50 Shades of Oh My!
Virginia

Can You Hear Me Now?

When I got my first cell phone, it wasn't really my cell phone, it belonged to Blackstone and me. We shared a cell phone. Can you imagine? We only really used it when we were out for the day, or if one of us was traveling, so we could keep in touch. This was way back in like 1997 or something.

When we were in college, we spoke on the phone about once a week. We even started emailing at one point. The kind of emailing where you had to call and ask if the other person had received it because the concept was so new and so foreign, we had no idea what we were doing. Our freshman year, we even wrote letters. Can you imagine college kids doing that today? It's a lost art form in my opinion. I still have those letters in a box somewhere. I get emotional every time I see them. Blackstone is really a gifted writer. And the fact that he took that time to hand write me a letter every week, that was true love.

Text_messageFast forward to text messaging. It took me a while to get Blackstone on board with that one. The guy spends a great deal of time in the woods in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and I had to fight with him to get him to text me. And once I convinced him, if I texted him too many times in a row he would often call me and ask what I wanted because he didn't want to keep typing. But this was still in the days before smart phones, so text messaging meant using the number pad on your phone. Remember that?

My first smart phone was a Droid and that was only a couple of years ago. I'm slowing becoming a Mac convert though, and now I have an iPhone. I honestly think there are pros and cons to both and you should consider what kind of user you are in making your decision. Even though I'm now on the iPhone, I still use Google for my email, calendar and all my contacts. I have no intention of switching that over to Apple. I'm happy with it where it is.

I love my smart phone. I'm not a gamer. I don't get Angry Birds, but it does come in handy when my kids are antsy. I do love me some Words With Friends, I have to admit. I have my Kindle App too, which is great when I'm sitting through practices or in a waiting room. I am slightly addicted to FB. Twitter annoyed me way back in the early days with all its crashing and I've only started poking around in my account recently.

Oh smart phone how do I love thee, let me count the ways: Evernote, Dolphin, Camera, iCloud, iTunes, Pandora, Shazam, Yelp, iPeriod, Flixster.

I don't know how Blackstone and I survived before we had shared Google Calendars with accounts on our phones and synced to Outlook. I know we did and I know it wasn't pleasant. Please don't make me ever go back there again. In fact, I'd really like to phase Outlook out of the picture. SHHHhhh! Don't tell him. I think he might have heart palpitations.

I have been considering how computers, smart phones and social media have changed the way I communicate with people. It makes it so much easier to stay connected with those of you I care about who are all over the country. It has also fragmented the way we communicate in crazy ways. When I had sinus surgery my sister was shocked that I hadn't told her. In my mind I had. I posted it on FB. One step, easy. Now I don't need to call everyone who might be concerned and tell them I was having surgery, except for my in-laws, which is frustrating. I don't want to have to take the time to call people and tell them these things. I just want to post it and be done with it. But my sister had decided her FB addiction hadn't gotten out of control, so she had quit cold turkey, so I should have called her too, but I forgot.

Any given day, I might start a conversation on FB, pick it up with someone via text message and finish it with a phone call. Or maybe it starts in Words With Friends and bleeds over to email and then gets followed up by a text. I expect that when I sit down with my friends that they have all the backstory because they've been reading my FB posts. I mean, I don't really want to have to start from the beginning do I?

Of course, it's not all unicorns and rainbows. Instead of heart felt words on the page Blackstone's chosen form of communication with me is voice recognition. I hate voice recognition. I'm sure one day I'll love it, but right now, I hate it because I get messages like this:

O n konriko lied and told they can be on the swim team.

Followed By:

Okay let's try again. Y m c a a called and said to sign connor and cool up for the swim team. Cool we shouldn't be an otter pup and connor will be otter youth.

I get messages from him like this all the time and have to text back:

Who the hell is Karla?

That would be our older son.

Voice recognition is not making my life easier. I now need to solve a puzzle every time I read one of Blackstone's texts. Someone really needs to get on that.

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