Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Succumb and Buy a Smartphone

I resisted the publicity, the promotions, and the prevalence of devices around me for years.  I endured the comments and ridicule of friends and family. My cell phone worked and I had no desire, need or wish to replace it with updated gadgetry.

Smartphone adherents urged me to buy one. My phone was overdue a replacement by a couple of years, but I was happy to make and receive phone calls and, occasionally, text messages.

But my phone was dying. The front panel screen no longer showed anything but a geometric design. The time between charges consistently decreased. It took longer and longer to recharge.

This morning I was juggling my two-year-old granddaughter and handbag, attempting to retrieve some cash and a gym pass, when suddenly my phone slipped out of my bag and fell to the floor - in two pieces.

My fear was that my contact information would be irretrievable.

My resistance to facing a long, mind-numbing, agonizing time in a phone store finally gave way out of necessity.

I was not opposed to buying and using a new phone; I was opposed to the additional, on-going, persistent monthly cost.

But it was time to enter the 21st century communication era.

One reason I was so reluctant was because I did not want to deal with the complexity, the questions, sort through the choices, and make decisions. But the time had come. I could no longer put off the inevitable.

My free phone could no longer be replaced with another free one. There is no longer a free phone – at least at my provider. The cheapest phone was $30. I unenthusiastically decided to upgrade to a device offering numerous capabilities, most of which will never be used by me.

I purchased the cheapest combination phone, text, and data plan. The phone cost $50. The salesman told me it was a $450 item, but since I qualified for an upgrade I received a special deal. Yeah, right…

The good news was my contact list was not lost and is now safely stored on my new device.

Now I have to learn to use my new toy.

New toys nowadays are not user-friendly nor simple to use.

The store offers free classes every Thursday evening. I can go back to the store and ask the sales reps how to accomplish a specific task or set up an account. There is a manual, but it is not very comprehensive or user-friendly. It was obviously written by and for geeks.

So, tentatively, step by small step, I will become proficient in using a few of the device’s bells and whistles. But the reality is my smartphone may be brilliant, but I am not, at least when it comes to electronic gadgets.

Hub has spent the time since we came home from the phone store a couple of hours ago figuring out how to use the phone. He, alas, does not yet own one. But he is more technically savvy than I, more interested in electronics than I, and a guy. Gadgetry and guys seem to go together.

So he will figure it out and teach me. He will get frustrated with me, but we will both survive this latest episode in our life. The new arrival to our family may not be quite as life altering as that of a new baby, but the changing dynamics may be as wide-ranging.

It will take time, toil and practice to become proficient in using my smartphone quickly and easily.

My head is spinning thinking about it. But I cannot just make and receive phone calls. Hub says that would be a waste of money.

And if everyone else can use a smartphones, I should be able to master one too.

Let the battle effort begin.


  1. You are ahead of the curve as far as I am concerned. My phone is not smart, but apparently I am even less so. I don't use the text function.

  2. I resisted for a while, but my kids all had iphones and finally convinced me to get one. I have to admit I do love it as we stay much more in contact with pictures and texting, keep my calendar updated, my grocery list, get directions, and when my memory lapses... look up the word I'm looking for!

  3. My phone will do things I am incapable of understanding. Sometimes when I hit a button by mistake, it will say, "please say a command." I quickly hang up and cancel the request. I have NO IDEA what to say! Good luck on your new adventure. It sounds like you've got some help, lucky for you...

  4. Good luck with all that. I hope I never see the day. I think my phone is very smart. It knows who it is. It's a phone. It makes calls. It receives calls. It knows who I am, too: a human being, fully capable of remembering and/or finding and making a note of information when and if I find it useful. We get along. And so far, we're managing the 21st century quite nicely. May it ever be so!

  5. Good for you ... I myself am still resisting the tide of progress.