About the Colony

How a smartphoneaphobe became a devoted convert

Let’s just file this column under the subject “eating crow.”

One of the last columns I penned before taking my one-month hiatus was on the subject of smartphones.

I railed against them as I defended the little flip-phone clinging to my belt. I made fun of those silly apps and, of course, texting, which I said should be called “thumbing” because of the inability to put your eight fingers on the “home row” and type normally.

But since that blistering attack on the smartphone and those who use (abuse?) them, I have come into possession of what has to be the work of the devil, and I absolutely love it.

Five weeks ago my wife Eileen passed away unexpectedly. She just didn’t wake up the morning after attending a baby shower for our granddaughter. As family members gathered around, I came across my wife’s smartphone. She purchased it several months earlier but never learned to use it. I couldn’t help her because I’d never had one.

But I did have a team of professionals around who could tutor me. My granddaughter taught me how to turn the phone on and text. My daughters taught me how to receive and return phone calls. My brother enhanced my early education in smartphones beyond what others had taught me. He even found a carrying case for the phone that wouldn’t fit comfortably in any of my pockets.

The rest of the story is a downhill slide into smartphonery where I carry the thing everywhere — upstairs, downstairs, out to get the mail; even in the wood shop hidden beneath a protective rag to keep the sawdust away.

True to my original diatribe, I have ignored any apps except those that came with the phone. I refuse to visit the “app store” if there is such a thing. I even tried to remove a number of the apps that were on the phone, with no success.

But the bottom line is this: I love my smartphone. I can be in instant contact with grandchildren, children, my brother and others. I checked my email and even answered it sitting on a bench in the workshop.

To the majority of you, this is nothing new.

To me, it is simply wonderful; except for the way I came to be a convert.

But, hey, crow isn’t too bad. It tastes like chicken.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.