“Get with the program” (get with it, get a clue) means to do what is expected of one, to adopt the prevailing viewpoint, to keep up. This American idiom can also mean to become organized, or up to date on the latest findings or fashions.
I know this phrase from experience. I never used a phone until I was seventeen, since I grew up in an area of northern BC where there were no telephones. They still make me nervous and I never use them when I can use email. I always get these awful pictures of what people might be doing when my call interrupts them. After a while, these images get so persistently lurid that I send an email instead. I think that’s much more considerate.
I bought a cell phone, though, because I like gadgets, even if I don’t know how to make them do things. I had a land line, too, but gave it up because the cell phone was cuter.
However, one morning the cell phone wouldn’t work. For a little while, I ignored the fact because I was still thinking of the phone as a toy, not a necessity. I had email, after all. Then I realized that if the house caught on fire, email would be an inefficient way of calling the fire department.
I went to the mall to ask for help from the service provider. A very young man, with big blue eyes and a sweet smile, pushed a couple of buttons on the phone, then handed it back. “There, it’s working again. I just did a hard reset.”
Very cute. And way too fast and easy. I didn’t know whether to buy him a teddy bear, pick him up and cuddle him, or put him across my knee and smack his ass.
My hair is gray, my face well-worn by years of similar experiences. I know what this boy is thinking. She doesn’t know beans about technology. I’ll just give her enough information to impress her and pat her on the head.
Of course, the blue-eyed boy is right that I don’t know much about technology, though I can monkey-wrench my computer when necessary. He then told me the phone was in “amazingly” good condition, considering it’s three years old, and that I might not need to buy another for a year or two.
That stunned me. I thought this phone and I were going to be lifelong companions, but apparently not. Remembering how much the phone cost, I had to clench my jaw to stop from moaning.
Mr Blue-Eyes said there’s an antenna inside the phone. Inside? Should I believe that? Things must have changed since I took physics in high school way back when, and learned that antennae must always be out in the fresh air, preferably on top of a building, so they can catch all those waves going by.
My cute toy probably deserves respect. Not only does it hold my pictures so that I can show them off to other people, it’s a phone, a solitaire game, a notebook, an address book, a clock, a weather forecast, and a reminder list. I can read books on it, too, though the pages aren’t nearly big enough. And it’s portable. I can walk downstairs with it and not worry about pulling the cord out of the wall.
Would I be better off with the old land line? No, I just have to learn to get with the program.