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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Stories of smartphone success

Published: October 28, 2011
Section: Opinions

The day I got my Android Incredible smartphone, my mother got one too. For two weeks we sat, fiddling with our new toys, engrossed in their speed, intelligence and sexiness. Nearly a year later, we are still discovering new tricks our phones can perform and update each other regularly with the latest applications we’ve found.

Owning a smartphone has allowed me to text at lightning speed, play Words With Friends whenever boredom strikes and surreptitiously check Facebook, even when I’m in class. This incredible Incredible is working 24/7 to make sure I am up to speed and in the loop on everything possible. I get buzzes when receiving an e-mail, chimes when receiving a text message and I jam to my favorite song when anybody calls.

My smartphone is so good at solving my every need, I affectionately call it the dumbphone. If I want to play Angry Birds instead of doing homework, the smartphone says “Sure!” Should I choose to play Mad Libs instead of reading The New York Times, my phone is right behind me. Is a gentleman with a bro-stache invited to this party? Thanks to GEICO’s Android and Apple bro-stache app, I can goof around with my own stache, even if I’m not a bro.

The best thing about the smartphone is its accessibility to all generations. While I consider myself adequately Droid-savvy, my grandmother is leaps and bounds ahead of me in all things technology. Instead of making chicken noodle soup, my Yiddish bubbe schools me in Words With Friends. At my grandparents’ active adult community, there are text messages and e-mails whizzing from house to house, keeping seniors, who would otherwise be slowing down, up to date with technology and the lives of their families. My grandmother and I have shared a close relationship for years but we are perhaps even closer now that we can relate to each other as adults, through the quickly adapting technology of the smartphone.

While my parents and grandparents are as up to speed with technology as I am, the way they deliberately press each key on the touch screen of their phones will never cease to be adorable. The millennial generation was born into an age of tape cassettes and dial-up, and grew up in an age of iPods and MacBook Pros. We therefore hold an inherent advantage over most people aged 50 and older—the speed at which our thumbs are known to zoom across a phone screen.

I can only imagine what sleek new technology will be coming out when I’m a parent or a grandparent. Can phones get smarter? I like to think that growing up with the smartphone, I can take on any challenge quickly and, well, smartly. Will I have to fly a hovercraft in 20 years? A spaceship in 30? If my parents can make the leap from records to iPods and from typewriters to laptops, I know that my smartphone and I can take on anything.