Just for the app of it

Just for the app of it

My husband, Joe, likes to keep up on new technology, so he is all about trying new apps. I would say new apps aren’t always such a great idea, especially for us old people, but this doesn’t stop him.

In the past year, Joe has discovered grocery store apps that allow you to scan your grocery items with your phone, and then all you have to do is go to the self-checkout, wirelessly move your virtual cart over to a register and pay. It’s not as convenient as it sounds.

As we are doing this, we are carefully packing our items into cold bags and other shopping bags we always forget to take into the store.

Guess what? It takes more time to check out on your phone than to just throw everything into your cart and scan it at one time on your way out. There’s always a glitch because some items don’t want to scan on your phone, especially if they are closeouts, and then you have to get a real human — these are in short supply — to help you.

I’ve tried convincing Joe we should return to our old ways of shopping, but he loves new technology so much that this is not an option. He always has. He was the first person I knew to have a cassette player in his car back in the day.

The other day we were at the dreaded big box warehouse store, which we said we did not want to shop at anymore because there are only two of us. We don’t need jumbo packs of 24 anything, but they gave us such good deals on our membership we decided to sign up again.

We are sitting at the big box warehouse store lunch area, and, the horror of it, Joe can’t get the store shopping app to work.

I don’t think this is much of a problem. Let’s just not use the app. But it is driving him crazy that it won’t work, and he is a person who is committed to getting technology to work at all costs.

So far it’s not too bad for me. I’m a slow eater, so I’m getting some extra time to eat. Then I’m done, so I’ll just look at my phone and catch up on the world. Joe is still working on the app. I get done catching up and start people watching, which is always interesting. I’m thinking what is that couple going to do with 27 cases of tuna.

Joe is restarting his phone just in case that is the problem. Now it’s getting ugly. I think about how I could have gotten the few items we needed and been halfway home by now. Finally, he gave up, and we checked out the old-fashioned way.

In another case of app craziness, the fast-food app we got lured into by the promise of free fries for the rest of the year isn’t the best either. Sometimes I’d like to get on the app to see if they have any special deals going on, but apparently, you can’t do that, or I can’t. You have to start an order, and then they show you the special deals at the end.

I would like to see the special deals first because then I can decide if I want to get food there or go to another restaurant. I’m also afraid I’m going to accidentally place an order I don’t want. It’s happened before, and I raced to the car to pick it up because who can figure out canceling it when they’ve already charged your credit card. Luckily, we were hungry when this happened. What if I was just looking for something I wanted to get later?

I do have a lot of useful apps on my phone, though, but one of my favorites is the quick memos where I can make memos of important things like my cat's favorite flavors of canned food, directions to someplace I don't go very often, directions to places I want to go, my usual order to Messdad’s food truck so I don't mix up what I want and our library card numbers.

There’s also something on the memos I have no idea what it is, but I keep hanging on to it because someday I might remember what it is and then I’ll have it. I even have information on an article from Dec. 24, 2000, from the Sandusky Register that I want to look up sometime in the future.

The news apps on my phone are absolutely essential, not getting rid of them.

But I have to confess Joe is not the only one who likes new technology because just today I discovered a new dictate feature on the computer software program I'm using, and I wrote this column using the new speech to text program. It is really fast and efficient, but I still edited it the old-fashioned way.

Fortunately, there will always be some things that can’t be replaced with technology, like talking to a real person or the feel of a real paper book between your hands, and that certainly makes for better days.