The younger generations have it easy. They grew UP with technology. We had to learn to use it from scratch. So it is for Kitty Torres of White Plains, New York, who is still working to really figure out her digital assistant.

The year was 2012 and for my 60th birthday, I received my first iPhone. The old clam phone could only get calls with a good signal, usually only working outside, if the wind was blowing in the right direction.

Remember the flip phone?

My new iPhone made calls at work from a New York City skyscraper a breeze. The first time I received a call while standing in line at the deli counter in the grocery store, my mobile almost landed in the potato salad. Clam phone couldn’t do that!

At this point in our lives, my darling husband, Tony, needed to be able to reach me. He was able to travel alone on the # 40 Beeline Bus — to go to lunch most days. But if he got lost, he could call. The iPhone guaranteed contact.

There was also the fun feature to play with: my own virtual assistant, Siri. I called her Suri at first and wondered why Steve Jobs would name his precious wunderkind after Tom Cruise’s kid. Silly me.

Once, playing around with the settings, I turned Siri’s voice into a British man. Heavens to Murgatroyd! That option still makes me laugh uncontrollably and one day I might drop the phone down the sewer if I’m laughing hysterically enough. Better to keep her as just plain old American Girl Siri.

Kitty Torres

Siri sends texts for me on the fly and dials my friends, although she can’t differentiate Erin (my girlfriend) from Aaron (the computer wizard who fixes my laptop). Erin has become Big E in my contacts.

Another time we were planning a barbecue and were concerned there might not be enough daylight. I said, “Hey Siri, what time does the sun set on September 17th?”

“I don’t know, but the sun sets at 8:30 PM tonight,” she replied.

I make fun, but she is a handy little thing and I have come to rely upon her to divide the lunch bill, and to take notes while I am driving.

But other times she doesn’t answer at all — coffee break? Rest room? Lunch?


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