladys (that’s my phone again…some of you have short attention spans) likes to guess the words I’m trying to say while texting. Often, she is right. And I’ve grown accustomed to that first guess being correct. I guess you could say I’ve gotten a little lazy in allowing her to guess my thought without my proofreading over her shoulder.
So this week, I was texting back and forth with my mother in law, who was on the west coast at the time. I was three hours ahead of her and it was after 11 my time, so I was ready to call it a night. So, to close out this conversation, I attempted to announce that I was going to bed. And here is exactly how that conversation went.
“I am going to breed more. Goodnight to you west coasters.” And I put my phone away, happy to have closed out the conversation amicably.
Then Gladys beeped again. Another text. Hmm.
“GOING TO BREED MORE?” It said. This was still my mother in law. My eyes got large as I reread my previous message. There it was in blinky little letters. Going to breed more. Goodnight to you west coasters. Is that what you kids are calling it these days?
No no no no no no no no. Not going to breed more. Going to BED NOW. Not going to breed at all, I said. Not even a little bit. No breeding.
That’s what u said, she typed.
Why does “breed” EVER come up in predictive texting? People with smart phone do not discuss breeding via text. I would argue that this has never come up in a texting context.
The next day—a mere 12 hours later—I was texting a friend about some things that were on her mind. We weren’t discussing details, but it was obvious to me that the situations could use a prayer or two.
“I’m sorry you’ve had some heavy stuff to deal with,” I typed on my super smart phone. “I will potty for you.”
And then I sat back in my fluffy brown chair and turned on the TV. I figured that conversation was over. My phone beeped again.
“Will you really? Will you potty for me?” She asked. I furrowed my brow, read my previous message. Yep. I had offered to potty about it.
“That’s probably the kindest gesture I’ve ever gotten” she said.
And I have laughed really hard as I cursed Gladys for her evil antics. Since then, she has convinced me to begin playing a word game that I cannot win. I’m an English major. I can’t beat anyone at this game. So I thought if I let Gladys match me up with a similar opponent –a stranger of similar wordsmith skills–I would have a shot at winning. She’s a smart phone. She knows my skills and game scores.
So she found me a match.
Even Bugger39 beat me.
I guess they have to market them as smart phones. If they called them Vindictive Phones, nobody would buy them. I just call her Gladys and I’m not letting her take dictation anymore. I’m taking back my life.
I’m Missy Snapp and I approve this message.