Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To Smart Phone or Not to Smart Phone?

What would The Dude do??

In high school I was able to get my own phone line. Not just a phone in my room, but my own friggin' phone number. For a high school girl, who happens to be very chatty, this was like the Golden Ticket. ~ That was cool.

I'll admit to having owned a beeper for a while too. In the days before cell phones, this is what you owned. Looking back on it, it was really stupid. I mean, there weren't cell phones and if you were out somewhere and your mother paged you then you had to hunt here and there for a pay phone (and change for it), all while your mother gets angrier and angrier the longer it takes you to return her call. People paged you with "911" when it couldn't have been less of an emergency. And, we TRIED texting. Think all the abbreviations in texting world are confusing now? You shoulda seen it when we had to use numbers!! ~ Ok, an aside here because, dude, doesn't that just sound like a "You know nothin' youngster. When I was your age and we wanted to text we had to use numbers because they didn't have letters like they do now!!" ~ So, the beeper was, and remains, a joke. Unless you're a doctor or somebody.

A decade ago when I moved back from Charleston, SC and was temporarily living in my Dad's basement, I got a cell phone. It made sense. Minutes were limitless. Ahh .. it's like the 60's and Free Love, but instead it was the 00's and I had Free Minutes. But, it did make sense. I spent very little time at home and, still being rather chatty, this enabled me to go forth and chat as much as I pleased.
I don't remember texting coming along for another 3 years or so. And then it was on a green-lit screen in little black type. Kinda like old computers, but in reverse. And it wasn't a big deal. It was fun, but most people didn't text. Oooh .. another ala the 60's moment of naughtily asking "so, do you ... text?"
~ But the overall look-back of those days was that the cell phone was worth it. Though it always has bothered me that it starts with the word "cell", like I'm imprisoned or something.

After Shannon came along and I began staying at home, our need for a cell phone disappeared. I mean, I was home. If Justin wasn't here he was at work. If he wasn't at work he was on his way to or from or perhaps at lunch. We could handle not being able to reach each other for those time periods.
After Tristan came along we still didn't need a cell phone. But then, my mom & stepdad began being our go-to babysitters. And they couldn't always reach us. And come Summertime and with it staying light a lot longer you can accidentally let several hours go by wherein you're suddenly several hours late picking up your kids and your mother, who isn't prone to worrying or hysterics or anything at all like that, thinks you're in a ditch dead somewhere and begins filing the adoption papers so she can keep the kids. ... Well, sorta. You get the idea.
A cell phone was forced upon us. To tell you how much we resisted and fought the notion, we actually "inherited" my 90 year old grandfather's cell phone. Apparently it did him little good because he just kept it in a drawer all the time. So Mom repo'd it from him and hoisted it upon us.

Now the world has changed and everyone has a cell phone. I do find myself using it a lot. You can't call people, they don't want to be bothered. For those of you on my daily "gotta chat with" list I apologize for being such a pest, know that you are loved dearly, and well, please don't quit talking to me I might go nuts. But, the rest of you! HA!! The rest of you can't be bothered with phones!!!
OR EMAIL!! Who has the time to check email?? There are so many of them too!!! It's overwhelming!!
Then, a somewhat geeky savior came along. We weren't sure about him at first because the colors were bland, but then we came around. That's right FACEBOOK.
Facebook became THE way to connect and stay in touch. You could find everyone and talk with them!! But, that's the problem isn't it? Everyone found you. And they want to talk. About everything. Every .. single .. stupid .. inane .. thought that comes out of their swelled heads. ~ I would be just as guilty of this as everyone else, but face it, all my thoughts are worthy of being saved as magnets and bumper stickers and just generally dipped in gold. Really.
But, since most people have just become a pest and there are enough invites on Facebook to make you miss having to actually mail the damn things, people have begun ignoring Facebook too.

NOW if you want to talk to someone you have to text them. In fact, there was a recent comic strip that joked how if you want to talk to someone you have to text them to let them know that you will be calling them. Not far from the truth.
AND .. there is an app for EVERYTHING!

When we went on vacations last year we did use the online access available with our cell phone. Being out of town and in places with out of date phone books and etc, it did make it helpful. But our phone is now a dinosaur among phones. I wish it could be as cool as having an actual fossil, but I think my phone is more comparable to coprolite. Ya know, fossilized poop. Though I believe coprolites are more valuable than my current cell phone. Maybe I should pour tree sap around my cell phone and allow it to sit and harden for several thousand years. Then it might be worth something again. In fact, I may just have myself buried that way. Surely that would REALLY mess with some folks thousands of millions of years from now ... right???

But, I digress, and in that digression I probably show that I really don't need a smart phone. Or do I? I tried comparing my phone with current smart phones to, well, umm, shop smartly for a smart phone? I pretty much got laughed at, and not in the way I usually like. In the "HA!! You can't compare THAT to THIS!!! HA!" snotty sales clerk who knows everything about smart phones kinda way.
Then I went to a different store. There I met a sales clerk who reminded me of Holt from the Cleveland Show, only taller. "Nope you do NOT want this. It's JUNK. HATE IT! You want this!" ~ Ok, dude, you might've thought you were gaining my trust by telling me this, but really you seemed like a douche. And playing Bob Marley in your store didn't make you any cooler.

I really didn't like feeling like I was just trying to be upsold. I'd be much more comfortable if the sales clerk sat down with me, had a few drinks, and said "Dude, what do you really want to do?" And then we could figure this whole thing out together.

But it doesn't work like that. And all I know is that I liked being able to access a couple things on the web. And I like a couple of the apps. Mostly the really stupid ones like the one with the talking cat. And I'm scared of the Droid phones because I'm scared of robots and androids and my main question if I were to get one of those would be about "Can I change it to say something else other than DROID?? Cuz that really creeps me out." Actually, I don't think I could get a Droid phone, it creeped me out too much just touching it. (And yes, I know they mostly all use Android technology, but that's on the inside and much easier to overlook)

Do I need all these GB?? I don't want to watch movies on my cell phone, that's why I have the man cave-ish living room! I would like to be able to take better quality photos with my cell phone than I currently can, but being a freelance photographer I still want to do the majority of my photos with .. ya know .. my cameras!

So, Dude, I just don't know. I really don't. But I would love to hear your thoughts. So, please, leave me a message and tell me what you think. Do you own a smart phone? Are you uber-hip or are you a quasi-Luddite? Do you really use it for all it's worth?


Knitterwockey said...

I barely use my phone to actually call people. I honestly hate talking on the phone and the only person I really ever text is Kevin. Yes, it's pretty sad. But, my smart phone is great. I can check my email (I do email a lot!), facebook, directions, look up stuff on google to prove Kevin wrong, stay up with Red Sox scores and waste time playing Angry Birds. honestly, I'd probably be just fine with an ipod touch and a dumb phone but then it's clunky just carrying two things around. Oh, and pandora is cool to have for music when I get bored with my stuff and it takes decent pictures for those times when I'm out and about but don't want to carry around a camera too. I vote for joining the 21st century!

Carrie and Justin said...

I'm so overwhelmed even reading that. I haven't even figured out Pandora yet. I always thought that was like the mega-center of all evil box that you don't open ever.
Wow. :)

Knitterwockey said...

It's one so scary! One of us! One of us!