Louise Pollock Gruenebaum - All hands on apps

09/20/2013 12:00 AM

09/19/2013 1:40 PM

There’s been a seismic shift from computers and laptops to smart devices, as we’re told they have apps to answer every need imaginable.

It’s the precursor to robots doing everything for you at the touch of your finger. Back in my day, an “app” was the applique you sewed over a rip in your jeans. Or it might have meant those new appliances my parents marveled at: microwave ovens, transistor radios and Teflon pots and pans. Those were the days.

Today there’s an app in your smarty pants phone or iPad to manage every detail of your daily life — apps for cooking, photos, banking, shopping, writing, tracking stocks and playing. I can’t understand how people do it all on those teeny-tiny phone screens. I admit I still enjoy looking at my big screen desktop so I don’t have to search for glasses.

I flipped when my daughter told me there’s even an app for checking out the opposite sex, complete with photos and descriptions. It’s made just for women, so they can check out each other’s former boyfriends and acquaintances. “You won’t believe this app. Its designed for girls my age to check out the best and worst characteristics of guys,” my daughter says. “But Mom, you don’t understand — guys can’t check themselves out. The app only is for girls’ phones.”

I know my iPhone is a mini-computer and all, but how does it know know of I’m a girl or a guy?

“Oh, Mom, you can only download it from your Facebook page,” she laughs.

Huh? That’s ridiculous. Then my daughter, whose phone is attached to her hand, reminds me that I’m too old for Facebook, and its so silly for parents to troll through old people’s photos and spy on their adult children’s photos of drinking, partying and posturing. Then she says that’s not really what those adult children are doing anymore. That was college. Now they’re busy with grad school, careers and planning their futures. Like she’s doing.

And then I woke one morning to the smell of fresh brewed coffee plus the urgent email message from my phone carrier warning me that youngest daughter had reached her max of 4G-data. Egad! I’m in an electronic nightmare of apps being downloaded and overused all around me.

I can’t escape. When I grab my phone to show my friends a photo collage of fabulous wines or titles of great books, my daughter chimes in that there’s an app to alphabetize, analyze, and organize them all.

I guess I’ll have to be more app savvy nowadays so I don’t miss a thing.

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