Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
Does anyone else feel like they’re part of a giant psych experiment by
the smart phone people. Here’s an actual dialogue between me and
the auto-dial- voice: Me: Call Wendy Home. Phone: I don’t have a
number for Wendy Home. Do you want me to call Wendy Home or
Wendy Cell? M: Wendy Home! P: I don’t have a number for Wendy
Home. Should I use the number for Wendy Home? I have been so
tempted to hurl my phone through the windshield of my car more
often than I can count that I have feared breaking a tooth!!! Did I get
issued a dumb “smart phone” or do other people have this problem?
And please note that when I say dumb that is the politest word I can
Bleep Bleep Bleep
Dear Bleep Bleep Bleep:
Your lament is articulate and widespread. In a time when we rely on
our electronic for more and more, we often forget that artificial
intelligence is as yet a goal, not a reality. I do find myself experiencing
cognitive dissonance when I pick up my land line (I am among the
dying breed) and realize I cannot give it voice command, or that it
won’t give me directions or movie times. But I am also among those
who believe that actual voice-to- voice communication, or hand-written
thank you notes, convey a level of personal value that a text cannot.
We may be old-timers, but at least our generation can still role model
for the young.
As for the techno-fix, you will have to consult your phone company
and/or cell phone manufacturer. In this age of electronic snooping and
data mining, you may very well be part of an elaborate experiment,
but if so you are unlikely to discover it by asking. Be grateful for what
your smart phone can do, and hope you live long enough that its
successors live up to your expectations.