Tahlequah Daily Press

Columns

August 14, 2013

Smartphones cool, except for the teensy-eensy keypads

NEW YORK — I finally succumbed to pressure that was coming from every nook and cranny imaginable, and bought myself an iPhone.

Some of you might inhale your breath sharply in shock, wondering why I hadn’t taken the plunge earlier. Those who know me best will have a good chuckle. They know I live in one of the few areas in Cherokee County that simply cannot, and will not, get a cell signal. And that’s why I’ve resisted the urge to spend money on a smartphone. When I explain this to “the AT&T people” – that ubiquitous class of folks working for the mammoth corporation – some respond with, “Oh, I doubt that; we’re everywhere!” I counter sagely with, “Look it up on your online map.” They do, and what follows is usually a pregnant pause, and a mumbled comment of something like, “Well, I’ll be darned...”

It’s not that I’m unfamiliar with cell phones. My husband has had an Androidish contraption of some sort for several years; the nature of his job may put him anywhere on the NSU campus at any time, and he needs to be accessible.

We got my son his first cell phone in ninth grade, when he began marching with the Tahlequah High School Orange Express under the auspices of Harvey Price (another seemingly ubiquitous character). We reasoned Cole needed a way to call us to come pick him up from practice, contests, ballgames or other events, since he was too young to drive.

Unfortunately, he never bothered to drive until just before he started college at OU, so the calls for pickup continued through THS graduation. He’s had about as many phones as the Orange Express has percussionists during any given marching season. These landed in water, disappeared under the wheels of vehicles, fell apart and simply gave up the ghost for various-and-sundry reasons. I think one was hurled onto the roof of the THS bandroom by some miscreant. His current Android has a cracked screen, which I understand is in vogue.

Until recently, I’ve never thought I needed a cell of my own. Ninety-five percent of the time, I’m either at work or at home, and believe it or not, most of the rest of the time, I’m with my husband – on vacation, swimming in Muskogee, shopping at Reasor’s, or en route to these or other locations.

Those who might need to get in touch knew they could call my husband’s cell. I also did my share of Google searches, texting, calling and other tasks associated with a smartphone, though it always sent my blood pressure through the roof. For one thing, I often can’t hear the person on the other end. My dad keeps assuring me, “You’re going deaf, just like me.” I don’t think that’s it, because I can “hear” on land lines or in person – at least, for now. I think it’s because I get rattled when the phone “jumps towers” during transit, or when the signal is weak.

That’s not the main problem, though, but I can see how it may have driven the younger set to texting rather than talking. The real stick-in-the-craw annoyance about cell phones is those itty-bitty screens and teeny-weeny buttons. I hated my husband’s former Blackberry so much I harbored a secret desire to flush it down a toilet, or better yet, drop it down a portapotty. Only the cost of a replacement staved my hand. His current communication device is a supposedly “rugged” Samsung, but I beg to differ. My son’s phone, which is identical, is the one with the aforementioned cracked screen. Nothing can escape the destructive force of the Cole Man.

But the touch screens on the Samsung are easier to deal with than the Blackberry keys, which are about the size of the average pimple on a teenager’s face. The coolest feature is the predictive text tool. Tap a few keys, and the phone will offer some options, so you rarely have to incur the frustration of typing every character.

Why did I venture into the world of minuscule mobiles? Because the Press is entering the social media fray in a big way, and no self-respecting journalist these days can do without a handheld device. It’s true we’ve been aggressive in Facebook (insert plug: facebook.com/tdpress), but that can be done – is best done – on a desktop computer. Twitter (another plug: @Tahle quahTDP), Instagram and others are designed with smartphones in mind, and anyone who has used either application on both platforms can attest the “phone” version is far more user-friendly.

At first, I was eyeing one of those “Note” phones, because it’s bigger and presumably offers easier use for aging and arthritic fingers. But my husband had other ideas. He quickly became convinced I needed an iPhone, mainly because he has an iPad, and he wants them to “interface.” I admit the idea of Bluetoothing between the two devices is appealing, because the iPad at least has a reasonably-sized keypad.

