From Where I Sit – App Happy

In December, Roy and I got iPhone 4s. Even with the three-year TELUS contract, we had to pony up nearly $160 for each of the phones. Then we needed to add call display to the bundle of features. Next, we selected a car charger and protective cases to safeguard our fancy-schmancy bit of technology. Roy opted for the heavy-duty case because he’s harder on things than I am.

Fast-forward a few months. The gadget’s a real workhorse, and I love the ease with which everything works. I can text, check my email accounts, take photos, and make notes. Maybe someday I’ll ditch my paper calendar for the one in the phone.

Previously, I had never learned how to enter contacts into my old LG flip phone. I used it simply and exclusively for making absolutely necessary calls. I was quite smug in my ?pure? use of the phone for, well, phoning. I was scornful of and concerned about those who seemed to have their phones surgically attached to their bodies. Or those who disregarded the living, breathing person in front of them to text someone miles away. Or those who were so engrossed in their devices that they became hazards on the sidewalk and the road. Or those who were engaging in time theft at their workplaces.

Now I understand. I get it. I have felt the pull. I’ve spent way too much time playing Words with Friends, a kind of Scrabble knock-off. Around Christmas, I was playing with my kids, some of their friends, and even a stranger. I was shellacking some people and being pummelled by others. I was cursing six vowels out of seven letters or game boards with no vowels at all. I saw the error of my ways. Now I have only two games on the go, and sometimes that seems like too much.

Still, by far the best part of the phone is the fun I have with it. I’ve used real restraint in downloading apps. Even when the price is right (free), I’m afraid of losing all sense of productivity. The spirit level app is merely a conversation piece. The dictionary app is handy, although I haven’t used it yet.

Lose It is an impressive weight loss tool that tracks food intake (restaurant and brand name foods too), exercise, and progress to one’s happily-ever-after goal. The simple act of recording every morsel has a deterrent effect itself. But I also know from personal experience that it is possible to not open the app for days at a time. Maybe they could make it open automatically as a guilt-inducing reminder?

Lately, I’ve been playing Miss Spell as a fun, frantic way to check up on my spelling. Even crazier?and hard on the nerves?is Diner Dash. Just try seating the guests, handing out menus, taking orders, delivering food, collecting checks, and cleaning tables with the incessant music playing! Maybe if I’d had some real-world experience, I wouldn’t suck. It even shows the diners getting mad.

I’ve gotta go. I’ve got words to spell and tables to bus, from where I sit.