It's a very thoughtful little machine, my Galaxy S3. It lets me clean up my Contacts List; I press the chain link icon and I can join one contact to another. Join... isn't that a lovely word? Combine implies mashing and smashing while join is like that icon over there, neatly fitting one inside the other, each retaining its own particular charm.
Somehow, it knows to include a picture, even if it appears only on one of the three entries I've found for the same friend. Three entries, you wonder? Yes, the darling device has imported contacts from Google as well as those on the phone's SIM card, saved from the dearly departed stupid phone it replaced, and from Facebook, too. For all I know, it's included the DEX or Yellow Pages from my area code. Like my pictures, they just kind of appeared one day.
It feels intrusive. Big Cuter reminds me that once I've downloaded the app (a shortcut to a specific site on the interwebs, configured to display properly on my 4.8" screen) I've given them permission to invade my personal space.... which leads him neatly into his rant about privacy being overrated and the fact that it is an old-fashioned construct and as long as you behave in a proper manner (yes, he says things like that) there's really no reason to worry.
Be that as it may, I was startled into yelping aloud when my Picasa galleries appeared on my phone. Yes, I'd told the phone my Gmail address. No, I didn't realize that it would bring my on-line life into a handheld device... one that I might lose... one that contains phone numbers and emails of my friends. I am certain that I appear in similar devices living in my friends' handbags and backpacks.
Is this progress? Now I have something new to worry me. Big Cuter's pronouncement announcing the absence of privacy in the 21st century has suddenly taken on a much more personal relevance.
And yet, I love the damn thing.
It fits perfectly in my hand. It's a comfortable cover for my ear and my mouth; there's no reason to raise my voice because the mouthpiece seems so very far away. Once I figured out the motion, I've become addicted to swiping my finger across the screen, to answer a call, to respond to any one of a number of notifications... of tasks and events and notes I've left myself. I've become my own worst enemy, and I love it. I annoy myself, and I'm rewarded by swiping.
I remember going to the 1964-5 World's Fair in Flushing, New York. We were all of 12 and 13 but our parents let us take the train and tour the Fair without adult supervision. Feeling very grown up, we wandered over to the AT&T pavilion where the latest gadget was on display: a push button phone. The rotary phone was no match for the speed of those perfectly shaped buttons. It was a whole new world, quicker and newer and unimaginable just a little while ago.
I'm feeling that feeling all over again.