So long and the short of it is, after heavy pressure from my husband, and encouragement from my boss and a couple of other co-workers who own and love iPhones, I got one

 I also snagged a half-price purple-and-white case that pretty much guarantees neither my husband nor son will be caught dead in public with it. Right before I took the plunge, Pam Moore dropped by the office with a stylus she’d bought for me as some sort of stress therapy for herself, so now, the diminutive keypad isn’t such a problem.

The past week or so, I’ve been working my way through the settings, tweeting and taking some admittedly poor-quality photos, texting and Facebooking, and doing all the things the kids do with their smartphones, only a little slower. And if you were around me, you might hear me utter the occasional colorful word under my breath. If you see any misspelled words on my posts on Facebook or Twitter, they can be blamed on that itty-bitty, eensy-weensy keyboard.

Kim Poindexter is managing editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • A twist on words can get you into trouble

    The misuse or mispronunciation of words can be forgiven in children, but in adults, it’s water-cooler cannon fodder.

    July 28, 2014

  • Keeping the interest of boys is just a matter of ‘gross’

    A couple of my friends complained to me recently that they didn’t know how to “connect” with their teenage sons, and that they are growing apart from the sweet little boys to whom they once read bedtime stories.

    July 14, 2014

  • ‘Different’ situations aren’t so very different, after all

    “Well, that’s different!” It’s the favorite phrase of the hypocrite, when confronted with his glaring flaw.

    July 7, 2014

  • Threats on social media or elsewhere won’t change any minds

    I try not to take political positions on my private Facebook timeline. I used to sometimes, in what I considered a polite way, but that offended friends left and right – literally. And sometimes I watched in horror as a thread degenerated into name-calling between people I respect, but who happen to be polar opposites on the political spectrum.

    June 30, 2014

  • Striking the hyphen, and other journalistic maneuvering

    A couple of years ago, my office phone rang. With no greeting or fanfare, the caller indignantly said, “Did you know they’ve taken the hyphen out of ‘fundraiser’?”

    June 23, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg IRS spins email yarn as Obama slips past another scandal

    Forget everything you've heard about email. All digital trace of a former IRS official's email over the 25 months the agency harassed conservative groups has mysteriously, improbably vanished. Gone, too, is the White House's accountability as President Obama slips from another scandal.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Front-load washers are harbingers of foul-smelling fabric

    May 27, 2014

  • Beetles in the office aren’t up on blocks

    We have more dead beetles here at the Daily Press office than you can shake a can of Raid at.

    May 12, 2014

  • NOLA always worth your time, especially for Jazz Fest

    When it comes to New Orleans, you can have a “glass half-full” or a “glass half-empty” attitude.
    Either you see anniversary celebrants enjoying a romantic dinner at the Court of Two Sisters, or the aging transvestite hawking her wares on Bourbon Street. You hear the joyous sounds of Zydeco music from the band on the corner, or the lewd cursing of the drunken frat boy at Pat O’Brien’s. You smell the enticing aroma of Cajun cuisine in the French Quarter, or the fresh puddle of vomit on the sidewalk.
    I’m a cynic, but I take the “glass half-full” approach to New Orleans. My family loves the city’s character, even with all the blemishes that repel respectable folks, and we especially love the Jazz and Heritage Festival. That’s where we were last weekend. The main action is out at the fairgrounds, with its sweltering temperatures, stick-tight-laden grass, and sea of sweaty bodies packed in around a dozen stages and 60 or so booths selling local food and crafts.

    May 5, 2014

  • Selling of lies in the dreaded car game

    Recently, my husband and I did something that is discussed in the same tone of disdain reserved for Communists, salesmen, politicians, lawyers, and sometimes, journalists. We bought ourselves a “furrin” car.
    We decided on a foreign contraption because my husband now commutes to Tulsa every day, and a quick calculation revealed the horror our three-quarter-ton diesel Chevy would visit upon our bank account. That vehicle gets a comparatively impressive 18 mpg, but doing the math on the current price of diesel and a 150-mile daily round trip is enough to send anyone to the nearest toilet to hurl up the previous meal.

    April 21, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Stocks