By Keith Whitson

Cell phones allow us to access a vast array of information we need and much we don’t need through the use of apps or applications. Luckily we don’t have to fill out an application to use them but many do require a user name and a password. There are even apps to store and keep track of all of your user names and passwords to the many apps you use. Lots of apps are free and only a download away.

One of the more commonly used apps now is for meeting someone and dating. You can sit anywhere and use your cell phone to scroll through the list of available people who are on the same app with the hopes of finding a dream come true. You can look far and near.

These apps will allow users to check out photos, a profile, interests, age, height, weight and more. You can then start communicating with anyone of interest to ask additional questions and see if there is a mutual attraction.

I am sure this has revolutionized the art of dating from what many of us grew up with. In my day, you talked from the house phone, connected to the wall, to someone you already knew. All plans were made before leaving the house. There was no undetected searching the region and beyond from the safety of your cell phone.

Times have changed. Now even elementary school children have smart phones. They communicate with their friends and girlfriends/boyfriends mostly through texting. I guess it’s easier to text what you are feeling rather than saying it to the person face-to-face or over a phone conversation.

When I was in elementary school we had no cell phones. You got to know each other at school. You could talk on the phone more after you got home or sometimes got together after school. The relationship was declared “going together,” not that you were actually going anywhere. It was an understood phrasing for “couple.”

Now, step back with me to the end of my seventh grade school year. I was at my cousin’s house and had the bright idea of putting my left foot on the step of her tricycle, bending over to the handle bars and pushing myself along with my right foot. Of course it looked silly and was too small for me.

Something went drastically wrong and the three-wheeled monster popped out from  under me and I went down. The only thing that seemed to be hurt was a minor  bruise and scrape on my left leg. It continued to sting a bit the next day.

There was a cute girl that I had my eye on for sometime. We weren’t best friends but I had gone through all grade levels up to that point with her. I felt like she was out of my league. She was popular, which, in my eyes, put her beyond my reach.

I was walking down the hall, and saw her just ahead of me, going the same direction. A quick plan of action came to mind. It wasn’t the brightest, but I didn’t have time to plan.

I thought it would be cute to limp past her, get her attention and see if she would ask why I was limping. I would make her laugh by telling her my tragic story of how this particular seventh grader had a disastrous wreck on a tricycle.

Cursing was not my in my vocabulary but, like any young man, I knew a few words. In my mind she would be impressed if I threw in a mild one with a tough guy attitude.

I put my plan into action, racing painlessly to catch up and then slowing down into a limp. Sure enough, she asked why I was limping and I told her “I wrecked on a d%&# tricycle.” The comment broke the ice and she started laughing. We proceeded to talk and eventually I got up the nerve to ask if she would “go with me.” Unfortunately she had just started “going” with some other boy and wanted to stick with him for the summer, or at least that’s how she put it. Just my luck.

I did have a girl to “go with” in high school. I was shy and wasn’t the most exciting guy. I think I had my cousin ask her for me and she agreed. She was at my house after that and saw a ring and ID bracelet of mine. She wanted to wear them to officially declare our relationship.

Eventually we fizzle out and she gave me back the ring. By then it had turned  her finger green.

Where were apps and smart phones when I needed them?