At My Fingertips

One day not long ago, when I was marveling at how many tasks I can accomplish just by using my iPhone, I thought about writing a blog entitled “In the Palm of My Hand”. As you can see, I changed the title once I actually started writing. I’ll get to the reason for the change soon enough. First, I’m going to list the digital wonders that I can perform on my phone.

  1. When I’m holding my phone, I can access an e-ticket for a ride on the Long Island. I used to need to shove a paper ticket into the little slot on the seatback in front of me, then wait for the conductor to come by to punch the ticket. Now I simply show him or her my phone. I’m hearing a lot fewer clicks as the conductor moves down the aisle, which I’m guessing means that plenty of riders are using e-tickets.
  2. I also have the LIRR TrainTime app on my phone so that I can see schedule changes and service alerts at any time.
  3. I never have to go to the bank to deposit a check these days. Yes, I have direct deposit on some payments, but if I ever do get a check in the mail I simply go to my mobile bank app, take a picture with my phone of the front and back of the check, and click on “Deposit”. An email soon arrives to reassure me that the money is indeed in my account.
  4. I live a building in New York City that requires proof of residency in the event of a strike by union employees such as my doorman. I have my proof, including my photo, on the BuildinfLink app on my phone. I’ll never be denied access to my apartment.
  5. I have a document on my phone with my passwords.
  6. I have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  7. I also have what most people have: email, current date and time, a camera for taking stills and videos, a voice memo app, my contacts, a calculator, WiFi, and Bluetooth.
  8. I have text messaging, Facebook and Facebook messenger, a food delivery app, my shopping list, my to do list, Google calendar, Outlook calendar, LinkedIn, OpenTable for restaurant reservations, eFax, the New York Times, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, my Kindle, Google Maps, and the weather in various locations including where I live and where I visit.
  9. My music is on my phone as well as WQXR, the classical music station.
  10. I have the ABC app.
  11. I have the TV app.
  12. I have links saved for my remote editorial job.

I think that’s it! Except, of course, that I can visit YouTube, Google anything I need or want to look up, and  order everything from Christmas presents to cat food on Amazon. In fact my phone is so useful that I managed to keep working at my remote editorial job when my computer crashed and was in the shop for repairs for a few days.

Ah, but about the new title for this blog. My phone does indeed put the world at my fingertips, an axiom that the Free Dictionary tells me means “Easily or conveniently accessed, accomplished, or achieved.” Yet the Free Dictionary tells me that “In the palm of my hand” means “Under one’s total influence, domination, or control.” The truth is that my phone has me under its influence, domination, or control. I’m a slave to it. If I ever lost it and couldn’t recover it in spite of using “Find my Phone” or calling my phone in hopes of someone answering it and returning it, I’d be in trouble. That’s why I compulsively pat the pocket on the outside of my purse where I keep my phone. I have to know that it’s in there, ready to do my bidding.

So far, so good. But I hope I haven’t jinxed myself by writing this!

Sondra Forsyth is Co-Editor-in-Chief of

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