On a whim, Mom called Bell South to order a new phone book.
(She didn’t receive a new one last year and had called twice about it and each time was told they would get one out to her, but didn’t.)
As she talked with the Bell South rep, she felt at ease. The rep was nice and accommodating. Mom felt comfortable with her.
The rep pulled up Mom’s account and inquired about cellphone usage. Mom shared that she had one, but with a different carrier. When asked for details, Mom provided. The rep assured her she could offer her a better plan for less money and a new phone with bells and whistles.
Mom confided her age to the rep and expressed concern about a phone with more than just numbers to punch. The rep assured her there was nothing to worry about and that she would select a phone that would be just right for her.
It would be a “smartphone” but one she could see and learn to operate without any problem.
I learned all of this when I arrived at her house for my daily dose of Dr. Phil and cup of coffee.
It was amusing to listen to her and I wished I’d been there to hear the conversation.
She had taken notes…had written EVERYTHING down, as is her custom.
I asked what type phone she would receive. She didn’t know…just knew it would be smart and that it would arrive within 7 days.
It arrived within 3. I was not there when it arrived, but learned of its arrival soon thereafter when she called to say it had come…she had opened it…it was red and red was a good color for her.
A phone in her favorite color – and a smart one to boot.
I asked what type phone it was and she didn’t know. All she knew was the color, that it was “smart”, and that it had a keypad, but she didn’t know where that was or what it was. The instructions that came with it were too small for her to read, but she did make out the word “keypad.”
When I suggested she plug it in and let it charge, she balked. Then, I remembered my own confusion upon receiving a new phone and attempting to figure out how to do even the most simple of tasks with it…like plugging it in.
Her excitement was infectious and I found myself eager to check out the phone and get it up and running for her. And, her up and running with it.
The next day found me tinkering with her phone, reading the instructions (and yes, eventually following them). Once it was set up and connected, I placed her favorite phone numbers and information into the phone and handed it to her.
At first, she was shy…afraid she would break it.
I assured her that was not going to happen, and if she managed to change a setting, I could go back in and fix it (and if I couldn’t Hubby could).
She fiddled with it a bit and I showed her how to place a call and receive one. She assured me that was all she wanted to know about the phone, so we settled back to watch Dr. Phil.
A few days later, I found myself at Mom’s house for several hours and had taken my new laptop with me (I don’t have internet access at Mom’s but I can work offline. My old laptop wasn’t mobile. It has…issues…can’t close the lid or use it without the power cord attached or move the power cord….).
As I sat watching the Atlanta Braves attempt to play ball, I sat beside Mom with my laptop on my knees.
Mom watched me for a few minutes and then got up and walked out of the room.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“To get my new phone,” she said.
For over an hour she sat and fiddled with her new red smartphone, punching buttons, swiping the screen, placing calls, attempting texts. I was so proud of her!
And, then I heard her phone beep. She jumped as if she had been shocked. Then she said, “It says I received a text message and wants to know if I want to read it…do I?”
I assured her she did and to just press the “ok” button on the touch screen. She did.
Then she said, “It says I just purchased something called a tome for $2.99. How did I do that? And, what did I just buy?”
I had no idea how she would manage to purchase a large book (tome) with her smartphone. I asked what she had done just prior to receiving the text.
She said, “I punched the button with the music thing on it.”
Ah…. Perhaps it said “tone” and not tome. That made more sense to me.
With her phone in hand, I looked for her new purchase, but didn’t find any indication of it apart from the text. And, I looked to see what else she might have purchased.
When I told her that she had apparently purchased a new ring tone for $2.99, she said, “I can purchase things with that smart phone? How can I do that? I don’t want to purchase anything!”
I told her she purchased it by going online.
“I went ONLINE? With that smart phone? I can go ONLINE?? I don’t want to go online, not if it’s going to cost me. I don’t have any reason to go online, do I?” was her response.
After showing her how to avoid going online in the future, I showed her how to take pictures. She took several and then moved on to exploring other functions of the phone.
As she played with the phone, she apparently clicked the camera button again and saw a live image come up on her phone.
“I see a foot on my phone. Who’s foot is that?” she asked.
I looked over to see her looking intently at her phone. It was her own foot she was seeing and I told her so.
“Oh,” she said as she wiggled her toes. “Can I take a picture of it?”
“Yes,” I said, and reminded her how.
I also showed her how to take short videos with her smartphone and told her to say or do something.
I recorded her and played it back – several times. She laughed until I thought she would cry. I laughed, too.
It was funny. It was entertaining. It was hilarious.
“So I can take videos with my new smart phone, huh? Hmm, do people know I’m doing it when I do?” she asked.
“No, they don’t know what you’re doing unless you tell them,” I offered.
She smiled. “Ok,” was all she said.
Look out world! If you see Mom with a red smartphone in her hands, run the other way!!