Crossing Over to the Smart Side

My initial post turned out to be a bit lengthy, so I decided to break it down into two parts. The following story of my experience with the advancement of cell phone technology is part one.

I finally did it. I broke down and bought a smart phone.

OK, it’s been four months since, but you have to understand — this is a big deal. I love technology … and I hate it.

With my phone, I’m dazzled by its capabilities and occasionally feel empowered and somewhat unstoppable (mwah-ha-ha). Yet, some days I like to imagine a world without cell phones, where people really talk to each other again. But I digress.

The first cell phone I had was technically my dad’s. It was mine only when I was driving the car somewhere and had to make the required “I made it here safely” call at my destination. (Followed by the “I’m on my way home” call, of course.) One day, a girl at school brought in almost the same phone. We circled around her locker (probably to hide the contraband from a passing teacher’s view) and gave our collective “oohs” and “aahs” as she proudly told us, “My parents got it for me because I’m driving.” Instant coolness. (Yes, so I was a little jealous for not getting the attention when I had practically the same arrangement with my mom and dad, but I’m over it. Really.)

Eventually, I was allowed to have my own prepaid phone. It was a little silver flip phone and it was thrilling. I could program my own ringtones of my favorite songs if I knew the correct musical notes. So cool and not at all nerdy. While in college, I “upgraded” to a blue flip phone that had a color screen. Not a bad trade for having to lose the ringtones.

After I earned my first real world paycheck, I took the next big step — a contract phone. I picked the network most of my friends and family were on because calls to each other were FREE, woot! Ever frugal, I picked the least expensive plan and phone. You guessed it — another little blue flip. It served me well until it’s perfectly full battery started to die by the end of every work day. All it did was sit in my purse in silent mode. Silent death mode, apparently.

My next phone flipped open sideways to reveal a QWERTY keyboard and the girl at the checkout gushed that I “would love texting with this phone.” At this point, I refused to buy into texting, but my contacts gradually started adding it to their plans. I was getting a little tired of getting texts and having to say, “Please don’t rack up my phone bill with your text. Call me instead.”

Alas, the world was changing. To keep up, I gave in and changed my plan to include the lowest level of texting, assuming I wouldn’t use it that much. I also vowed texts would be for short, quick messages, not full conversations. That’s what calling was for, duh. 

Then my husband came along. Back when he was trying to woo me, he engaged me in a 45-60 minute texting conversation. (There weren’t even any awkward pauses; he was totally “the one.”) I had to up my monthly message allowance. I still blame him.

I carried on contentedly after that, until the forces of the smart side started to entice me with flashy features. How convenient would it be to check my email without my computer? To have Internet access practically anywhere? And the text bubbles — so streamlined (as long as autocorrect is turned off).

I stopped resisting, and, like I said, this latest time I was eligible for an upgrade was when I picked the smart phone. The free one other people traded in months beforehand, of course, but it’s new and exciting for me. No need to wait until I get home to see if I got the email I’ve been waiting for yet. I can find quick answers to random (and sometimes important) questions almost instantaneously. My text messages are so much prettier easier to navigate. Why did I resist for so long?

I’ll answer that in my next post.

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