click here to jump to start of article
  • Torah Reading: Naso
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

Android & Me
Mom with a View

Android & Me

I took the plunge and acquired the latest Android phone. It went downhill from there.


I am not a gadget person. My eyes tend to glaze over when people try to discuss the latest product with me. But I am not immune to peer pressure and to some suppressed desire to appear cool (!). So when my Blackberry started showing its age (like its owner) I decided to take the plunge and acquire the latest Android phone.

I armed myself with a whole list of rationalizations why this was necessary: I was due for an upgrade (that clever marketing tool that in my case seem to have worked just as planned!), those Blackberry outages were hampering my efficiency and it would be good exercise for my brain to learn something new (quantum mechanics was out!).

Additionally I fell for the age-old argument about the time I would save (why does it never really work that way?) and – best of all – I really wanted the Siddur app and the Tehillim (Psalms) app so I would never be without either of those items. Try and beat that argument!

So I bit the bullet and walked into the store. I think I was the oldest one there – staff and clientele included. And probably the most technologically inept (my teens are reading over my shoulder and nodding in agreement). I found myself saying things like “My kids think I should get…” after which I felt like just grabbing my walker and slowly making up way out of the store! I persevered and brought home my new toy, I mean, important work-related, time-saving device.

I then proceeded to spend hours (literally) back in the stores (the original one and ones closer to home – did you know that unlike every other chain store in the world, at&t will only let you return a phone to the store you purchased it from?!), online with “live” help, on the phone with tech support, emailing IT staff – all in order to get my email up and running. Two days and many hours of aggravation later, it was finally working.

Unwilling to allow all the time to be wasted (while simultaneously acknowledging that much of it was and recognizing my own culpability in that area), I have been ruminating on what I have learned from the experience.

The most trivial of discoveries is to trust myself a little more. I had received instructions that the service people kept insisting were just general and not specific. Finally, after repeated trips to the store, I went home and tried the instructions. That’s when I (yes me, believe it or not) got the email to work. It’s very difficult when you are operating in areas completely outside your expertise but I seem to have stopped thinking and given that task over to others. Had I not done that, I would have had the email up and working earlier and would not have wasted so much time.

The next realization was just how much time we are willing to devote (read: waste) to get these things working and how much frustration we allow them to cause. (I mean, for goodness’ sakes, Iran is on the verge of going nuclear and I’m concentrating all my emotions on a phone!) I’m embarrassed to have devoted so much time that could have been better spent elsewhere on this gadget and I’m humiliated by the frustration and aggravation I allowed it cause me, especially when there are so many real issues out there much more worthy of my emotions and effort.

And finally, and perhaps most importantly, I discovered that I actually could survive without constant access to my emails – who knew? It actually improved my conversations because I wasn’t distracted and it didn’t really hamper my efficiency since my prior habit was to read most emails twice – once in the car as entertainment at a red light, and once in front of the computer when I could actually respond. Only when travelling (and I’m not exactly a jetsetter!) did this ability seem to make any real difference.

As for learning all these new tricks - installing new apps, creating a great screen saver – well, who has the time? I’m too busy with the basics and with trying to keep up with my day job.

The phone still looks cool – but me, I just look like a bubby trying to use a phone made for a different generation…and not getting on with the more important tasks at hand.

November 12, 2011

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 7

(6) Mirek, November 20, 2011 10:32 PM

About a article above .

I like that point of view, I 'm myself in the midage ,and often feel confuse, about rapid technology :) But now I still follow it . Have a good night everyone !

(5) Malka, November 16, 2011 9:11 PM


your article reaffirmed why I am a dedicated apple user. their tech support is wonderful. if you get apple care with your product, which by the way was less than half of verizons insurance, they welcome you at any store. and will spend all of the time in the world on the phone with you talking you through whatever you don't understand. and the best thing is that whether you are a technophobe like my husband or a competent techie like me, they don't treat you like an idiot. they act as if it is their job to give you old fashions service. but the best app of all is the constant stream of pictures of my grandson.

(4) Beverly Kurtin, November 15, 2011 7:49 PM


Read the fine manual...well...those have gone the way of the Commodore 64. I just got back home with my brand new Kindle Fire! It is run by Android. I couldn't make up my mind to buy a Color Nook or a Kindle, so I bought both. Then Barnes & Noble came up with a NEW Color Nook with the bells and whistles missing from my Nook and my Nook dropped by fifty bucks. Then Kindle came out with a color version. Yeah, I bought that, in fact, at my Best Buy, I walked out with the very first Fire and was blown away that every book I'd ever purchased vie Amazon was right there without my having to do anything. How neat was THAT? The nutso thing about it is that I do need both units as books that are available on one site aren't available on the other. For example, I have the JPS Tenach on my Kindle (and the bookmarks are all there, too!). I read this column on the Fire but am on my laptop to repy.. There is one glaring difference between me and many of my age, I tell KIDS how to use their systems. How? Easy, I'm a retired Microsoft engineer. My Ph.D. is in computer science although a massive stroke robbed me of much of what I used to know. I was using computer some 30 years ago when I was in my 40s (I'm pushing 71 years YOUNG now) and it used to be that I could walk into the lady's room and there were no lines. Now that more women have become geeks, the lines are back. Well, time for me to figure out how to get YouTube videos into the new system. I keep MP4 videos in my system so when someone says something negative about Israel, I've got videos that show them the truth. Am Yisroel Chai!

(3) Mindel, November 15, 2011 11:58 AM

Thank goodness!

I'm so glad I"m not the only one in this situation! When I have a problem with my new Android, I usually call either my 10 1/2 year old granddaughter or my 9 year old grandson. I used to think I was fairly technically savvy but I have nothing on them. Even my 3 1/2 year old grandson knows more about these things than I do! But I still don't let it run my life. (At least not yet.)

Mirek, November 20, 2011 10:28 PM

About Your comments :)

Well, that's what You said about smartphones is funny and real. I'm myself 45 year old, and try to be "updated" currently , but soon I could get more confuse, about Hi-Tech. Shalom and have a good ONE !

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment