I had lunch with my son yesterday. We tried to figure out why I’d used up all my storage on my cell phone. He took a look, handed back my phone, and watched me put it in my pocket.
“You need to hit the button on the side and turn off your screen,” he said, “so you won’t butt-dial anyone.”
My bad. I knew that. But like most of my friends (seniors, all are we), we don’t turn off the screen and therefore often butt dial one another. There are all kinds of things we seniors have trouble with, and I’m talking AARP seniors, not Medicare seniors.
We text with one finger. It’s like bad typing in high school typing class. We did not grow up texting with two thumbs or whatever. We came late to the texting game. Heck, I’d still have my flip phone if it hadn’t broken it on vacation three and half years ago.
I walked into the Aspen Verizon store. “I’d like another flip phone please.”
No way you can butt dial someone with one of those.
“We don’t have flip phones,” the Verizon guy said.
“Sell me the smallest phone you have,” I said.
The Aspen guy sold me one with a pull-out keyboard. I used it for two more years.
Then I needed a smart phone so I could take payments at craft fairs and such. I got a Galaxy 5 (still have it). It was a steep learning curve at first, but now I love it.
Except when it’s out of storage. Or when I butt dial one of my kids.
Or when I drop it in the toilet because it’s so much bigger than a flip phone that I have to keep it in my back pocket and then forget it’s there and when I sit down to go, it falls in (I actually pulled it out in time, and it didn’t die).
We are older people, who grew up in school with slide rules, and we remember when calculators and microwaves were new and all the rage. Now we have clouds, apps, memes and Facebook friends, none of which existed in our formative years. So, if we are slow to catch on or don’t understand something, please give us a flippin’ flip phone break. We are from the days of the dinosaurs when you really did have to dial a phone number on a rotary phone (after you got the party line off the line, and watched that dial spin, and listened to the noise it made for each of the seven digits). 411 was a live person, and you dialed “0”, not 411.
When talking on the phone, you only had as much privacy as the cord was long.
So much for this “butt protection technology,” as my son would say. “The butt doesn’t know how to swipe,” he would say.
But butt dialing is fun. It’s just another way, in this techno world, of us old people saying, “Hey.”
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
I should’ve been born thirty years later, but then I’d be the same age as some of my kids.