I am too old for this. We had rotary phones in every room in the house; Daddooooo would have a bad day and come home and run phone lines to the closets, to the other side of the bedrooms, to the basement. Since this was
Once the lines were installed, using the device was a no-brainer.... or so I thought. The Cuters, when faced with their first look at this phone were flummoxed.
Their little fingers went into the appropriate holes, but turning the dial all the way to the curved metal stopper was not at all intuitive for them.
"This is hard!"
I repeated the same thing when I first saw the Galaxy S3.
At least on the old phones, it was pretty obvious how to answer and hang up. No so much on my new one. Big Cuter called me.... I could see his name and number on the big bright screen. I could see the green arrow in a circle. I could see little dots emanating from the circle and moving gently to the right, towards the End Call red circle. I poked at that green arrow. I pressed on that green arrow. I shook the phone and screamed at that green arrow. The phone stopped ringing. My kid was gone.
I managed to call him back. He knew, without prompting, what the problem had been. "Swipe, Mom," was the simple suggestion. Had I not seen those dots? Did they not cue me to move my finger gently to the right, following their path?
No, they did not. I thought they were pretty; I didn't think they were functional, too.
I was much happier with my old, stupid, phone. When it died last week, I was the only one who was surprised. The salesman in the Verizon store commiserated with me; the device was more than twenty months old, after all. It was no surprise to him that it had lost the ability to light up or ring. It was more than twenty months old, after all. All I could think of to say was that G'ma's yellow rotary phone is somewhere in my garage and, if I plugged it in I was certain that it would be just fine. I kept my mouth shut.
Shaking my head, high-fiving the couple my age sharing the counter and groaning about our inability to buy another stupid phone, saving money by updating my plan.... the shopping experience was overwhelming and depressing. I never go into those stores without a twenty-something by my side. I'm never sure I'm asking the right questions or understanding the answers I'm given. There are many reasons to live closer to my children; this is one of the big ones.
According to Big Cuter, my generation is afraid to play with electronics. That is the source of my anxiety, he claims. There's probably some truth to that; Ms Levine's kindergarteners can reboot their computers and cruise their new iPads with nary a suggestion from the adults in the room. I was frozen, staring at the screen, afraid to push something because I didn't know if I could get back to the place from which I had started.
I can't even understand the instructions. On-line videos suggest that I pinch the homescreens. There is so much wrong with those three words, I don't know where to start. Pinch? How? What does that mean? After much fussing, I realized that I should be setting my fingers apart on the screen and drawing them together. That's obviously how I would pinch a fold of skin; I just never thought about doing it on a flat surface and getting the same result. Homescreens? Plural? I am not Mitt Romney; I have only one home. Apparently, my Galaxy S3 is a Republican. Who knew?
I found the Return to Start button and my anxiety dropped.... just a little. It became obvious that organization will be the key to efficient use of this device. I just need to remember how to get back to where I was in order to make sense of it all. Perhaps that's the answer to Big Cuter - I am not afraid to play, I just can't remember what I've done. I'm old.
The pre-loaded weather app made me happy for a while. I could tap different pieces of the picture and ... voila!.... more information appeared. When I stopped tapping, I found the original screen fairly easily. At that point, feeling successful, I watched some football with TBG, who was kind of lonely at the other end of Douglas.
These devices are such a time suck.
Big Cuter talked me through finding the camera, and I managed to reverse the lenses (front and back facing cameras are a part of this phone I will surely love) and take three pictures of my face. I only wanted one. I can't find them again, anyway. Even more startling, Android or Google or Verizon or the Phone Goddess synched my Picasa pictures to my Galaxy S3 and now my history is in my hand, whenever I want a quick peek. It was creepy. I didn't do anything to make it happen... at least I don't think that I did.
There seems to be a shaking thing going on, with pictures getting larger and smaller and screens moving off the the left as new ones appear from the right. I have no idea how I made that happen, but it's pretty cool when it does. Don't get the idea that I know how to make it so. It remains a mystery to me.
After a week of playing with it, I've managed to upload my music library, although I can't figure out where it is hiding. You'd think there'd be an icon lurking at the top or the bottom of one of my home screens, but if it's there, I don't see it. I have a few dozen other questions to pose to the helpful staff at the Verizon store; I'm on my way there right now.
I'm bringing a pad and pencil. I'm going to take notes which I can access with my fingers, my eyes, and my brain..... no power cords or wireless connections or USB jacks required.