Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sorry About That, Doctor

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.

1 comment:

Dr.LeRoy said...

Hey Mal, that was really good, especially the bit about small birds falling out of the air. Glad to find your byline, thanks to Mindy on Facebook. Sorry to hear about your illnes. Get well soon, LeRoy H.