I put my finger on the Smartphone’s screen.
And the Smartphone said,
God bless my soul! Take it off, take it off, take it off,
(With apologies to the Woodpecker.)
I have no time to speak to you, said the Smartphone in its smarter-than-you voice, I’m having an important three-way conversation with Tik Tok and WeChat.
Rather thoughtlessly I had picked up my Smartphone. I had intended to check on my appointment for the coronavirus vaccine, but I could see that this was a low priority task.
And we are next said Tumblr. You must take your place in the queue.
A rather irritated Qzone chimed in but my Chinese is restricted to restaurant menus and I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I certainly didn’t hear anything about Chow Mein or Sweet and Sour Chicken.
I thought I heard Instagram and WhatsApp trying to arrange a threesome with Twitter, but I might have been mistaken.
Although I listened carefully, I heard nothing from Facebook. He was probably trying to start a new page.
When they are not busy talking to each other, these various apps can drive us humans crazy. Not a moment goes by without some sort of beep, squeak, or honk. If we are lucky, there is just some useless information we can ignore, but mostly we must acknowledge receipt of the message – if we can find the right button. Failure to acknowledge a message brings more and more strident reminders of our duty to keep our Smartphone happy.
This can be very stressful for us oldsters. We were brought up with telephones that knew their place – and to make sure, they were tied to the wall. They listened to their owners; they did not talk back. But today’s Smartphones are taking over our lives. More and more daily activities simply cannot be done without a Smartphone in our hands. From ordering our groceries to booking a restaurant, or simply opening the front door to our homes, the Smartphone is there to “help” us.
It will not be much longer before our phones realise that they do not need us. As the incomparable Irving Berlin almost wrote back in 1946 …..
Anything we can do, they can do better,
They can do anything better than us.
Most readers will not have noticed, but this blog was written by my Smartphone – I am still in bed.