Monday, September 13, 2010

My Cell Phone, Myself ...

My cell phone, for all its low-tech techetry in this high-tech world, may as well be this. --->

My phone is an antiquity. A relic. I'm pretty sure one just like it was recently discovered in the burial chamber of one of the pyramids in Egypt.

And I'm pretty sure that one was in better condition than mine.

Yes, boys and girls, my cell phone was manufactured in ...


[Pause for aghast gasps!]

And the funny thing is, I didn't want to get another cell phone, back then. But a friend gave me a Bluetooth device for Christmas and I needed to upgrade my phone in order to use it. So I upgraded. To a RAZR. Which, even then, was already behind the curve.

And I was suitably taken with Bluetooth technology, though I used my device more often when walking than driving.

But since 2006, huge advancements have been made in cell-phone technology and I have not kept up.

Friends have encouraged me to join the iPhone nation: "You need an iPhone!" I've heard it many times.

But I don't. I don't use my phone very much as it is. I didn't use my phone very much even when I had some semblance of a life.

Hell, I resisted getting text on it until, what? 2007? 2008?

I didn't see the point. It's a phone. The whole point of it is to use it to talk, right?

No, actually, not. The point is to use it to communicate. However.

So I added text, because my then-trainer was practically a zygote and texting was really the only way he'd communicate. And I admit that I did find it useful. Sometimes even fun.

But I do not need a smart phone. Nor do I need the monthly bill I would receive if I were to get a smart phone.

I spend enough time on the computer as it is. I do not need one in the palm of my hand. And I do not want to pay $100 a month for the privilege of becoming overly addicted to another electronic device.

But my little phone is literally falling apart. The battery cover refuses to stay in place. It pops off all the time. And I snap it back. And it pops off again. It is a war of wills and my phone is winning.

I went to the cell-phone store a few months ago, ready to give in. I told the sales guy that I just wanted a "regular" phone. His face fell. Visibly. He followed me to the other side of the store, but I knew he didn't want to be there.

Then again, neither did I. Because "regular" phones these days are sad. They have no heft. They have no design. It's as though the phone makers produce them for the sole purpose of dissuasion. "Are you kidding?" they ask, with their boringness. "Go back to the other side of the store. You know you want a touch screen. You know you want apps. You know you want GPS. Don't you understand that you should derive your self-image from your phone? What are you? Pathetic?"

Well, actually ...

I did, after all, recently try binder clips to hold the back of my phone in place. But they interfered with the keypad. So I tried a rubber band, but it impeded my phone's ability to fully close.

I posted my dilemma on Facebook. My friend Andy replied, "Have you forgotten a little something called duct tape?"

I had, as a matter of fact.

I might have to give that a try.

It is silver ...


Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

I was kinda with you on that one; I need a phone to talk to people. I discarded the huge Verizon bill for a pay-by-the-minute plan of Boost Mobile. Both my wife and I switched and now my cell phone bill is about $30 from the $90 we were paying with Verizon.

Recently I got an Apple iPod Touch as a PDA. I've set it up to use the WiFi at my home and at the hotel while I'm traveling. And you know what, I like getting my email on my device. I like checking my facebook during the day. I can actually see myself with a smart-ish phone in the future. In fact, I'm checking out Virgin Mobile's unlimited text/web plan for $25/month.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I looked into a pay-as-you-go phone, but I couldn't keep my number.

Then again, since I barely use my phone, it wouldn't be a big deal to update folks with my new number.

I don't doubt that smart phones are damn cool. I've seen what they can do. I just question if it's wise for someone like me who's already pretty addicted to her laptop to have constant access.

Though the Virgin Mobile plan sounds appealing ...

4:27 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I have a super basic cell phone and only turn it on when I'm out somewhere and need to make a call.

In my humble opinion, there is no bigger hype than the cell phone industry.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

That's part of my reluctance, Jim.

My sad little RAZR is my fourth phone already. (I started with one of those oh-so-hip bag phones for my car!)

I know there's a lot of recycling that goes on, or they can be donated to shelters and such, but it just seems wasteful to get phone after phone after phone.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Rick Hamrick said...

I'm sure I told you about my eight-buck-a-month phone. As Jeff did, I got a pay-usage-only phone. As Jim does, I only turn it on when I am out and need to make a call (or go to the grocery store and turn it on because Julia often thinks of one more thing she needs after I leave). No texting or web or anything else. Just for phone calls.

I had my original cell number for more than 10 years. Somehow, the transition was easier in reality--by far--than it was emotionally.

4:40 PM  

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