Thursday, April 23, 2009

Phun with Phones

Nearly everyone I know has a cell phone. I have one. I also use it as our "land line." I get far less calls asking me to buy carpet or update my visa on this phone. I secretly have a land line - - I just don't tell anyone the number. Henry uses it to call me in the car while I am being the "bus" in the afternoon. Only he knows the number. I turn it off when he doesn't need it as a lifeline "just in case".

The thing about cell phones (or any phone for that matter) and me is that I take advantage of about 2% of the phone's functionality. I can:

  • make and receive calls

  • update my contact list

  • send and receive emails

  • send and receive text messages

George the Younger on the other hand, uses more like 75% of the functionality of his phone. He is MUCH better at this than I am. I KNOW that I can change my ring tone. I simply don't want to take the 5 minutes to work my way through various folders to find the place where I can change it and then spend time listening to the numerous musical options trying to decide what I like or what represents me personally in the ring-tone genres. I initially picked the one that sounds like a phone ringing (so obvious, so unoriginal, so that's-the-sound-the-i-associate-with-the-phone-ringing-Pavlovian-response-activated). I doubt I will change it again.

George the Younger changes his ring tone daily. Plus he adjusts it to make different sounds for different people and has further modified his phone to make different sounds depending on whether those different people call him or text him. Way too complex for me. I just rely on my ability to look at caller ID to determine whether I want to talk or not. 90% of the time if I see "caller unknown", that call's rolling to voice mail. That way I am not screening "particular" calls. Just ALL calls that I don't know the origin of. Seems fair.

And of course, he uses his camera all the time. For me cameras take pictures. Telephones take calls. They don't do both. I actually saw one of the coolest things ever when we were visiting London once -- a giant puppet/elephant/float/art/thing. Both George the Elder and I had our cell phones with us. But, all we did was lament the whole time we were watching it that we really, really, really wished we had remembered to bring our camera with us. Do we we have a single shot of the very cool puppet/elephant? Nope. But we should have taken a photo of ourselves when the light bulb finally went off that we had the ability to take a picture the whole damn time - - with our PHONE. Dopes.

The above photo of Otto was taken with George the Younger's cell phone. He entitled it, "Otto in Jail". Note the handcuffs on the front feet. The black and white tones are supposed to make him look sadder to be in jail (according to the photographer). The only other thing worth noting is that Henry received the handcuffs at a bowling birthday party this past Sunday. With three kids I have been to a great many bday parties. I have looked through more than my fair share of goodie bags. This is the first set of realistic handcuffs I have ever encountered. For what it's worth - - the kids loved them. They spent the last 20 minutes of the party cuffing each other. But, handcuffs? 20 sets of them? Wonder what the checkout girl thought. Likely, not much. This is SF after all....

1 comment:

fin said...

The kids are native to this technological language! You and I my dear - have just learnt the 'survival' talk.... Ultimately, it must be seen that they need to be at least bi-lingual with the spoken languages and have the techno lingo so that they can converse in the world. PHEW - Talk about the pressured child! I, thankfully, like you, have a native speaker :)