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A vital part of a senior’s life

Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs

Gay News - San Diego

We, the conquerors of the typewriter and mimeograph machine; we, who can type, take shorthand and fearlessly faced Dictaphone transcription; we, keepers of books with nothing but a pencil and eraser, now find our skills redundant.

Adding to the humiliation is the recent triumph of our humble servant the telephone. Once so easy to use, the phone has now become a labyrinthine puzzle. Its operation has defeated some of my most accomplished friends; all due to the dreaded apps. Younger people decipher their encrypted instructions with effortless speed and seem incapable of living without them.

We, however, are confused. Phones no longer have buttons (much less a proper dial) and often are not called phones. We are faced with flat screens full of apps. Not to get too technical, apps (applications) are those little picture thingies which you touch. If you are lucky and hit the right one, it becomes a flat, but workable phone; or (here’s the confusion) suddenly, out of nowhere, you are faced with a keyboard, dictionary, atlas or cookbook; it plays music, takes your picture, finds your dog, brings your email, and if you hit “vibrate”, you might get a secret thrill. What hath God wrought?

All of these wonders, if you want them, depend on hitting the picture, letter, number or arrow just right. If you don’t, you get nothing or the wrong miracle. With older, fatter and not so nimble fingers, this causes endless mistakes and great hilarity and head-shaking amongst the grandchildren.

Some seniors are fully adept with these marvels, but for those of us who aren’t should we continue paying the monthly phone charges when we never use these arcane innovations? Yes, because with or without apps the phone is still a vital part of a senior’s life; for calling 911; exchanging calls at least once a day with someone to make sure we are OK; and keeping in touch with old friends and in general being in/of the world.

The phone. It unites friends and family, at least for a few happy minutes. But for many, the rest of the day bodes dreary as did this past Thanksgiving for me. Plans were cancelled and I was faced with spending the day with myself. Fascinating as that might be, I was disheartened. Then I remembered my own advice: Don’t wait for the phone to ring, do it yourself. So I called a friend who called a friend who called a friend, etc. We soon completed a group of six for a very enjoyable Thanksgiving.

So if you have the blues, pick up the phone and dial, I mean push, I mean touch the correct numbers. Things are tight for many just now, so you can say, “If you’re free, let’s go Dutch, and have a nice meal together and do you know anyone else who’s free?” Keep calling. You’ll be surprised how many are alone waiting for the phone to ring. In a short time you’ll have a party.



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Feb 23, 2012. Filed under Bill's Briefs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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