My dear friend and fellow Luddite Judy has come a long way since she purchased her iPhone three weeks ago. Judy sent me a text from her iPhone, an email from her iPhone, and she recounted the following adventures with her iPhone. As Judy so eloquently put it, to share this story “…is for the good of The Luddite Chronicles as well as the fame and fortune it will bring me.”
LUDDITE: Why did you acquire your new iPhone?
JUDY: It was time. My oldest daughter is 10 years-old, and I wanted to learn to text before she did. Texting on my old phone was time-consuming and limited to short words without punctuation. In addition, I feared that my old phone would suddenly stop working. It had been difficult to charge for the past 5 years ever since I let my then-infant daughter chew and drool on it thereby corroding the metal around the charging element. My husband had an iPhone and suggested that we “sync” our contacts and calendars (which I happily keep in written form in an old-fashioned Day Runner) through a new iPhone for me. I reluctantly acquiesced.
LUDDITE: It must be very difficult to navigate the needs of three children and attend to your new iPhone. How do you do it?
JUDY: I don’t. I have no idea how to really use all the gizmos on the phone. However, I do know better than to let my children chew or drool on it.
LUDDITE: Were you able to answer your new iPhone right away, or did you need instruction? Other than answering, what else can you do on your phone?
JUDY: I have always been able to answer it, probably since I have had practice answering my husband’s iPhone. I am learning how to send text messages (It makes such a cool sound!) and I can read and send e-mails.
LUDDITE: What exactly is Siri, why does Siri speak, and when she does, what do you do?
JUDY: Siri is a little voice that emanates from my phone and asks me how it can help. It is supposed to be revolutionary. You can ask Siri to do things for you like “call Jill Shulman” or “find an Italian restaurant nearby” or remind you to do things. I don’t think that it will actually do things for you like fold the laundry or go grocery shopping, but it would be nice. I did figure out that it would talk to me whenever I held the phone vertically and was thankfully able to reset it to only talk when I press a button. Once it reminded me to “pick up Hannah.” At the time, I thought that Siri was somehow assigning me additional carpool duties since there was no one named Hannah who I thought needed picking up by me. Then I realized that my husband had linked his iPhone calendar to mine and I was getting his reminders. I assumed that Siri had mis-heard his instructions, and it was really a reminder to pick up our daughter, Anna. At least I hope so.
LUDDITE: On the day in question, why were you shopping for slippers, purple mist, and an iPhone cover?
JUDY: On the day in question, I was on a power shopping excursion that needed to be completed quickly so that I could pick up my three children from their half-day at school. I had already purchased purple cellophane to create the purple mist of the Berkshires for my son’s social studies project, attempted to buy bear slippers for my son for Slipper Day, and returned 7 pairs of pants that were either too big or too small for my youngest daughter. I still had to buy hamster bedding for our three dwarf hamsters and select a Chinese-themed dessert for my oldest daughter’s book club (later canceled because the hostess was diagnosed with strep throat). I stopped at the Apple store on a whim, hoping to quickly select a cover for my new phone.
LUDDITE: Did they have what you were looking for at the Apple store? Did you even know what to ask for? Please describe your harrowing experience at check-out.
JUDY: All of the Apple sales clerks seemed pleasant and eager to help. However, they offered no clear direction on the type of cover to buy…hard shell, candy shell (hard on the outside, rubbery on the inside) or rubbery all around. “It is all personal preference” and made “no difference” in the amount of protection provided was what they said. I mulled it over for a while, checked my watch, and then reluctantly chose a turquoise candy shell. Since I had my new iPhone in hand, a smiling clerk directed me to Express Checkout where another smiling clerk was waiting. As I handed him my credit card, he said that I could complete my purchase myself if I had the Apple Store AP. I stared at him blankly for a moment, then searched for it on my phone. I found it! Success! I opened the application and a screen opened asking for a password. My husband, again wanting us “in sync”, had linked our phones but failed to give me the password. I tried a few that I thought might work to no avail. The clerk was still encouraging. I considered my options: call my husband, wait for his receptionist to patch the call through, exchange pleasantries, explain the situation, wait for him to remember the appropriate password and so on. I then begged the clerk to take my credit card, which he did with some reluctance. He then suggested that I attend a workshop at the Apple Store to learn about my new iPhone.
LUDDITE: Now that you have an iPhone, do you feel cooler, hipper, and more connected?
JUDY: Do I feel hipper or cooler? These are not words that I have used to describe myself since I started driving a mini-van and carrying baby wipes and Wiki-stiks in my purse.
LUDDITE: Would you recommend the iPhone or Siri to others?
JUDY: The other day, I accidentally hit the button on my phone and Siri asked if she could help with anything. I said, “Nothing, thank you.” She replied, “Your satisfaction is all the gratitude I require.” Who is in there?! I have decided that I will try to understand more about the magic that is in my iPhone. If time allows, I might even try a workshop.
LESSON LEARNED: It is time to upgrade my phone.