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Shhh! My cell phone is listening

From the publisher's desk

Of course, I own a cell phone. Well, maybe I should say it owns me. It’s true, I have become a slave to my phone’s every summons.
My life can get extremely busy with my job and all of my outside involvement with clubs, church and friends. My cell phone is the life line to all of my goings on. I can’t say that I like it, but I can’t pull the plug on my life line.
The definition of a phone has changed many times over the years. In fact, a phone is rarely used as a phone today. With my cell phone I check the weather, surf the Web, check Facebook posts, use it as a GPS, text, listen to music, read and respond to e-mails and, oh yeah, occasionally talk on it.
As employees have left The Erwin Record over the years, many of those e-mails have been defaulted to my e-mail address. Sometimes I can get two and three of the same e-mail being sent.
With my phone I can keep up with all e-mails while I am away from my desk. Lots of times it is just a case of deleting unwanted items and leaving the good ones to respond to later. I would hate to see how many I would have to sort through if I waited until I was at my desk to take care of them all. I can be caught up on going through them and in five minutes have nearly 20 new e-mails.
It seems nowadays that most people prefer to text rather than talk. Many times I pick that option because I hate to risk interrupting someone through a phone call. They could be in a meeting, eating, or just not able to take a call. If I leave a text, they get the message and we don’t have to involve the added chit chat.
I honestly rarely texted until I got my iPhone. Now I have taken up this silent addiction. Silent, that is except when I get notified of a new text, which sometimes can be every minute.
I will have to say that I have gotten better at the process of texting but still find the tiny keys on the touchscreen to be near impossible to select. My phone has auto correct and it tries to help me with my thought process. Many times it tries to think for me, picking words that have no meaning in my sentence or any sentence I could ever conjure up.
I text with my thumbs and some of the keys that are located near the delete button can cause difficulty for me. I keep aiming for the letter, yet deleting more and more of my message.
Maybe it is the newspaper side of me, but I can’t send fragmented texts or words shortened to look like code. I have to make complete sentences and use punctuation where necessary. In my mind if it is worth sending it is worth sending right. Besides, I don’t know all of the shortcuts and abbreviations.
I will say there must be a lot of laughter in the world. Many people usually include somewhere in a text the letters lol. I learned that this stands for laughing out loud. Now let me tell you, if all the people in the world who are texting and puting lol were actually laughing out loud, the earth would rumble.
There is also the abbreviation of roflol. That stands for rolling on the floor laughing out loud. I can’t imagine I have ever sent anything that funny in a text message, nor have I witnessed someone chatting on their cell phone while flailing hysterically in the floor. Somehow I am starting to think that text messages can only be taken as a grain of salt.
There are also symbols for various faces to relay certain messages. The punctuation of 🙂 stands for a smiley face. Of course it is pictured sideways, but that is pretty much how I have to contort myself to text sometimes anyway.
As I mentioned earlier, my Facebook can be accessed by my cell phone. Anytime I receive a notice, my phone alerts me with a chime noise. Last week was my birthday and many people sent me messages on Facebook, over 200 to be exact. I quit counting at that point. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed and appreciated each message sent. Between the happy birthday texts and the Facebook alerts, my office sounded like I was playing some sort of handbell tune.
The iPhone does have a feature called Siri. This is a female voice that can interact by taking requests to look up things, log appointments in a calendar, remind you of them, perform shortcuts to features while driving and more. All you have to do is hold down on the large button on the front screen and Siri will ask what she can do for you.
At first she couldn’t understand my accent. Let’s just say I had a few words with Siri. Now she is doing much better. In fact, the other day I asked her a question. “I don’t know the answer to that Keith,” she said. “Would you like for me to look it up?” I replied “Yes.” Then Siri said “I thought so.”
Could it be she is now reading my mind as well? If she thought so, then why didn’t she go ahead and do it in the first place. Let’s just say that I am going to keep an eye on my phone for awhile. I just thought it was taking over my life before but now I think it is trying to take over my mind.
In fact, Siri probably knows I am writing this column. I better go now. She might get upset. Oops, my phone is ringing.