Aug 4, 2013

Hello, Operator?

My phone did everything I wanted it to do. It 1) made calls to whoever I deemed needing to call 2) received calls 3) texted with a handy sliding keyboard 4) withstood more abuse than a phone should have to withstand. It even took pictures and received them so I could see my new nephew while driving to Southern Utah, minutes after he was born.

It was enough. I was happy.

My best friend took one look at it and tossed it back on the table with a sound of disgust. She called it a dinosaur. I argued that my plan was so inexpensive that I it barely made a ripple. She owns an I Phone. She declared that she has no idea how much her plan costs but she gladly pays it because she uses it for finding places with a simple voice command. I'm saving myself from growing dependent on technology for the Apocalypse, I told her. She openly mocked me then.

It has a QWERTY keyboard! It's cool! So cool that my 15 year old wanted it. She kept encouraging me to get a smart phone. For her, I tried. I bought a used I Phone. 3. I was wholly unimpressed. I wanted my old red phone back but she refused to relinquish it. So I swallowed my pride and walked into a T-Mobile store. Let's be honest. I have three teenagers. It is time they carried phones so I can tell them to get their bottoms home for dinner or whatever. Turns out, the plans are not so terribly expensive, after all. Especially when you add three lines.

The smart phone was a hard sell. I fought a good battle and the salesman I got was the new kid. Not yet a good salesman. Still, I walked out of the store with four new Sim cards and the smallest computer with more gadgets than I've ever owned. It's called a phone.

I gave my very old smart phone to my 18 year old daughter a few days earlier. I bought a flip phone for my 13 year old son. He doesn't need internet access. In fact, I purposely robbed him of having constant internet access by giving him a flip phone. My 15 year old already had my old red phone and she loves it as much as I once did. I changed out all the SIM cards and handed out the new phones. 

2 hours later, my 18 year old begged me to give her back her flip phone. She can't text with a keyboard. She keeps butt dialing. I spent $20 and gave her a flip phone. She's very happy now. 

Three days later I was charging my expensive computer phone for second time that day and cursing it when it rang. My husband called to tell me that our home phone is not working. I found the dial tone to be more of a static buzz. I told him I'd call the telephone company right now. As soon as I found the telephone book. Where's the telephone book? There are no telephone books. Internet service was down with the phone. Okay, I was glad for the data plan on my smart phone but I really wanted a telephone book.

Half hour later, the telephone company called, I was out weeding the garden, talking to my chickens, and telling Scott all about the frustration of just wishing for a regular telephone and the old telephone book. As I lamented on and on, I realized he hadn't said a word for many minutes. 

"Hello? Hello!" My call had been dropped.

I apologize to my neighbors for all the screaming and swearing that flew through the air at that moment. 

The guy from the telephone company arrived a couple of hours later. I had calmed down considerably and had already determined that I was returning my stupid smart phone. I sat at the kitchen table working on my calm Juju when he walked past me.

"Do you have a smart phone?" I asked him. 

He pulled out a smart phone slowly, eyed me carefully then reached into another pocket to reveal a flip phone.

"I only carry the smart phone because I have to for work. I'm perfectly happy with my flip phone." 

We then reminisced about the good old days when we were not always accessible. The days when we could call our neighbors with five numbers. We all had telephone books we used for sitting on to illegally drive Grandma's old car and everybody's address and telephone number was in it. He went back to party lines. I'm not that old. I could call time and temperature. I could make prank phone calls and nobody could trace it. Yes, the telephones were attached to walls but long cords that got tangled up worked just fine, thankyouverymuch. I never accidentally hung up on anyone. My parents could listen to my conversations on an extension. My mom could go to the store without me or any of my siblings calling her and saying, "Mom, I'm bored. When are you coming home?"

I am being dragged along the technology road, like it or not. 

T-Mobile talked me into keeping my smart phone. They showed me how to turn off Blue Tooth and GPS which drains power worse than anything else. They told me now I just had to charge it every night. Like I'm responsible enough to do that. I bought a car charger just in case I forget to charge it at night (which I consistently do).

I hate having to protect a phone so carefully whereas I used to shove it in my pocket on occasion or hide it in my bra-cket. I'd not see my phone for days and I was okay with it. Now I feel like I have to protect my little investment and I hate being beholden to a little piece of technology.

But Heidi was right. I'm starting to enjoy that little microphone icon I can touch then announce where I'm going and a map maps up with directions that speak to me. I resent it but I'm progressing. 

And I called the local telephone company and ordered a telephone book. Every home should have one.


Samantha said...

I love the phone! Too bad you didn't remember to watch hishe Toy Story.

Heidi said...

Heh, heh.