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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An Ode To Smart Phones.

I watched the recent viral YouTube video, 'Look Up' by Gary Turk, looking down at my iPhone, after someone had shared it on Facebook. I understand the sentiment*, but I also call bullshit (especially with the idea that the only reason he met his future wife was because he wasn't holding his phone). With my phone in my hand and my tongue in my cheek, I wrote this response.

An Ode To Smart Phones.

I have never felt that the Art of Conversation
Has been lost because we’re in the Age of Information.
In my life, I’ve never felt social media close a door,
In fact, I’ve only ever felt it open more.

To people whom I had forgotten from my past,
To long-lost friends and colleagues, whom I can now find fast,
Fleeting meetings on the street become new friends known,
Just because I added them on Facebook on my phone.

I'm not a robot. I'm a human with a brain.
The things my imagination can think of are insane.
I’m really smart. In other news, my phone is smart too.
It gives me the answer when I haven’t got a clue.

I don’t think I’d be smarter if I didn’t have a phone.
I’d just be left wondering “What year was Home Alone?”
“Who is Antigone?” “Where is Azerbaijan?”**
But I type it into Google, and learn as fast I can.

Absolutely nothing beats face-to-face interaction,
But smart phones serve as more than a distraction.
It increases the way I can reach out by infinity
When no other human is in possible vicinity.

It can be a lifeline when I am in danger,
Of scary people who put the ‘strange’ in ‘stranger’.
Because, though I’ve turned strangers into friends more than once,
Some unknown people are great... But some of them are c***s!

I use my phone often, and I’m fine that way.
It doesn’t change the beauty I see in the world each day.
With or without it, I think, I sense, I feel.
But here’s a few reasons why I like that piece of steel:

An Only Slightly Fictional Story, With Many, Many Accuracies.

Today I was worried I would sleep in ‘til eleven.
Because try as I might, I hardly ever wake at seven.
But I used my phone’s alarm clock, and was up and at’em by eight.
Thank God for my phone, it stopped me being late!

Was up nice and early so I could be looking chic,
For a job interview I found through the app of Seek.
It sounds like the perfect job, and I might never have known,
If it hadn’t come up when I was browsing on my phone.

I really better not miss the tram, they’ll think that I’m a slacker,
Lucky I can check the time on my TramTracker.
‘Tram is cancelled’ is the message that the app has shown.
Luckily I’ve still got time to drive – thank God I checked my phone!

Jump into my car, but I just don’t know the way.
That’s alright, Apple Maps is here to save the day.
Cheers Siri, direct me there, all is going to be fine.
I’m glad my phone has GPS to get me there on time.

Interview went really well, but could have been a mess,
When he asked me to explain how my skills would ‘effloresce’.
But I didn’t have to stare at him in a clueless way,
Because, I too, checked the Dictionary app’s word-of-the-day.

Once I’m back at home and my chores have all been chored,
I check Facebook on my phone, because I’m feeling bored.
Oh my God! A photo of my friend’s brand new son!
So grateful for my phone so I could see this little one.

Give my friend a call so I can say congratulations,
And then, it still blows my mind, that despite separate locations,
She presses just one button and I can see into her home
And see his precious little face through the magic of my phone.

We organise a catch up for when he’s settled more.
Put it in my calendar, next Thursday at four.
Ooh! Dentist that day too! Thank you little phone!
Made the appointment so long ago, I’d have forgotten on my own.

Time to pay some bills, but my lucky stars I thank,
That I don’t have to waste my time cueing at the bank.
Quick as a wink on the NetBank app, so I can have an arvo wine.
With the housemates I found on gumtree, in the house we found online.

Later at the Laundromat, I check my email.
Ooh! My favourite online store is having a huge sale!
While I wait for clothes to dry, I buy a new dress. Boom.
Once again, my phone saves me from a bloody dressing room.

Pop into a new cafe to get a quick flat white,
Never been here before, but UrbanSpoon says it’s alright.
Look! If I ‘check-in’, I get a free icecream cone!
“Pistachio and chocolate please – yep, did it on my phone!”

Phone is ringing, pick it up, it’s my old friend Stacey.
“Hey! I’m right nearby! I saw your check-in on Facey!”
We decide to have a coffee when she pops in to say hi.
So glad I had my phone to let me know she was nearby!

Home now, getting ready for my big first date
Met this dude on Tinder, and he seems really great.
Through the Messenger chats we’ve already had, he’s funny, smart, polite –
A damn sight better than half the dicks I meet on a Saturday night.

I wish I had my best friend here, she is a fashion queen.
Send her a few Snapchats – the red dress or the green?
“The red looks hot!” She says, and I smile at my mate.
I can see her smile back even though she's in another state.

I meet him at a great restaurant he found on the ‘net.
And within five minutes I can tell, he’s the best guy I’ve ever met.
We fall in love, and just like that, I’m no longer alone.
Thanks to the app that I downloaded on my phone.

We grow old together, a couple formed by swipe,
We talk to our kids - who travel the world – every night on Skype.
When memory fails, we look at old photos, snuggled up at home.
Re-live our fading memories together, captured on a phone...

Anyway, you get the drift. Technology is great.
The existence of smart phones is not the end of fate.
Look up, see the world, love your friends one and all,
If you need, use your phone to text them, see them, call.

I broaden my own horizons, always have, always will.
But I’m glad I’ve got technology to broaden them further still.
It’s time for me to go now, LG’s phoning home.
I really hope you liked this poem. I wrote it on my phone.

*No really, I understand the sentiment of Look Up. Some people are on their phones too often, using social media as their only form of communication. But most of those people were never good at making conversation in the first place.

**Azerbaijan borders Iran and Russia (thanks Google Maps), and only ever gets mentioned during Eurovision.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Unless you are against social media, in which case, get off your high horse and embrace the future. I mean, how inconvenient are people without email addresses??

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