Jul 18, 2012 0 Share

Keep the Change


Double illustration of evolution of phone in black and white.
iStockphoto

As you might have noticed, I kind of don't like keeping up with the crowd. 

The laptop on which I'm typing this is the only laptop I've ever owned. I bought it in 2010. For the previous 22 years, I'd used exclusively desktops. 

As Emily is fond of reminding me, I got my first cell phone in 2005. Until then, phones for me were all landlines. 

Heck, I was still adjusting to Microsoft Word, which I only adopted in 2004. Until then, I'd been using WordPerfect since high school—that is, for quite a number of years. 

Getting back to cell phones, once I got one I stuck with the basic kind—now known as “feature phones” or “flip phones”—until last year when we finally got smartphones. 

We Aspies tend not to like change. Much more commonly than average, we like to stay in our comfort zones. 

But now, I'm toting around a Droid Pro, snapping pictures, making video clips and emailing and uploading them like there's no tomorrow. For example, just a few days ago I snapped a pic of a car in front of us with very interesting bumper stickers. And emailed it to myself on the spot ... maybe a bit redundant, as I also have automatic Camera Upload with Dropbox so pretty much the moment I clicked the “shutter” that photo was out in my own protected corner of cyberspace. (Emily, who was driving us, didn't want a copy.) 

“Is there an app for that?” I've got two smartphone office suite applications, one paid and one free; the jury's still out on which is better. I've got an app for finding the nearest Five Guys. Just a few hours before writing this, I got an app for converting pictures I take with my Pro into PDFs—great for things like receipts, signed contracts and other things you want to preserve on the fly. 

I've got Google Maps, which is great for getting directions if you get lost. I've got an app that tells me in real time how busy the processor is and how much (or little) RAM the phone has available, and how much data it's receiving or sending. 

And oh yes, I have one to (try to) control my battery hemophilia! 

So now I'm looking ahead to the holidays, close enough to the end of our two-year contract so we can upgrade our smartphones at a subsidized cost. I'm almost drooling over the Droid Razr Maxx myself, though I might get the Razr HD instead. 

All this staying current isn't easy—especially for someone who struggles with change—but these days it's a must. Especially if I'm having a kid soon who's going to live and breathe mobile tech in a few years—not to mention the kid's friends' parents, most of whom will likely be significantly younger than I am. To paraphrase the old song, keeping up is hard to do. But if it's something you're interested in enough, it can be fun!