I HAVE reluctantly succumbed.
Actually, I didn't have much choice. My old mobile phone, which had been switching itself off at the most inopportune times, could not be found and so I have acquired what is laughingly called a smart phone to replace it.
After years of being ridiculed for never getting to grips with texting - a habit I dismissed, rashly, as a fad - the slick new communication device has made it possible for me to tentatively indulge because it has a small qwerty keyboard.
I still much prefer to speak to my friends and acquaintances. And I refuse, point blank, to use any stupid abbreviations or those ridiculous smiley faces you can concoct. It's proper spellings and full grammatical annotations for me, including full stops, commas and capital letters in the appropriate places. On this, I will not budge.
So just how smart is my smart phone?
Well, in one sense of the word it is pretty damned natty. It is, I concede, sleek and stylish. But it's not so clever, really.
The main feature of the make and model I chose is a weather and clock display.
The clock performs an identical function to my wrist watch, so is superfluous.
And the weather information, while easy on the eye, assists me not one jot.
For example, as I write this it is displaying a drawing of the Sun, partially obscured by clouds. It tells me that in Berserker there are intermittent clouds. I am not in Berserker, but I know that to the generation which can't live without a smart phone, this is Grade A entertainment.
When it is raining the screen has a realistic display of rainfall on a car windscreen, with the wiper blades going and the sound of rubber squelching on glass. It's a thriller.
I'd just like to point out that I am perfectly able to see what the weather is doing by looking through a window.
And I know, just because I'm not a dribbling idiot, that when its 8pm and the sky is clear it is not, as my phone insists, sunny. It is dark.
It might have more computing power than NASA used to put Neil Armstrong on the Moon, but as it has been programmed by a marketing department and aimed at 12-year-olds it is largely pointless and very silly.
An Englishman Abroad with Adrian Taylor