Saturday, June 23, 2012

Out of the Digital Wilderness

I might've made my biggest insight of the year today.  Add this to the list of reasons to have children:  They will rescue you from the digital wilderness. 

This is me, going to Best Buy to buy my first smart phone: Hi, can this use Google calendar?  The blank-faced clerk, half asleep, jabs the new phone with her finger.  Here, it's done.  Wait, I say, what did you do?  I set up your calendar for you, she says.  But, I stammer, I want you to show me how you did it so I can learn too.  Nah, she says, it's set up now, you'll never have to do it again.  (How does she know that?)  Anyway, it goes on like this with me protesting, and her jab jabbing the phone to "set stuff up for me."  (This is all part of GenX's plan to keep us geezers in the dark.)

At home, I am bewildered by the array of colorful jiggling icons, and my lovely, enthusiastic 11 year old daughter offers to help. Did I mention how awesome she is?  The dilemma:  Smarty pants in the store set up my phone so that it captured all my x-mas card addresses and old emails into my phone contacts list. (Don't ask me how this happened, you will regret it.)  So I go to call my husband, and my second most called person, my friend Philip, and voilá, no phone numbers.  There's nothing useful in my phone directory, and no memory cells of my own to draw on.   Thinking I'm not really that stupid, I find three different ways to pull up "settings" on my new phone.  But nothing helps me recover my real phone numbers that are sitting right there on my SIM card inside the phone.  I'm stuck.  I thought I was clever to find all those hidden "settings" buttons.

Because I'm almost in tears, my daughter jumps in.  In less than two minutes, her little thumb dance reveals the exact menu that says "recover SIM phone numbers" or something like that.  She had never seen this overwrought device before and, god knows, doesn't have a smart phone of her own.  How, how, how did she do this?  And, unlike the lady who stared right through me, she smiled proudly as she led the way to freedom.  She's taking care of me, long before I expected her to.

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