For those of you that missed it or saw it before and forgot it, I joined the 21st century in 2020 by giving up my flip phone and taking the plunge to purchase an iPhone. It was a move my daughter had been suggesting for years; she frequently worries about me and needs to know where I am when she can’t reach me by phone. Enter Find My Friends. Sometimes, in my line of work, it isn’t convenient to answer a text or call, as I might have a camera in my hands instead or I might be on the road for an assignment. So if she can’t reach me, now she can at least see where I am and that usually gives her some peace of mind.
And I will admit it’s a two-way street; when she has to be at work ultra-early (the occasional 4:30 or 5 a.m. shift) and has to drive through the winter fog, I can make sure she gets to where she needs to go.
Now, granted, I am less than a year in to this whole iPhone experience but I am discovering it is quite useful and I enjoy the vast majority of technology that is now in my hands. Not that I have even scratched the surface of what it can do but it’s already been way more useful than my dependable though horribly outdated flip phone.
People still make fun of that phone but it holds a special place in my heart. It literally was a $15 or so ‘go phone’ purchase that served me well for many years. I still keep it in my left front pants pocket so when I have to call someone whose number I haven’t plugged in to the new phone yet, I can access the old ‘contacts’ list. Plus there are some pictures on it that I like to look at from time to time, a couple of very short videos and more. Of course, the screen is literally the size of a postage stamp and it helps if I have a magnifying glass handy but, hey, it works.
Back to the iPhone. It has now opened up what could be considered a new fascination for me. No, I am not hooked on Candy Crush nor am I tuning in to movies in the palm of my hand. But, with the gift of a new Fitbit this past Christmas and the ability to ‘sync’ that up with my phone, well, now I can keep track of my steps, my calories burned, my ‘zone minutes’ in motion, my heart rate … the list goes on.
Of course, if I don’t make my 12,000 steps/5 miles a day – it takes me more steps to get to 5 miles because my legs are so short, most people do it in 10,000 – I have to take the dog for a quick evening walk around the block to make sure my Fitbit is happy with me.
Also, this Fitbit is one I keep on at night so it charts my sleep. It always seemed to me that it took me forever to fall asleep once I got into bed. My evening ritual includes reading for a half hour or so before turning out the lights, giving my brain a chance to calm down and focus on something other than the events of the day. Reading for pleasure is a definite part of my daily routine and, apparently, it helps relax me. According to my sleep stats, I fall into a ‘deep’ sleep almost immediately after I close the book. It’s not a level I stay at very long but it seems to be the first one I hit. Most of my night is spent in ‘light’ sleep while my ‘REM’ is spread out, often with a brief period just before I wake up. And my ‘Awake’ time is sporadic, associated at times with the dog needing to go out and make sure the backyard is still safe from predators.
Plus the iPhone itself comes in very handy to check the weather, the CHP traffic incident page when I hear sirens, plus I can – who would have thought?! – keep track of what my San Jose Sharks (or the San Francisco Giants or 49ers, depending on the season) are doing when I am not near a radio or TV.
Love that technology.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.