I am drowning in technology.
I have a Macbook Air, an iPod Nano and iPod Touch, a PDA, a mobile Hot Spot, an e-book reader, and a Smartphone. When I get all my electronic gear on and running the lights dim in nearby houses and small birds fall out of the sky.
Now these devices have learned to multi-task. A phone doesn’t just make phone calls. It is a camera as well. It can take pictures and then send them by e-mail or with a text message.
The worst has happened. The Smartphone thinks it is smarter than I am.
This phone tries to guess who you are calling and dial it with just a few keystrokes. That’s not only the numbers you have entered as Speed-dial, but any number in your address book. It isn’t totally accurate. Sometimes it dials people you don’t mean to call.
I am staying at McGaw Care Center on Chicago’s North Shore, recovering from pneumonia. I see a doctor here, one I just met. At 11 p.m. one night I wanted to call my daughter. When I typed the first two letters of my daughter’s name the phone showed a list of names that begin with those letters. My daughter was on the list. So was the doctor.
While I watched helplessly the phone began dialing the doctor’s number. It started to ring, Someone answered the phone. I quickly hung up.
There was a brief silence. Then, to my horror, the phone called him again. I hung up. There was another short silence. Then my phone rang. The doctor was returning my call.
What do you say to a doctor you have called for no reason late at night? I didn’t answer the phone.
I am looking for a telephone that makes and receives phone calls. I don’t want it to do anything else. I want a phone with no skills, no talent, and absolutely no memory. You have to push buttons for the numbers you call.
I know there used to be phones like this. I have seen them in old movies.