Find My Friends = Free Virtual Road Trip!

My 16 year old son, Eeth, received his very first iPhone a few days ago, which rocked his world in ways I hadn’t imagined. Up until now he’d been stuck with more affordable flip phones, which did the job as far as contact is concerned, but did nothing for him socially. He needed a “cool factor” he wasn’t feeling with the flip phones, and he refused to take flips to school because he feared being made fun of. When you’re an Aspie, you need that iPhone to feel like you fit in a little better. I get it.

That’s the preface to the story.

I’d been hunting around for my own phone, and came upon Vin fiddling with it. I tried to take it back, but he shooed me away and told me he was installing the Find My Friends app, and I was all, “Aww, Hell no! Whoa there, buddy! That’s what creepers use to stalk their prey! Gimme my phone!”

Fearing Eeth might misplace his phone (unfounded… surgically attached already) or have it stolen, Vin set up FMF on Eeth’s phone, also wanting to give Eeth peace of mind about our whereabouts when we’re away from him for any reason. Now he wanted to add me to the circle, but had to explain it to me first because I’m challenged like that. Nobody can add and stalk me unless I want them to add and stalk me. Okay. I let him have at it. And we played with it for a couple of days, finding each other every ten minutes before we deduced that it’s less of a game (somehow we turn everything into a game) and more of a tool. And we decided it might be a good idea to add FMF to my Mom’s phone as well, so went over to her house last night and did that.

After returning home from Mom’s I wanted to make sure we’d connected properly, so I looked her up, and found her at a male strip club.

That was a lie. She was probably watching TV or something. I wanted to see if the app could pinpoint her exact location in her house, but got sidetracked when I zoomed in and realized how astonishingly clear and crisp the satellite photos were, and noticed my brother standing in Mom’s front yard laughing and flipping me off. That was another lie. But it’s totally something he would do, because we’re that kind of family.

I zoomed out a little to see her city, then zoomed out a little more to see her city and my city in the same frame. Then I zoomed out more to see her city, my city, and my sister’s city – in another state – in the same frame… and I was stunned by the beauty of the topography! The colors of the mountains, the valleys, the alluvial fans, the lakes, the ocean, the earthquake faults… just breathtaking! So crisp and clear, it felt like I was here, there, and everywhere, and I was sucked in for over two hours because I had decided to take a road trip! And, I chit you not, it was almost as good as the real thing. TECHNOLOGY, you guys! Road trips for people who are paying so much for their iPhones that they can’t afford road trips! You’re welcome.

I started out by swinging by my sister’s place in Vegas to say a quick hello before I went off to party on the Strip. I zoomed to the top of the Stratosphere, decided to pass on the stomach-churning rides, and flew down to TI to yell at them for taking away the pirate skull and crossbones and turning generic. I flew over to New York, New York to go on a rollercoaster, then took the Monorail down the street to try to play some slots, but it wouldn’t zoom in that far, so I saved money! Since I also wasn’t able to zoom in on any buffets, I decided to move on.

I wanted to re-live a previous trip to Tombstone, AZ, so I flew to the east and slightly to the south, stopping first at Boothill Cemetery, where I did a bit of ghost hunting. Apparently, ghosts don’t come out in the daytime, nor do they pose for satellite photos, so I left. I went to find the motel we’d stayed at and broken down at… the Larian Motel. I imagined myself back inside the Wyatt Earp room, and wished I could stay in the Doc Holliday room, because Mmmmm! If you’ve seen the movie Tombstone, you know why. I didn’t stay in Tombstone for long last night because half the reason for going there in the first place is to ghost hunt, and since I couldn’t get into any of the buildings, it was sort of pointless. I watched a reenactment of the gunfight at the OK Corral, decided I was spending too much time on my phone, and started heading back home.

I waved at my sister again, and was just about to hop on the 15 back to SoCal, but stopped and thought, “Hmm, I wonder if the feds are keen to this? Is it possible they forgot to hide Area 51?” I’m a little bit lame (I like to think of myself as “hopeful”), so I spent a good half hour looking for military personnel and UFOs. You know what I found, right?

Go look.

Good night!

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