When our electronic brains go wrong

Smartphones are the new PDAs. I remember several years ago a friend telling me that he couldn’t live without his “electronic brain” (PDA). Now I know what he means.

It’s not that my iPhone plays games – that’s just a perk. It’s that the Medscape app tracks my medications, I get a text when my prescriptions are ready to be picked up, and I can check my email on the go.  The calendar app tells me where to be, the Mapquest app tells me how get there and the Weather Channel app tells me what kind of jacket I’ll need. Notes holds my shopping list, I can check in to Facebook or LinkedIn, shop, track my gas mileage, find places to eat and surf the Internet. In fact, I am writing this post sitting at Starbucks.

So how did I miss my massage appointment?

Maybe I didn’t miss it. Maybe it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know. My “electronic brain” says it was at 3:30pm. It was wrong. I arrived a couple minutes late (as usual) and my therapist was in with another client. All of them were with clients & no one was at the desk. (They are a very small business so I understand this.) I thought perhaps the previous client was running late so I sat down and waited. I caught up on some of your blogs. When I looked at the time, I had been there 15-20min.

That’s when I peaked at their appointment book. My name was not there. Huh? How could my name not be there? The appointment is in my phone!

So now I have to call tomorrow to find out when my appointments are because if they aren’t in my phone then they are on a little scrap of paper floating around the house.  I should have known when I didn’t get a reminder call about it, but a lot of places have stopped sending reminder calls, or it’s hit or miss as to whether you get one or not. If I’m without my phone, then I’m without my “brain”.  Mistakes will still be made, but if I pay more attention to my calendar appointments and make sure to use the alarm function, I should be OK.  Or at least as OK as we all used to be before smartphones.

In any case, the moral of the story is: a smartphone is only as smart as it’s user.


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