Those of you who are still with me (yes, all five of you) might remember my dilemma over moving up from a dumbphone and iPod to an iPhone. Well, I finally took the plunge, bought a used iPhone 5, and discovered that I had nothing to fear. Well, not much.
I got a pretty small data plan which allows me to check maps and such when I’m out and about, but doesn’t do much else without WiFi. At $35 a month, it’s only $5 more expensive than my previous talk-only plan. So on that score, it’s all good.
Now, as for my fear of using it all the time and not looking up from it: Since I’ve disabled most cellular data on my phone, there’s not much I can do with my phone when I’m out with the kids. I haven’t even installed Facebook, and I won’t. Frankly, the only time I pull out my phone when I’m out with the family is to check the time or use the camera.
Ah, the camera. I used to be the kind of parent who rarely remembered to bring the camera, and thus missed out on some very sweet moments. Not anymore. My phone’s built-in camera is actually better than the digital camera I was using before, and I use it all the time. Score one for the iPhone.
The very best thing about my phone, though, is the way it helps me externalize my brain. Let’s face it: four kids aged seven and under, including a newborn who doesn’t sleep through the night. Left to my brain’s own devices I forget all kinds of things. Appointments get missed. Follow-up never happens. Tasks fall through the cracks. But with my external brain – er, I mean, iPhone – all I have to do is push a button and talk to Siri:
“Siri, remind me to check on the brownies in 35 minutes.”
“Siri, schedule Dr. E at 9:15 a.m. next Wednesday.”
“Siri, show me my overdue tasks on my to-do list.”
And Siri does!
She also phones people for me, takes dictation, and tells me how long it will take me to get to my next destination. And she remembers everything I say. I think I’m in love.
Long story short: I love my iPhone. It makes my life so much simpler, less frustrating, better documented, and just better all around. If you’re fearing the smartphone like I was, take heart: it’s just an external brain. You get to decide how to use it – and how not to.