The other day, I was looking for a specific store, and in an epiphany moment, I Googled it on my phone! I found the address! What a eureka moment! Gosh, I’m smart.
However, that is when my phone outsmarted me. It asked me if I would like directions. My phone did that. Without me pushing any buttons or sliding anything or taking out a map or asking a passerby, my phone knew where I was, and it told me how to get to my destination.
Wow! Since that moment, I have been wondering what else my phone can do that I don’t know about. I’m almost afraid to have it sleep in the same room with me.
I do know it can take pictures and put them in the pocket of someone 2,000 miles away. I know it can call anyone in the world for hardly any cost, and I know it can download songs. If I lay it on the piano and play a song, I can text it to someone! They can then listen to it. Really!
However, there is probably much more it can do, but I simply am not interested in learning. I think it is difficult to have an appliance that is smarter than I am. Maybe they should rename them “Smarter-than-You Phones.” Do they offer dumb phones, I wonder? Phones that can just call people and do nothing else?
I think Alexander Graham Bell invented one, but these young whippersnappers have outdone him.
Do you call something that does something like that an App? Or is it an Ap? Is that short for Application — short for Appliance — short for “App”roximately I am dumb? No one seems to know.
Well, when I stumbled upon the “app” and my phone informed me that it knew where I was and how I could get to where I wanted to go, it reminded me of a great motto a friend used to preach: “Even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then.” Until my friend told me that, I had not even known that pigs eat acorns, but he informed me that they do and that they snuffle in the ground for them.
Since then, whenever I find something accidentally, I smile and think, “Well, this is a blind-pig moment in my life. Kind of like the Christopher Robin moment I told you about, how you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
More and more, as “science” invents and discovers new things, like how my computer flies in the face of convention with the stuff it knows, we are all going to have blind pig moments.
It is human nature to resist change, but we are not going to have anything to say about it, I don’t think. Robots now work in factories and restaurants. Babies will soon be born with computer chips in their brain — I can almost prove that they are now. How else would they know, automatically, how to use and work all of these wizardly things on the market?
It’s like second nature to them. I think it’s very awkward to have children who are better informed than I am — to have children who know how to do things that I don’t know — I’m sure glad they weren’t that smart when they were young.
When they were young, I knew how to turn on the TV and sit with them for a while singing about how to get to Sesame Street. When Big Bird sang, “One of these things is not like the other,” I immediately recognized which thing was not like the others, while the children were still figuring it out.
Those were the days when I knew more than them. Now they lead me like a blind pig, seeking the acorns of knowledge tucked into modern technology.
I think that I’m going to die just in time — when knowledge exceeds my limitations — when my phone dings and I look at it and there is a text message: “Hey, Nancy. Let’s go. A big cloud will come pick you up in a few. Just wait for the text sound, scroll up, put on your wings and leap. Be sure to have downloaded the correct app or you might end up in Hades. Looking forward to seeing you, St. Pete.”
Nancy Carlson Dodd is a resident of Fort Wayne.