Saturday, May 21, 2016

New Technology = New Opportunities

Scott D. Parker

I finally got a smart phone.

For the longest time, I have enjoyed caring around my flip phone. I mean, come on, it was a Star Trek communicator. What wasn’t to like? I loved being able to take it out of my pocket, flick it open, and answer the phone. Additionally, I liked flicking it closed with a hard smack. Plus, I could be rough with it. If it fell on the floor or on to my desk, it didn’t really matter.

But as much as I liked it, my old phone was showing its age. Regularly, I would receive calls but could never hear the other person. My wife thought it was “selective hearing,” but it wasn’t. It was just spotty service for a phone that was at least four years old. In fact, when my last flip phone died, I went to T-Mobile to get another one. They didn't even sell them anymore. So I went to Target and bought a new flip phone for $30. $30 for a phone that used to cost over $100!

But don’t think I'm a Luddite who never had any other technology. I always carried around my iPod Touch. Granted I was limited to areas where there was Wi-Fi to get the internet but that didn't bother me much. I enjoyed being able to be unconnected from the world. With the iPod Touch, I was always able to write on the fly by typing very fast on the device. I had my music, my books, and all my notes. Frankly, I was set. In addition, I didn't like all the giant phones that seem to be all the rage nowadays. The iPod Touch, with its 4-in. screen, was perfect for me. I didn't want some massive slab in my pocket. If anything, my flip phone so compact that I often forgot it was even in my pocket. 

Oh, and the joy I received whenever I was able to show others that my phone was my phone and my iPod with my iPod was great! The looks of incredulity always made me smile. The longer I went without a smartphone, the more I enjoyed it. I liked being different. I liked being able to choose when I was connected to the world. And, besides, I was always connected with my flip phone. There’s rarely a time when I needed to conduct an emergency check of my email. Sure, when Houston traffic snarls, it would be nice to check a smart phone for the best alternatives, but I know my way around the city. The only thing lost is time, and I can spare that.

But with the release of the iPhone SE, things changed. That was the phone that matched the size I want with the brand-new technology that came with the iPhone 6. Now was the time.
I've only been using the phone for two days. With the size being the same—and my apps in nearly the same layout—it’s barely noticeable that I’m carrying an iPhone. The most obvious of course is where I now carry one device where I used to carry two. That's nice. It means fewer things in my pockets. I used to carry my flip phone and my keys in my right pocket. Yesterday, more than once, when I reached for my keys, I had that sudden fear I left my phone at home! I carried my iPod in my left pocket, which is now where I carry my iPhone.

But I think the biggest change with having the iPhone will be in the ability to dictate content anywhere. I was already using the iPod to dictate when I was within Wi-Fi range, but now I am unencumbered. Now, I can literally walk anywhere and still produce content. The more I get used to dictating my fiction, the more stories that I will be able to publish for the world to read. That gets me very excited.

And I’ll be healthier, too. It means I can go for walks, dictating along the way. That’s a nifty thing.
So, I have joined the masses. I now have a smart phone. I really enjoyed being different, but I’m looking forward to the fabulous stories I write using the iPhone.

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