Many of the audience members were budding local authors. They had plenty of questions and plenty of confusion, and I have to admit — I felt a connection to them.
A few days earlier, I’d bought my first smartphone.
More specifically, I’d handed over a good chunk of my salary in exchange for an iPhone 5 and an ever-present anxiety that I now am going to lose, drop or otherwise break it.
(Much to the chagrin of the salesperson, I did not, apparently, drop quite enough of my salary. No, sir, I don’t want to buy your overpriced car charger or upgrade to the screen protector with a lifetime warranty or choose a protective case from your oh-so-very-large selection of 10.)
I’ve had two cellphones in the eight years since I turned 16. The first was a flip phone, and in 2004, it was pretty rockin’. It had a fancy background (in color!) with fish that appeared to be swimming across the screen.
I could text all my friends before politely handing my mom the car keys and asking ever so nicely for her to drive me places.
I could spend part of my treasured allowance to download a ringtone that sounded nothing like “Stairway to Heaven” and yet still impress that boy I liked who listened to Led Zeppelin because I, too, knew Led Zeppelin.
I was living the 16-year-old dream.
But as high school passed and smartphones became more popular in recent years, switching from a cellphone with functions I knew inside and out was terrifying.
I was a technology phobe.
And so I stayed with my Samsung flip phone for six years.
I dutifully signed on to the Verizon site to view any photos friends would text me, since my phone couldn’t receive them. I shrugged off comments from friends and strangers alike on my not-so-stylin’ choice.
In the end, I only upgraded after six years because my cellphone was so very old that no one I called could even hear me.
“WHERE ARE YOU?” I found myself yelling one afternoon as I tried to meet my aunt and cousin for a water polo tournament.
“AROUND WHAT PART OF THE SCHOOL?”
“WHERE SHOULD I PARK?”
“OK I’LL SEE YOU SOON, THEN!”
My second phone was a touchscreen with a flip-out keyboard, which took plenty of time to get comfortable with but eventually became second nature.
And now, the iPhone.
I had dabbled in iPhone play with my mom’s iPhone 4S, which she bought last Christmas — because yes, my mom bought an iPhone and learned to use it before I did.
But it was a never-ending lesson in embarrassment at being dumbfounded by a piece of technology that every other 24-year-old I knew could tap-tap-tap with their eyes closed.
At one point, as I tried to update a Facebook status on my mom’s iPhone and sell extra tickets to a football game we were attending, I backspaced again … and again … and again. As I finally completed the post, my thumb — which, really, folks, is not that large — accidentally tapped another key and erased the whole thing.
It was a one-sentence post.
It took me a full five minutes.
And it was gone — a terrible feeling.
So I understood the panicked faces of our audience this month as we talked about Facebook and Twitter and HootSuite and WordPress and Google+ and Pinterest.
I feel the same way when I look at my iPhone.
Sarah Chain is the York Daily Record/Sunday News books editor and a multiplatform journalist in the features department.