Sociable

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cha Cha Cha --- Score One for the Tech Challenged


Being stuck at the doctor's office with a bored teen can be dangerous unless you can think of something to distract or engage them with that makes the creeping hands of the clock move a little faster. Since that's exactly where I was recently with exactly that sort of "company," I quickly asked my son [aka Court Jester] to help me out with my new cell phone.

None of this will be news to most of you, but for a brain-fried mom approaching the big 5-Oh, everything he tried to teach me was excruciatingly slow for me to take in. First, CJ deleted the Blue Tooth option from the menu, since I'm never ever going to use that function, and it just drains the battery sooner, he said.

Next, he showed me how to put a question mark into text messages. (Yes, stop giggling. I DO know how to text.) I'd been scrolling between menus to get to the Insert option, which never went smoothly given my fading eyesight, large fingers hunting very small keys, etc. Now old Mom can zoom right up to the number 1 and find the question mark there! Makes texting Fresh Prince: "Did u know ur cleats r under the couch?" so much faster.

But the final lesson was one that blew my mind. My brilliant son informed me that one has only to text ChaCha (the letters corresponding with 242 242) to get answers to any question one can think of sent back within minutes. Whut? 'Course, I didn't believe him and asked lots and lots of questions. I tried it. I asked ChaCha, "Who is Blaize Pascal?" using my new ability to add the question mark quickly.

Within minutes three screen-loads of encyclopedic information scrolled across my cell's window! This old dawg was really amazed. I was also informed that ChaCha will scour FaceBook, etc. to look up information on people to send you. Wow, but sorta scary too.

Before I could ask young son how in the world this service is available, are people sitting at big computers using search engines, or if this was gonna cost a fortune from surfing the Net, he was called back to see the doc.

Upon further enquiry, he told me this cool service bypasses the Internet, so it's just a regular text. Hmmm, I guess we'll see when the next bill comes in. But in the meantime, I can see so many uses. ChaCha's like having your own GPS on hand. No wonder cell phones aren't allowed at school. You could theoretically get test answers lightning fast.

It's all terribly interesting...but makes my head swim. And in case you think I'm just pulling your leg, check out further proof at Geek Sugar. (Love the quote at the end.)

24 comments:

jinksy said...

As somebody not too keen on tea, I think Cha Cha is too much of a reminder...mind you, as a DANCE - that's another matter. Cue the music!

Anonymous said...

The tech people got their hooks into another non-believer. Our boys have given up on me. If I'm not mistaken, Cha-Cha is a side dish you put on peas. Yea, it all goes back to food. Got to fuel the engine.
Oren

Janna Qualman said...

I'll have to remember that next time I'm sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office. ;)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Jinksy, could you please send me a wee video of you doing the Cha-Cha?

LOL, Oren. Did you watch Top Chef last night? Cool episode held down in New Orleans with Emeril. Our engines should be finely tuned and fueled. :)

Janna, try it. Fascinating!

Debbie said...

I am so hopeless that I didn't even fully understand your very well written, low-tech language post. If my phone rings and I can answer it, I will do the happy dance!

DebraLSchubert said...

I'll be checking out Cha Cha soon. And nice usage of the question mark! I'm fairly tech-savvy, but I'm pretty sure there are a few other dimensions hidden within the depths of my cell phone that I'll never explore in this lifetime.

Jessica said...

All this stuff I don't know scares me.

Anonymous said...

You actually don't even have to send a text! You can just call 1-800-2-242242(Chacha) and say your question into the phone and then hang up. Moments later, your answer will arrive. Best part, it is free!

giddymomof6 said...

WOW! I had no idea that ChaCha even exsisted... mind you i've lived overseas for 8 years now... LOL! Before it was cool for EVERYONE to have a cell.. so this is all new! Thanks for the tip! And aww.. your son sounds sweet... I guess i'll save the headslap for another time. LOL! Unless this wasn't the same one...? LOL!

Embee said...

You're so much more technologically advanced than I am...I don't text at all. Just use the cell every now and then to call hubby. My kids don't even have cell phones!

Suldog said...

I'm one of the few neanderthals remaining on the planet who has never owned a cell phone. Nor do I want to do so. I have no problem with technology in general - I'm the guy folks in my family turn to to program their various digital clocks to stop reading 12:00 - but I just have no need to be connected via electronic umbilical cord to others 24-hours daily.

Yes, I'm not only a neanderthal, but a Philistine.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Debbie, I'm not too far behind ya. Tried to get a phone with ONLY telephone capability, but no such critter exists anymore.

Never ending stuff on these gadgets, Debra & Jessica. Boggles the mind.

Well, thanks for that kewl tip, Anony, whoever you are!

LOL, giddy. Slap either/both. I'm sure they deserve it for past transgressions. :)

Embee, with teens, ya almost have to know texting. I went kicking and screaming, believe me.

I may start calling you Nean-Phili, Suldog. But kudos for hanging tough.

Sandra Leigh said...

How cool! I love the text function on my cell phone, but I had no idea I could find out how far it is from where I am to where I'm going. That could be very handy indeed. Do let us know if you get a nasty surprise, come billing day.

Hilary said...

I don't have a cell phone either.. so I'm just gonna dance with Jinsky if that's alright.. ;)

JyLnC said...

I learn something new everyday on the blogs. Thanks for the cha cha tip.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Will do, Sandra. Supposedly, it's a free service. (The coolest thing about the discovery to me.)

Hilary, you, Jinksy and Suldog can perform an interpretive NonTech dance for us. :)

You're welcome, JyLnC.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I had NO idea! Gotta get my teen to teach me how to fully utilize that! I NEED that!

The Unbreakable Child said...

This ChaCha sounds interesting. Boy what kids can teach the techny challenged!

Kathryn Magendie said...

OH, I wonder if that's why my battery doens't last - maybe I have bluetooth someting other on there....huhn!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Carrie, tis cool, huh? And free? Hard to believe!

Kimmi/Unbreakable, my teens make me feel stupid on a daily basis, with all that they know and that I'm oblivious to. :)

Check it out, Kathryn. Who knew?

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. Had no idea that even existed! I don't use my phone for anything other than making phone calls (I know, I'm woefully old-fashioned).

colbymarshall said...

My friend Ashlee who I sometimes blog about is actually a ChaCha guide...she gets $0.10 a text for doing this, haha.

bernthis said...

when I'm the big 5-0 my kid will be 12. I can't wait to see what things I'll be able to do

amy said...

Oh. Oh my, Angie. My husband's going to be so unhappy about this. I'm going to program ChaCha into my phone right! now! It's this kind of stuff that makes me nervous about technology, but also in awe of it.

I can tell: I'm going to spend a lot of time trying to come up with "Stump ChaCha" questions.

Labels (Posts, not Peoples)