“Simon,” the original smartphone, is now a museum piece.

I officially joined the modern world when I got my first smartphone. It was an LG3 or something as I recall. After a few minutes of pushing on the screen and watching the magic appear to get me completely hooked. It’s truly addicting. On purpose, I am told. Even though I’m aware of the amount of time and energy I expend staring at the screen, I continue get my “fix” multiple times a day on this phone. ( The original “smartphone” is credited to IBM in 1992, named Simon.)

I fear leaving home without it. What if I break down? How would I call anyone for help? I suppose I could use on of a million other cellphones that are with in half a mile of me and my broke-down truck. I mean everyone has one right? Well, almost everyone. There might still be four or five people in the state they don’t have one, but certainly no more than that. But the fear of having to ask someone to use their phone drives my constant efforts, to make sure my phone is with me when ever I leave home. Terribly troubling to me at times.

I use my phone for information that was formerly unavailable to me without going to the library. I ask it who is still alive sometimes when a name comes up in conversation and someone wonders out loud, “Didn’t he die last month?”

I use this amazing technology for the silliest of things sometimes. Puzzle answers when Im stumped. I use my phone to sing into and record tunes I’m making up when Im driving. Or if I want to compose some lyrics that will surely be my next hit song, and I better save them now or they will be gone forever.

I use my smarter-than-I phone, for news of the world as I watch the world scroll by on my screen. The fact that its an algorithm presenting me with its version of what interesting does not inhibit me from constantly staring into the screen. When Im in a public setting gawking at my phone, I become less and less aware of my surroundings. And I know that can’t be good, no matter how interesting that last meme was.

I use my clever device to get me from point A to point B a lot. You know, “Show how to get to such and such address.” And the lovely lady in my phone patiently tells me I have missed the turn, and to safely turn back around. It’s amazing. And yet every time she finds my desired location I can’t stop my self from saying “Thank You” out loud to my phone. She has never once said, “You are welcome.” That hurts my feelings sometimes. Stupid phone lady.

I use my phone to laugh. There has not been a single time when I opened my phone that I didn’t see or read something that had me in a state of tears rolling down my face from laughter. Or when the tears well up over seeing animal behavior that none of us knew they would do until smart phones helped us share it. I don’t get teary-eyed over kitties, but I do over cheetahs that wrestle an alligator out of some far flung river bank and carry it off into the brush. Now that’s entertainment at 2:35 a.m.

I use this rectangle screen to communicate with people I know and a world full of people who I don’t know. I was late to the party when it comes to preferring texting to phone calls. I watched as the world went in that direction and wondered why the youth wanted to use their thumbs to express themselves instead of their voices. But that question faded and my usage of text has become the most common form on my communications. Typos remain an issue, as I usually type quickly, especially when I HAVE to get MY point across. And with my fat fingers flying over a terribly small keypad, I tend to miss certain letters. I put H’s where I want to put G’s. Or I’ll hit S instead of A to spell AND and have it come out SND. But do I go back to correct it? Not always. Not even most of the time come to think of it. I suppose I believe people should be smart enough to figure out a simple typo.

So all in all, I have become quite attached to my smartphone. I try to give myself “time out” periods off away from using it. It’s amazing how much credit I give myself if I manage to put it down in another room for a few hours, or if I actually leave it at home, on purpose, when I go to the store. Atta Boy I say. Pretty sad, huh?

In the end, I use and enjoy my phone for everything except what the original purpose of the invention was for. To call someone, or to be called. …Did I mention taking photos?