Elizabeth Willis Barrett
I put my headset in my ears and begin listening to The Hamlet by William Faulkner. He isn’t the most easily understood of writers, but his dialogue and mastery of the English language is thrilling, especially for an author wannabe. Then one of my daughters calls and I touch the switch near my ear and answer. When the call is finished, my book starts up again, right where it left off. I am in even greater awe of this marvelous invention than I am of Mr. Faulkner. And have been for a long time now. If that is all that my iPhone could do—answer calls and read books to me—I would gladly pay top dollar for it. But that is only the beginning of its vast capabilities.
I can use my iPhone as a flashlight, an alarm clock, a projector remote and a great entertainer of grandkids. It has taken the place of a heavy set of 4-in-1 scriptures, lesson manuals and the hymn book. On it I can check my blog, my Facebook page,my calendar (and Brad’s), the news and the weather. I can ask my phone nearly any question through Google and have the answer in seconds. If I have to wait in a waiting room, I can use my phone to play 4 Pics/1 Word or Boggle or text any friend or family member whose number is solidly planted on my phone’s memory without having to tax my own. On my phone, I can book a room or a flight and can even watch a movie while waiting for one. I can make notes, To Do lists, menus and, of course, phone calls. With my phone I can sign up for classes, pay bills, sing to my voice teacher’s accompaniment and find my way to a baby shower. And along with all of that, my phone takes pictures and videos, too. Isn’t that incredible? Has there ever been anything in all the eons of time that could do so much with such a negligible imprint of only 2 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches (case included)?
When I was a teenager back in the dark ages of technology barrenness, I could never in my most extreme imaginings have come up with an object as astounding as my iPhone. Maybe someone else imagined something so remarkable back then and wrote about it in a famous science fiction book, but if they did, I missed it. I think I was busy reading Gone With the Wind.
What will my Grandkids be in awe of in 50 years? What remarkable object will be commonplace to them? I can’t imagine.