Jim Yerman

Progress: The Phone

I find myself every now and then thinking of simpler times I’ve known
And I have to ask does anyone remember when a phone was just a phone?

Growing up we had one phone...one phone and that was all!
It could be found in the kitchen...hanging on the wall.

When you picked up the receiver you waited, it was part of the design
As you had to make sure your neighbor wasn’t on the party line.

You made your calls using a rotary dial, it was wonderfully slow,
And if you wanted privacy you’d stretch the cord as far as it would go.

I wonder how many children today would be utterly appalled
To know the telephone was once used for only making calls?

But that simple phone has changed; the seeds of progress have been sown.
It’s no longer just a device for calling others...it’s computer all it’s own.

Oh, it still make calls but the wall phone and that long stretchy cord are gone
Replaced by a phone that fits in my pocket, one I can buy at Amazon.

Now I can go anywhere without getting lost. Am I somehow directionally blessed?
Nope, my phone comes equipped with it’s own maps and a sexy voiced GPS.

I can now talk to my phone and what’s more she will even talk back.
She has access to Google and provides me with any information I might lack.

My phone is also a camera I can take a picture of a sunset or a babbling brook
And before you can say Instagram or Snapchat it’s in an e-mail or on Facebook.

I can play games, find coupons, look at Google Earth or access my daily planner
I can find constellations, Skype with Bryan and it even has a barcode scanner.

I can listen to music and if I’m not sure the exact name of a particular song
My phone not only tells me but gives me the words to sing along.

My phone can recommend restaurants, find me hotels or exotic resorts
I can watch the latest You Tube videos or get my news, weather and sports.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the progress, one can truly make the case
That the new phone has changed our way of life and made the world a better place...

But that doesn’t stop me every now and then from falling into a kind of progress denial
When I long for days of that old twisted cord and the sound of the rotary dial.

Submitted: Friday, February 07, 2014


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