Human Condition: Maybe fancy phones aren’t meant for folks like me _lowres


Fair warning: These are the opinions of someone who is older than dirt, who remembers phones when you had to dial “0” and speak to a live operator to make a long distance call, a time when phones were attached by 6-foot cords to the wall.

And we liked it!

No one asked you for your password or your “login name” or the answer to your security question. But times have changed. I don’t think I have.

“See my new iPhone!” teens tell me as they share their excitement at being able to Tweet to the world what they have eaten for dinner before they have even left the table.

“I have 101 photos of my niece’s birth! Want to see them?” a friend said as she swiped from left to right on the screen of the beautifully-designed newest Apple device. I am thinking, “No!” but I smile and appear to be engaged. The photos are extremely clear and focused.

Surprisingly, despite my technological limitations,when asked what I wanted for Christmas, I chose a new device that can take lovely pictures, find a restaurant within a mile of my location, keep track of my activity for the day and a record of my blood pressure over time, plus a thousand other things. And, incidentally, it also makes and receives phone calls and text messages.

But there is one drawback: to sign up or register for these applications, known as “apps,” requires a user name and a password.

Those experienced with this new technology offered suggestions about these matters, like “Don’t use the same password more than once,” “Keep your bank password separate from your Facebook password” and “Choose a different one for iTunes.”

All of this is done for the sake of security. So what should one do? Buy a little book and write all these passwords down and carry it with you in case you forget.

Speaking of forgetting, I can’t remember the ages of my grandchildren, so I thought I could use the phone to enter that info into its database, but then I would need a password to get to my own data, wouldn’t I?

I hate to admit it, but my memory just isn’t what it used to be. “Stick It” note papers help a little so I don’t miss an appointment in the coming week. (The current color of my kitchen cabinet is bright yellow.)

The new electronic device — it’s called a phone but is actually a computer you can hold in the palm of your hand — that I bought just before Christmas developed a problem with the display screen, so I took it back to the store and got a refund for the time being.

Since then I have gone back to using my older phone that has a screen about the size of a large postage stamp and a cute little keyboard. I like its familiar feel in my palm. All I ask of it is to be connected to a few family and friends, and that is easy with this device.

So don’t ask me to use my phone to find obscure info, such as the population of Milwaukee or a recipe for seafood gumbo. My old phone can’t do that; at least, I don’t think it can. I’ve never asked it to.

I can’t remember the passwords.

— Schexnayder lives in New Iberia

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