After years of resisting it, I finally got a “smart phone.” My husband has had one for a few years. Sometimes, while he was driving he’d hand me his phone and ask me to text someone. I couldn’t find anything on his fancy phone. “How do I get to the text screen?” I’d ask calmly. He’d look over quickly and push an icon to bring up the right screen. “Okay,” I’d say and then sit there and stare at it. A few seconds later, “Isn’t there a way to make this keyboard any bigger?” And then he’d reach over and turn the phone sideways for landscape viewing. “Oh. Where do I find your contacts?” I’d ask a little louder, getting the slightest bit irritated that I clearly wasn’t smart enough for a smart phone. And with no practice on that stupid touchscreen I would struggle, sometimes sending blank messages accidentally and having to go through the whole process again to resend the right message. It took forever to type a sentence that didn’t look like I was either in remedial reading or drunk. And I’d make enough disgruntled noises in the process for him to look over and try to help (which of course I didn’t want, thank you). I think it was more distracting for him to help me than to actually text while driving.
This month I finally upgraded my phone. I was a little overwhelmed when I first took it out of the box but I was determined to learn it and fast. I opened the book (because I’m from a generation that still thinks the user guide is meant to be read) which walked me through set up but definitely made some assumptions. The phone has Sprint ID’s. You can have up to 5, I think. The guide told me how to set them up and where to find pre-packaged ID’s but never said why you’d want them. I went online to see if there were any videos demonstrating the basic functions and immediately saw reviews calling my phone an “entry-level” smart phone. The reviews were good, but it was pretty clear I held a phone not meant for early adopters and which probably wouldn’t challenge a third grader. Nice. And just as I was feeling pretty good about myself.
A day later, though, I came home and said to my husband, who also got the same phone with me, “I was surprised you didn’t text me back today.” He grinned and said, “I’m not sure where to find new text messages.” And all was well with the world.