Moultrie Observer


November 10, 2012

New cell phones and fat fingers

MOULTRIE — I’m not a big gizmo enthusiast. But I do like to have access to things that make my job easier and my life better.

That brings me to cell phones. I have just advanced to a new phone. I can check my emails on this phone. I can tell what time it is in Moscow. I can tell what the weather will be for the week. I can find out when Nat King Cole first signed a recording contract. I can make notes to myself. I can take photos and make videos.  I can retrieve a map of downtown Ludowici. I can listen to music. I can set alarms to remind me to stop at Allegood’s Grocery and pick up a pound of souse meat. I can play games. I can do my banking. I can sync it with my computer and back up data. Oh yes, I almost forgot ... I can make phone calls on it, too.

What a world we live in! Some people say we are “going to hell in a handbasket.” Well, if we are, you soon may be able to text back and tell us how hot it is there and if you’ve seen Adolph Hitler.

I’ve noticed, based on television ads, that some people are downright giddy about their new phones. And they are always anxious to get the newest version. Now there’s one version out where you can just bump two phones together and they swap data. It looks like they are mating. And metaphorically speaking, I guess they are.

I didn’t think I really needed such a sophisticated type of phone. But now that I have it, I use many of its applications. I once thought that just having a cell phone on a dove shoot to let me know when the game warden was pulling in on the other end of the field was the ultimate usage.

So far, they haven’t put a fish finder on one of these devices,  and they don’t carry enough juice to jumpstart your car. But as the old saying goes, “the day ain’t over yet.”

It’s difficult to see anyone these days who doesn’t have a cell phone. And if there are five or more people in a group, chances are one or two of them will be using their phones.

Kenny Rogers once noted that a person needs “to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them.” Now he wasn’t just talking about playing poker.  He was speaking philosophically about life. I think there’s an analogy about cell phones that could be used there. There’s definitely a time not to use them, especially the texting feature, and that’s when you’re driving.

Perhaps the most appropriate warning in that venue is a bumper sticker that says: “Honk if you love Jesus. Text if you want to meet Him.”

Now my phone is one of those touch screen types. That’s quite a transition for someone who got into journalism banging on an old Underwood typewriter. At first I thought my fingers were too fat to make this happen. But I’m learning. Besides, I’ve seen fat guys play a mandolin so I knew it could be done.

Now when I use my new cell phone, I think more than one layer deep, and I see benefits way beyond being able to take a photo of a politician taking a bribe. Yessiree Bob! I’m thinking the whole time that we have some really smart people out there who design and build these things. And I believe that tremendous intelligence can one day be steered in the direction of developing alternate fuel supplies, curing some of our most dreaded diseases and designing a toilet paper dispenser that doesn’t require you to bring a screwdriver and a socket wrench to the event.

And really, these new cell phones are not that hard to operate once you practice a little bit. Even those people on “Honey Boo Boo” can use them. They may not have anything intelligent to say once they crank them up, but at least they can call for help if that belligerent, smart mouth young’en gets stuck crawling through a sewer pipe.

(Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer. Email:


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