I am typing this post on my smartphone. The thing is not even a month old.  It’s my first real smartphone–a gift from Bee after my last, uh, dumbphone, got snatched from my backpack.  My brother-in-law lent me his extra smartphone right after that irksome event, but that doesn’t count.  Though I was extremely touched by the gesture, the phone wasn’t mine.  I used it primarily for text messages and calls like my previous phones.  Besides, it was small.  Yes, the size, particularly of the screen, was the one and only thing that made the smartphone different for me.

Now, after deliberately applying myself to the use of this machine, I’ve realized that it’s not just the screen size, stupid.  I find that the memory space, battery life and the helpful apps that the thing can run are just as important.

Those apps are convenient indeed.  I once forgot to transfer money into my bank account while traveling. I found myself sitting on a bench by the roadside, alone at seven in the morning in a city miles from home, and with not enough cash for breakfast and the fare to my house.  Then, I spotted a local restaurant that I remembered had expensive coffee. If it had that, it should have wi-fi…right? It did. I spent all the money I had left on the nauseating coffee (too bitter!) and milked their wi-fi dry (Can I say it that way?) to download my highly efficient bank’s app and wire money to myself.  The whole thing was done in minutes! In fact, just now, I paused from typing at this infernal touchscreen to pay my credit card bill…in minutes! How amazing is that?

I lingered at that restaurant to use their wi-fi some more.  I filled my Skyscanner app with my dream travel destinations.  I couldn’t afford any of the ticket prices yet, but the app would alert me if anything changed.  Cool! Next, I did some mock bookings from the Cebu Pacific app and I discovered that it was much faster than the airline’s website.  It was easy to navigate too. So! Promo fare, summer sale, piso sale, I can’t wait to book you on my smartphone.  This Juan(a) can’t wait to fly!

But before I do, I really must get my health back in order.  Time to eat and sleep right again. Time to get moving again.  And what do you know? There’s an app for that! I started using FitStar yesterday.  The exercise instructions and videos were easy to follow.  The fit test said I was at Level 2; don’t know what that means yet. I do know I will still do Shaunty’s insane workouts when I am stronger. But FitStar would complement it nicely. Later, when the weather cools down a little, I will try the app’s Beginner and Core and Chest workouts.

One other application that I have found most useful is Grab.  I have long resisted installing it, but I finally gave in after hitching on several Grab rides with a friend and colleague.  Now, I ask myself why I risked my peace of mind, and safety, getting into beat-up, cockroach-infested taxis and their reckless, dagdagan-niyo-mam-kasi-traffic-at-mahirap-buhay-ngayon drivers. (I just italicized that on the smartphone. Insert amazed emoticon here.) I exaggerate.  Some of them are kind and are good at their job.  But with Grab, all of them are…so far.  The smartphone has made hassle-free cabs available anytime I need them, although I usually use the app for work. I still take public transportation for the cheap fare, the extra exercise (hello, MRT stairs), and so Duterte fanatics can’t call me “elitist”–kidding, who gives a shit. 🙂

Of course, I’ve been on Facebook more than I care to.  The phone, and the free version of the website, has made it even more convenient to log on to it and read the rants of the moment.  Why I bother with all these empty fluff I do not know.  Maybe I have low self-esteem (that’s true) like studies say.  Maybe my ego rejoices at pointing out (that’s bad) all the stupid, disgusting arguments out there recently about which presidential candidate to support.  Maybe I just don’t want to miss out on the latest climb schedules (I shouldn’t).  Whatever it is, it is not Facebook’s or this smartphone’s fault.

One thing I’ve realized for certain is that technology has a lot of benefits to my daily life and I should take advantage of them, but I should also learn to set limits.  Being inside the smartphone world all the time can wreak havoc on my thinking, real life interactions, and time that can be spent on more creative things like writing. Well, I’m writing now, and the smartphone has made that possible.

But then again, I’m still in cyberspace right now…Right?

You get my point.


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