Who knew that the iPhone was going to be so much fun? Oh yes –I knew iPhones and the like were fun for the youngsters, but neither Mike nor I realized his would finally become the indispensable cell phone. With her unmistakably feminine voice and compliant nature, she’s every man’s dream girl. Well – not quite. She’s really good with mental tasks but doesn’t cook or chore around the house -- or do anything physical, for that matter.
Not only is she compliant, but she can be shaped to meet so many needs. Mike has always kept a lengthy list of contacts, and he transferred these from his computer to the hand-held unit. Next, he learned to use voice commands when making calls.
“Call my son Murray Warnock,” Mike says authoritatively.
“I didn’t know Murray Warnock is a family member,” replies the iPhone to my astonishment. “Do you want me to remember that Murray Warnock is your son?” (Hey! I've known -- and remembered -- that Murray is Mike's son from the very beginning of our relationship.)
“Yes!” replies Mike.
Another pause. Then “she” made the call.
“Call K-Mart,” commands Mike.
Pause. “I don’t see K-Mart in your contacts. Do you want me to search for the store nearest your location?”
“Yes,” says Mike.
“There are two listing for K-Mart at 1815 - 21st Street, Lewiston. Do you want me to call the pharmacy or the store?”
"The store," says Mike
"Calling K-Mart," she obeys. She's better at obedience than I am. I'd tell him to look up that number and make the call himself! I guess I can be replaced!
She now remembers all Mike’s appointments – provided he tells her about them, of course – and I admit that that’s more than I want to do. She helped him review the state capitals and now she’s teaching him the countries and capitals of the world. Occasionally she plays games with him. He reads books on her screen while streaming radio. She collects his email messages. We can even use her as a GPS, though I’m sure a real GPS is better. She accompanies us to the grocery store where Mike uses her to scan bar codes on products for nutrition info. He hardly ever forgets to take her with him, so we can catch him on his cell most anywhere and if not, she will take a message. That in itself is amazing.
She even accompanies us to bed and waits quietly until the hour when he can’t sleep Then he reads from her screen and/or listens to music or learns geography – much less disturbing to me than tossing and turning. Before arising in the morning, he checks the weather.
I think of my mother, who made notes to herself on scratch paper. “Do you want me to get your notes for you?” I once asked her as we were leaving the house.
“No,” she replied with some force, “I don’t need to carry my brains around in my pocket.” Obviously she had thought about her dependence on those notes and was making the effort to remember. I wonder what she’d think about the iPhone. KW