I like technology. It was my career for many years, so I understand how it has a role in our lives. I enjoy technology, to a degree. But I am not fanatical about technology. I do not want to run out and buy the latest and greatest…and in fact, I often resist that because I don’t want to have to learn things all over again. Eventually, it is likely that I will embrace the new technology, but in time. I am a thinker, an evaluator, and I need time.
I have a cell phone that I bought in 2008, that I love. Guys, no joke, I love this phone. It’s perfect for me, and it does everything I need it to do. For the first, oh, three years or so, I only used it to make calls. Literally. Then we added text messaging to our service, and all the sudden I was texting like a fiend…to Hub. No one else, because why would I need to text anyone? I worked at home and I could always email or instant message. I never saw a need to have data (we had it turned off on our service) or to browse the web while out. Waiting room at the doctor’s office (which was mostly what I went out to and had a need to wait), I sat quietly and WAITED.
Here’s my phone…
Isn’t it cute? It flips closed, it’s compact and fits into the smallest purse I have. I made my own ringtones from music I love, I have pictures attached to each phone number! What’s not to love? No data costs, it holds a battery charge FOREVER, and takes no time to charge when I need it to. The calls are crisp and clear, it has a speaker phone when I need it, and the keyboard is REAL. I can touch it and type on it like a mo-fo. I love my phone. If it were up to me, I’d never upgrade. I’d never let it go. I’d use it until it stopped working and then I’d hunt ebay to replace it.
But nooooooooooooo. Hub comes to me and says, “We need new phones.” So I tell him to get himself a new phone and leave me outta that mess. But he says if he upgrades (his phone is only slightly newer than mine), he has to get a new plan with Sprint because all the new phones require data. And then my part of the plan will be kaput. So I tell him to suck it, we’re not getting new phones because I’m not getting rid of my phone. And then he tells me the speaker on his phone is broken…he can only take and make calls on his bluetooth ear piece, and he isn’t going to work like that. Pfffffft. So it’s MY fault his phone is broken? So I try to convince him to get another “dumb” phone so I can keep my phone and our current plan, but he’s not falling for it. I don’t get it, because he already carries TWO smart phones (in addition to his current dumb phone) that are paid for by his employers. So why does he have to have ANOTHER smart phone that WE have to pay for? Why, I ask you! WHY? And then he reminds me that my father has been complaining that HIS phone isn’t working right either (for months, actually), and we share a family plan with my parents.
We’ve known about my father’s phone issue for months, and Hub has been having intermittent problems for a while, too. But when we started discussing upgrading phones and plan, we started talking about switching carriers. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to switch carriers? More importantly, what a royal pain in the ass it is to decipher phone plans these days? We researched changing carriers probably four times in the last year, but always gave up because trying to figure out the plans (and costs) was too hard. Now, Hub was telling me, it had to be done.
So we researched again, and even went to a real live store to get the lowdown in plain English. But I hated all the phones. They’re all freaking smart phones and I cannot stand those virtual keyboards. I like the feel of a real keyboard, texture and shape and click. They had two “slide” phones with keyboards, but they got horrible reviews and were actually kind of expensive. So I tried to look at some smart phones, but in addition to the stupid keyboard issue, they’re also all SO Big. I carry a TINY purse, ya’ll. It’s like 4.25″ high and less than 3.25″ wide and 2.25″ deep…no joke.
I spent the majority of my life carrying HUGE purses with the intention of having everything I might need. Then I realized that I wanted to just be able to go out with a couple of credit cards, my phone, and my keys. I didn’t intend for that to be an all the time thing, but it morphed into that. And my cute little phone fit right into my cute little purse. But the new phones? They’re so big, I don’t think they’ll fit into my tiny purse. So now not only do I have to pick a phone I don’t want, but I have to go through the hassle of trying to find a new purse…ugh.
Anyway, after perusing the options at the AT&T store we went to (they have a pretty flexible family plan), we announced to my parents that we were taking them to the store to pick out new phones. And then my brother (who lives with them) tells us that he gets a discount through his work for AT&T, which is why he uses AT&T. So we all five of us tromp back to the AT&T store with the expectation that we’re going to let my brother convert his plan to a family plan, and then add the four of us to his discounted plan. Bonus, HE’LL get the bills for my parents from here forward, which Hub and I have been doing (and mostly paying for) for the last 8 years or so. (Every now and then my dad would recall that he needed to pay us and he’d write us a check, but their phones were “add-on” lines, so it wasn’t a huge cost for us.) So here are all five of us in the store, my father grumping about buying a new “dumb” phone (no smart phone for him) and have to move all his contacts and how the new phone won’t fit his old clip and blah blah. And my mother (who had a baby-smart phone that she hardly did anything with) started looking at an iPhone! In the end, my mom took my brother’s old phone (which is like 6 months old) so he could get an upgraded phone, my dad picked out a dumb flip-phone that looks exactly like what he has now, Hub picked out a fancy new metal phone, and I was prepared to pick out the smallest smart phone with the longest battery life (I’d researched this at home). Only problem was, my phone was no longer on the display in the store. WTF. It’s a pretty recent phone, and it was there ten days before when Hub and I went researching. So I asked and the sales associate looked at me like she’d never heard of such a phone in her entire career (of probably ten minutes). So she went to ask someone else who said they didn’t have those in the store anymore and they’d have to order it off the web for me. WHAT?!
We spend a good two hours in the store (moving phone lines from one carrier to another is apparently really hard, ya’ll) as they attempt to take care of getting everyone’s new phone setup and activated and configured. Me? I get nothing. I leave the store with nothing…but my good old purple LG Lotus. My new smart phone is being sent to the house sometime next week. I get another week of my cute little purple flowered phone and my cute little tiny black purse. After that, it’s smart phone central for me. I’m not even putting up a picture of my new phone. It’s a boring smart phone with no personality, no real keyboard, and really expensive data plan. And all I want to do is make phone calls and text. Pffft. I’m hoping to figure out how to TURN OFF data so I don’t accidentally spend extra money on data I don’t need or want to use.
I might have to put my old phone into a frame and put it on the wall once it gets turned off permanently. So sad.