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During deployment, the smart phone is smart again

Submitted by on Monday, 15 March 2010 No Comment

Yeah, we have all the toys: Digital audio recorder for capturing bedtime stories, digital video recorders (yes, plural) for reliving sports and school programs, a digital still camera for everything in between and a scanner for sharing school papers and report cards.

Increasingly, though, I’m realizing that I’m also going to rely on my least-favorite and lowest-quality piece of gear¬† to keep Dad in the loop while he’s deployed. My smart phone.

It’s not that I don’t love my Blackberry Storm, though its camera reeks and I’m not the only one who thinks so.¬† Dad became instantly addicted to the instant communications too after I bought it while he was in advanced training last spring. The powerful part for him was the ability to share our lives in real-time, no matter whether the event was as trivial as Big Guy agreeing to eat salad or as monumental as his first hit in tee ball.

But that was in another city, one where there was real cell phone coverage. Here, I get ticked off every time I pass the Blackberry kiosk in the PX. Why don’t you tell people they have no hope of getting a strong signal in half the houses, I want to growl. Our house is hopeless unless I walk to the bus stop up the street or lie in bed facing the headboard with my head at a 45-degree angle.

So I’d pretty much abandoned my phone shortly after we moved here, forgetting half the time to take it with me when I left the house. What was the point?

During soccer season I’d remember it once in a while because I could get enough of a signal to send Dad photos during the games. I’d also send some images to my email account so I could edit them and order prints later.

That’s when it occurred to me that, for purposes of keeping Dad up-to-date on the important daily trivia, my phone camera would work just fine. I could snap it, email it and forget it. No downloading, no editing, no hassle. I get enough of a signal at the house now that the phone can send images – it just takes a half hour to transmit four.

It won’t have the immediacy of text messaging and it won’t have the quality of our regular multimedia productions. But it’s as close as we can get to real-time in communicating from one place where cell service reeks to another where it’s pricey if it exists at all.

Simple is good sometimes.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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