Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm as Dumb as Ever ... But My Phone's a Lot Smarter ...

It's been about a year, now, since I made the move to a cell phone that does more than just telephone calls and text messages. Now my phone is A LOT smarter ... wish I could say the same for me.

Last year at this time, my view of 'smart phones' was one often heard among curmudgeons (and curmudgeons-at-heart) of all races, colors, creeds, ethnic origins, social philosophies and political leanings ... "Hey, I can call people, I can send texts, and that's all I need!"

That was true then ... and, really, it's still true now. I still have everything I NEED. But now I also have a lot of other things besides ... things that I WANT... mmmmm ... things that I LIKE... yesssss ... and things that will impress others with my phone's smartness, my phone's usefulness. And by extension, they might also be impressed with MY smartness, MY usefulness - despite all appearances to the contrary.

For example, in a weekly film class, we were discussing Steven Spielberg's
Munich, and watching a scene near the film's end where one of the main characters is reminded, "you are sabra, your wife is sabra." In the discussion following that clip, someone asked, "What is sabra?" I didn't know ... but my phone did, and within a couple of minutes we had all added a new word (for a Jew born in Israel) to our vocabulary.

Preparations for our annual Holiday Evening celebration included a walk-through of the campus grounds at night, giving us a better feel for what our guests might experience. One of our team asked how much of a moon there would be that night, and how much light (and visibility) it would contribute. I didn't know ... but my phone did, and within a couple of minutes we knew our event took place the very next night after a full moon, and could include its added light into our plans. We also got a long-range weather forecast.

Musical offerings at one of our Christmas season services included "
Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella." This prompted someone to ask, later, who Jeanette and Isabella were, and why didn't we see them in the Nativity with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise guys, the little drummer boy, Santa and all the rest. I didn't know ... but my phone did, and within a couple of minutes we were all up-to-speed on the song's history, and its progression from 16th-century French dance music, to mainstay of modern Christmas carols.

Add to that other app's for blogging, Twitter and Facebook, maps and directions, photography and word processing, games, e-mail, an alarm clock, a flashlight and so much more.

So anyway, one year later, my phone is A LOT smarter. Wish I could say the same for me. But, hey ... getting a smart phone was a smart move on MY part, right ... right?

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