I don’t have and don’t want the new Apple watch. No doubt it will be out of date faster than the latest fashion trends. And if you have an Apple watch that’s all any of your friends will want to talk about. I have plenty of other, more interesting topics for conversation. Such as my health—which I’m happy to tell you about shortly.
As all of you with smart phones know, not only is a smart phone a watch, telling the date and time, but it also rings an alarm when I’m running late, which too often is the case. To name just a few chores my cell routinely and exquisitely performs as my personal assistant:
-Keeping my calendar, my contact list, my “to do” and grocery lists;
-Checking email, sending text messages, and calculating tips.
-Connecting me to satellites with maps and directions that almost always get me where I want to go; and
-Supplying musical accompaniment when I’m bored.
In some ways this technology is perfect for older brains. When I can’t remember the name of an actor in a program I’m watching, or any other fact, I can quickly retrieve the elusive name or fact by typing in what I do remember. Voila--the name pops up as quickly as I wish it would in my head.
But I promised to talk about my health so let’s take a short detour into that topic. I promise to tie it into the discussion of iThings. A couple of years ago my shoulder got “fixed” just before I got the iPhone 4S. Rotator cuff surgery was a big success, at least for my shoulder. Not so much for my neck, arms and hands, as I’ll explain.
When the tear to my rotator muscle was repaired and a bone spur removed, a pre-existing spinal problem was aggravated, making it difficult to use my hands. My iPhone 4S (which now is considered old, at least by iPhone standards) also was a big success for me, at least for awhile. Siri, who is able to hear and respond, came to the rescue. And she takes dictation.
Unlike in the commercials by Martin Scorsese (whose name I might add I just now retrieved from my brain without technological he
though it’s nice to know I have a smart phone to tell me his name if I can’t
recall it) for Siri, she isn’t perfect. But then who is? Just keep that in
mind if I send you a garbled message.
Nevertheless, I consider having a pocket device with these functions amazing. What else could I want?
Well, on occasion, I wish I could use my iPhone as, well, a phone. It seems the only thing my current iPhone doesn’t do is make or receive phone calls. The volume on calls is so low it’s hard for me to hear a caller. You could say my hearing is going. And maybe it is. But other people can’t hear me either.
I’ve had issues with the case as well as the phone. I originally bought an expensive shatterproof case for my new phone. That promptly caused my cell to overheat. So I replaced the case, and then--you guessed it. I dropped my phone a short distance. The visual display was kaput and could not be repaired.
As a thrifty consumer--you can call me a cheapskate--I opted to replace my broken cell with a refurbished iPhone 4S. Among other minor issues, such as the volume on calls, the case and the refurbished cell now are just slightly misaligned, so the case turns off the ringer.
Just as body parts are connected, so is my technology. Right now my seven-year-old Mac Air and original IPad are able to sync with my “old” iPhone 4S, though none of them can update with the latest software.
So what to do? Should I just throw out thriftiness and spring for a whole new set of iThings? Given my luck with replacements and repairs of any kind, I’m trying to live with the phone, its case and my repaired shoulder for a little while longer—who knows what amazing new abilities the next generation of I-Things or human joints will bring?