My husband just came back from town, where he pre-ordered each of us an iPhone 5—emphasis on the number five, since neither one of us has owned, let alone touched models one through four. Lagging behind by four stages of technology equates to time traveling from the year 1812 to the year 2012 to find oneself seated in the pilot’s chair at the control panel of a 747 cockpit—for me. He, on the other hand, is gifted. He can pick up an electronic device and intuitively understand it.
It’s not as if I’ve had much opportunity to warm up to the latest level. Five years ago we moved from San Juan Capistrano, California to the thriving metropolis of Huson, Montana, a town that boasts of Larry’s Six-Mile Bar and Café and the post office window in a victim-of-the-economy closed mercantile building. Soon after we’d driven for the first time five miles further up the dirt road to our log cabin in the woods I asked a neighbor why so many cars always pull off in the same spot, five miles back, around the bend from Larry’s.
“It’s the last best cell phone reception!” she told me.
Some folks consider it a major inconvenience, but we, in fact, glory in the freedom that our plain old ordinary cell phones won’t work while we’re lying in the summer hammock or snowshoeing through the winter forest.
We both bit the apple: Two years ago I got a MacBook (whose most elementary functions are the ones I use), and Brad began fiddling away in the cloud of his iPad. But then, like Snow White, we fell into a sleepy coma, oblivious as the flurry of phone models passed us by.
A few months ago, Brad was awakened while towing our 5th wheel on a wildlife photography trip with his son, who promptly accessed information like a CIA agent. He came home smitten with Siri, who had not only informed him of the whereabouts of spare RV parts and camera equipment, but—the most vital nubbin of information since we have none in Montana—the nearest location of Carl’s Jr. After years of blissful ignorance in reclusive retreat, he now has one foot in the air and the other securely on the bandwagon.
“When we travel, we can access directions and have information at our fingertips,” he says calmly, when what he means is I’ll know where to find a bacon cheeseburger.
This is true, except I don’t fly, so hardly ever travel other than the occasional road trip when I don’t partake of pre-formed meat patties. Besides, if I’m looking for a plain, non-fat Greek yogurt, I prefer asking for directions, but then, I am a woman. I enjoy the face-to-face interaction, the live chat as opposed to the cyber. When we recently strolled toward the exit doors of the lobby of a Seattle hotel and Brad said “If I had an iPhone I would know where to find the nearest Starbuck’s,” I fought against my primitive instinct to simply query the concierge. Of course, the man probably would have looked it up on his iPhone. Once Brad opened the door to the street, I couldn’t exactly see the need for emergency electronica.
There was one on every corner.
“Why do I need this phone?” I ask him.
“For one thing, it has 4G LTE!” he persuades.