Last week, at the height of iPhone 5 mania, I got an iPhone 4s. It wasn’t that I was being a savvy shopper—or a cheap bastard, depending upon your perspective—but rather, I was given this phone at work when they replaced all of our Blackberries.
I’ve had my phone for five days now and I’m still not quite
sure how to operate it. Basic things are going wrong. I must have done
something early on to turn off the ringer and now I don’t know how to turn it
back on. I read the instruction manual cover to cover, but the instruction manual
seems to have been written for someone who already has a working knowledge of
cellphones. That would not be me.
About a year-and-a-half ago, when I first got my Blackberry,
I had similar problems. No clue how to use the thing. A few days after I got
that phone I had it in my pants pocket and bent over to pick something up. This
motion apparently triggered something on the phone, because I heard a beep
followed by a soothing woman’s voice saying, “You may now leave your voicemail
greeting.” I quickly took the phone out of my pocket and left my voicemail
greeting. I was thankful for this stroke of luck because I had been trying to
figure out how to do that since I had gotten the phone.
I have been trying to use this same technique to turn the
ringer back on my iPhone 4s. I keep on putting the phone in my pocket, bending
in unusual ways, and then calling myself from my landline to see if I
reactivated the ringer. So far no luck, but at least the constant bending is
making me more limber than usual.
I’m not quite sure what makes me so cellphone-challenged. I
was talking to a friend of mine who is similarly challenged and he attributed
it to our age. I don’t really buy that argument. At 43, there are plenty of
people my age and older who handle a cellphone as efficiently and effectively
as Eddie Van Halen handles a guitar. No, I think my ineptitude in this realm
must come from something else.
Stupidity perhaps? Perhaps. But I’ve seen those people
swerving in and out of lanes on the freeway while using one hand to text and
the other to slug back their Starbucks Iced Mocha Strawberry Latte Orange
Frappuccino, and I think to myself, “I’ve got to be smarter than that yutz.”
What then? The only thing I can think of is that I have some
sort of genetic mutation. I know it would be odd for there to be a gene
specific to cellphone usage, but the human genome is a mysterious thing. Some
scientists have said that there is lots of “junk DNA” that doesn’t seem to have
a specific use. Other scientists have said that there is no “junk DNA,” just
DNA that we haven’t figured out what they do yet. So I’m urging geneticists to
look into the possibility of a cellphone usage gene. Perhaps if they discover
the gene they would be able to develop a technique to activate it for people
like myself. That would probably be a lot faster than me figuring out how to
activate my ringer.