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There’s an app for that

Is there anything nowadays for which there isn’t an app? Games, shopping, music, movies, TV, maps, books, there’s even an app for apps! We can do just about anything in our homes with an app, like manage security, heating or air conditioning, turn up the volume on a stereo, turn on lights, check the stock in the fridge (or stocks on Wall Street) and even cook our food. We can start our cars with an app, download an app to see how healthy we are (or aren’t), check to see if it’s raining out, (even if we have no access to a window) or communicate with a long lost relative.

Speaking of which, I often wondered what it would be like if someone who passed on to the promised land many years ago were to come back and spend a day in our current lives. I don’t think there is an app for that, but perhaps in due time, considering what they’re doing with cloning.

The visit might go something like this:

“Hey Cousin Pearl! It’s so nice to see you! It’s been such a long time!” To which she replied, “Yes it has been a long time. By the way, what’s that in your hand?” “What, this little thing?” I replied. “It’s a smart phone.” “Smart phone?” she said. “Were there ever any dumb phones? I must have really missed something!” Chuckling at that, I commented, “These little devices can do just about anything!” To which she said, “What more do you need a phone for other than to make a call? By the way, if the Nashua Mall is still down on Broad Street, I’d like to go look for some shoes, or maybe Alec’s on West Pearl?” “No need,” I said. “I can order them for you right here from my phone!” “Huh?” she said. “Yeah, I have an app from Amazon,” I explained. “The river in South America?” she replied. “And by the way, what’s an app?” was her next retort. After I explained what an app was, she was even more baffled saying, “Why would I want to buy shoes without trying them on first? Suppose they don’t fit?” “Then you just return them,” I explained. To that she said, “Seems like a lot of work and a waste of time. And by the way, how do you pay for them and how do they measure your foot?” It was getting quite complicated.

I proceeded to show her how I can adjust the temperature in the house, turn on the lights and set the security alarm, all with my phone. She was both amazed and perplexed at the same time. “They don’t make things with on-off switches anymore?” she said. “Yes,” I replied, “But this makes things so much easier and saves time, which we no longer have much of.” To that she said, “Hmph, it all seems pretty complicated to me.” “I would just go push a button when I needed to turn up the heat or turn on a TV. If I understood what you just told me, you need to buy an $800 phone, program it, download your so-called app and then you can turn on your appliances? How is that easier? Seems like everyone is getting pretty lazy to me!”

The more I thought about it, the more she made sense. If my phone is lost or stolen, I’m in real trouble. I’d have to turn the lights on and off with switches, go out and start my car manually, I wouldn’t be able to see what’s in my fridge remotely, I’d have to open a door to look to see what I needed before shopping. Oh, the humanity!

Sadly, the time was at hand for ole Cousin Pearl to head back. As we said our goodbyes, she looked around and said, “You know, I kind of liked it better the way it was when I left. Things were simple and we got along just fine. We didn’t have any apps, but we were happy, and we enjoyed life. Things seemed so much less stressful.”

Those are indeed some words to think about, Cousin Pearl! Thanks for visiting.

Don Canney is a freelance writer and professional voice artist. He was born and raised in downtown Nashua with great interest in Nashua history.