Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Cell Phone Wars

When it comes to technology, I’m like pitting Gomer Pyle against Steven Hawking.  My kids keep trying to drag me into this century, but I always manage to find something to hold onto.

However, I have had a cell phone for a few years.  But, only as a matter of convenience.  You know, the car broke down, I’m at the grocery store, do we need anything?  Having one and knowing what it can do are two very different things.

So, when my husband, Matt, looked at my cell bills and realized that we were paying $45.00 a month for over 600 minutes, but I only used around 30, he decided it was time for a change.  Of course, I whined like a toddler being weaned from the pacifier.  After 2 years, I pretty much figured out how to use the phone I had.  But, logic won.  We switched to one of those “pay as you go” phones.  He asked what I wanted in a phone.  And here was my simple list:

1.       Must be a flip phone.  I know this is old school, but I’ve always felt that a phone should be large enough that you actually know that it’s there.  I did have one of those small ones for a while, but I always felt like Andre the Giant using a paper cup and string.  When people would call, I’d hold it to my ear to hear, then move it to my mouth to speak.  Ear, mouth, ear, mouth – honestly, I must have looked like a chipmunk on crack.  That phone didn’t last long.

2.      Must have a large address book.  For years, I lugged around a large organizer, solely to keep people’s phone numbers and email addresses.  It took a while to understand how handy the “contacts” portion of my cell was.  The only problem I have is that I can’t figure out how to put spaces between each word.  Fortunately, we homeschool, so I can decipher pretty much anything.

3.      Must ring LOUD and vibrate.  It had to be loud, because I can never hear those things.  The vibrating feature was a must as the stupid thing was usually at the bottom of my purse.  The vibrating allowed me to reach in and find it; or at least give me a shot at it.  Bonus, I usually find loose change.

Matt bought the phone that had all my criteria.  When we got it home, my daughter, Elyse, had a chance to look it over.  She exclaimed, “Mom, this is a camera phone!  Now you don’t have to try to fish your camera out of that suitcase you call a purse!”   I, of course, am thinking, oh, great, something with a lens.  I wonder how fast it’ll take me to break this bad boy.

She played with it a while, then asked if I’d like to try to take a picture.  She pointed to a button on the side and explained that all I have to do is point and shoot.  I held the lens thingy to my eye, and told her I couldn’t see anything.  “Is this thing on?  Elyse, I can’t see anything!”  I kept squinting through the little hole, but nothing.

Of course, my family is in stitches on the floor.  I couldn’t understand what was so darned funny.  We just got this thing, and it’s broken.  Finally, they turned the phone around and explained that I was trying to see through the part that was taking the actual pictures.  The “view finder” was the big screen on the other side.

The stupid phone also came equipped with “blue tooth” technology.  This is where you get this small device to stick in your ear, to both hear & SPEAK!  I looked at it & thought, “Beam me up, Scotty”.  Then I laughed really hard & gave it to the Boy.   

Another feature on my new little gadget is the speaker phone.  I had no clue until I hit the button by mistake, and suddenly everyone at the grocery store knew we were out of toilet paper.  Of course, I didn’t know how to turn it off, so I just hung up (and got the toilet paper).

So, yes, I’m far behind when it comes to this new age of technology.  But, so what?  Most of my friends are in the same boat.  And, if you’d like a laugh, give me a call on my cell.  I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll hear something like, “Why can’t I hear anything?  What did I just do?  Is this thing on?”

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