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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Connections

Smartphone bonding with Dad

Though we always had trouble making small talk on the phone, technology opened up whole new vistas for my dad and me.

A FEW MONTHS AGO, MY DAD DID THE UNTHINKABLE: He bought an iPhone. Why unthinkable? Well, he’s a voracious reader who favors dusty library books over a Kindle, a man who once referred to the iPhone 4S as the “iPhone 45.” But, always open-minded, he’s trying.

In fact, his new gadget has brought us closer. Typically, when I call my parents on their land line, my mom answers on the first ring. She’s always been the primary poser of questions, fielder of news, coordinator of plans, and repository of information both important and mundane. My dad’s a different story. Friends and I have often discussed how unsettling it is to make small talk with our fathers on the telephone. Usually there are some pleasantries exchanged, a few jolly questions volleyed, and then the inevitable: “Soooo  .  .  .  do you want me to put Mom on?” Whenever my dad says this, I’m a bit relieved — and maybe he is, too.

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