A smartphone can make calls, too?

Texting and photos take center stage

Harriet Cuthbert

You mean you can also make phone calls with a smartphone? Unbelievable! I thought it only did texting, took pictures, accessed the internet, opened Facebook, helped us find our way around and tracked our every move and every purchase.

This is the age of instant electronic communication, so phone calls just are not fast enough. They cannot compete with texts — so easy, so impersonal.

I have become addicted to the fine art of texting and messaging. It takes a real talent to be able to express yourself in a concise, two-line thought when sending a text.

In the old days of emailing, we could just ramble on and on and on, probably boring the reader as well as ourselves. And now, we actually have to think about how to send that same thought in a very limited number of lines. I had trouble in the beginning, but now I am a pro. I can write my life story in two quick lines.

And then there is the smartphone camera — making it so easy to just snap a picture or three and save them for future messaging. More than that, the photo quality is amazing.

I recently upgraded my phone, for the sole purpose of having more gigabytes (space for the non-nerds), so I can take even more photos and videos. The sales guys at a well-known major electronics store in town practically embarrassed me into making the change. I did not want to hurt their feelings, so I gave in. And now, another addiction — more and more useless photos. After all, they are free!

Another new feature on my very smart phone is the alert, i.e., whenever I get a text, a loud sound lets me know that someone is texting me. And, heaven forbid, when that same person sends three texts in a row, I get three loud and clear alerts, just making sure I am alert to receive them.

I confess that that piercing sound really scared me at first. I was not used to something like that, but now I am almost ready to say it is comforting. At least, I have stopped jumping up in a panic when I hear it.

Voicemail took a while to learn, but really, does anyone even call me? Did somebody say my amazing gadget is also a phone?

Talk to you soon.