Dumb Smart Phone


Believe it or not I only recently obtained a smart phone. My only justification for not getting one sooner is that my PDA was still working. That’s a “Personal Digital Assistant” for those of you who don’t remember back that long ago. Now we’ve heard of texting and driving being a problem and the teens can no longer legally do that. We’ve also heard of distracted driving. Well the smart phone definitely causes that. This article is a bit more personal than most but I think my experiences with technology are as per tenant as the next guys.

I’ve always tried to not talk while driving. I’ve had a couple of close calls while driving and phoning with a regular cell phone and I’ve had difficulty in stopping that behavior. I attribute this to my using wireless phones before there were cell phones. Perhaps this is why teens may have difficulty in stopping their texting wile driving. They have been using, some from a young age, before they were driving and have become habituated to responding to the tone that indicates a text message has arrived.
I began to look at my text messages while driving (not responding) but I found this also too distracting and have ceased doing that. I don’t think adults are any better at texting and driving than kids.

Now my main purpose in writing this is not about texting. It is about using a smart phone. Just using it for phone calls can be challenging. And heaven forbid should you need to call a family member in an emergency. That can be an exercise in futility, especially with a new phone.

As with any new technology it is created in such a way that it’s use is “obvious.” There are no manuals except for FCC notifications, advertisements from the company you bought it from and maybe how to put the battery in. I didn’t even know how to answer my first phone call on the darned thing.

Answering calls and starting apps on the thing was quickly learned. The main trouble was calling numbers in my address book. It seemed to take half a dozen searches and clicks to get the phone to dial. In my fustration the phone almost became a dangerous projectile! I looked for an app to call a number with just one touch to no avail. Finally, I found out that I could simply create a link on the phone to call the number without picking from all the different options for making a call.

So, what does this have to do with distracted driving? Well new-bee (noob) users will, like me, look like they are texting and be just as distracted if they are trying to use their phone (not texting) while they are driving. The take-home from this is don’t try to use your phone in the car especially if it is new to you. Texting is not the only problem with smart phones while driving. It is all the other things the phones can do that just seems plain dumb when you only want to make a call. Stop distracted driving!

Questions? Ask at info@affinityCM.com or IM me at kurtrr on skype. Your question may be in an upcoming blog/column.


Image: scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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