I am in love with my smart phone! Shopping for free apps and reading their reviews is my new, part time hobby. They have some neat stuff and it’s no wonder so many young people have their faces buried in their phones. If I was in the dating scene the first thing I’d want to do when checking a guy out would be to look at his apps so I could get a window into his personality and quirks. For example, my first apps included the emergency ICE app and the Tornado app from the Red Cross. I’ve always been a person who believes that being prepared for the worst is somehow insurance against the worst happening. Crazy, I know, but it does ward off panic attacks in high stress situations. My grocery store app is another list kind of thing but with the ability to clip virtual coupons and locate which aisle of the store you’re going to find that obscure thing you only buy in leap years.
When people jokingly say, “I’ll bet they have an app for that” it’s really not much of a joke because they probably DO have an app for whatever you can throw in the Google Play Store search engine. Today I was testing that theory and I typed in ‘how to be happy.’ Sure enough they have an array of ‘how to be happy’ apps to download. I didn’t do a ‘happy’ download, but I couldn’t resist the Buddha Meditation Trainer with its Zen bells and Burmese gongs. Level one of ten starts out with a three minute meditation on the phrase, “Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth.” That was downright spooky given the fact that I’m getting over a bad cold that had me feeling yucky and depressed, and given the fact that the whole month of December I’ve been singing a song about my discontented life. And that brings me back to this age-old question: Does the universe find ways to tell us what we need to hear when we need to hear it? Or are those messages out there all the time, like white noise running in the background, and finally we let it penetrate our conscious thoughts when we’re ready to accept its Universal Truth? The meditation reminded me that a bad cold is not cancer---I’ll get over it---and contentment is a worthy, obtainable goal that we all struggle with from time to time.
At the Play Store next I did a search for ‘old people apps’ and I was shocked to find one titled Quickie Locator. You know, “for those times when you’re sitting in an airport with nothing to do” and you want to know if there is anyone near-by with a similar desire for a quickie to break up your boredom. Apparently, you can hook-up using GPS in any given area. You don’t even have to lock eyes across a crowded bar anymore, you can use an app for that and cut to the chase. Who knew! But I think someone tagged that app wrong because I’m guessing most old people would rather find friends and lovers the old fashioned way. But I did find a great magnifier app listed under old people apps and it had me going all over the house magnify stuff. I can even do it in a dark closet which I figure will be pretty helpful in a poorly lit restaurant.
For as cheap as my new phone was---$99.00 on a Black Friday special---I still can’t figure out how they can do so much yet a pair of no frills digital hearing aids that only has to do one thing costs in the thousands. But guess what. At the apps store you can get an enhanced hearing app. They say it’s for bird watchers or students listening to lectures and for people who forgot to wear their hearing aids. Ya, sure. You just plug your headset into your phone and you can listen to conversations coming from across the room. I can see the advantages of that app for people who are hard-of-hearing but, ohmygod, it kind of makes you wonder about some of these plugged-in young people sitting around in coffee shops! Are they really just playing games or could they be high tech voyeurs? It would be kind of fun to test for eavesdroppers wouldn’t it, by saying stuff that would shock a young person into a reaction. “Hey, Mary, see that young guy sitting by the window. I’d like to be his sugar momma” then count the heads that turn to look.
But I did manage to find an area of interest where there seems to be no app for that. I put ‘widow’ into the Google Play Store search engine and all that did was make the system assume I misspelled ‘windows.’ Then I tried ‘widowhood’ and it up came a bunch of apps featuring sexy Scarlett Johansson---actress, singer and model---tagged for this app catergory because she once played the Marvel comic book character, the Black Widow. I don’t know what I expected to find---maybe a pep talk when you need to hear one. Maybe an app like the Tornado app with headings like: ‘what to do before, during and after [a bad day]’, ‘recovery’ and ‘planning ahead.’ As a widow fast approaching the second sadiversary, I know all too well those back-sliding, sad days happen. So where is the app for that? ©