Tuesday, June 04, 2013

My brief flirtation with a smart ...


For years I've been carrying around and using what has now become a 'dumb' phone. All I've ever done with it is make calls/receive calls. It's small, it fits nicely into the palm of my hand, and has a voice activation feature so I don't have to dial numbers on the tiny keyboard. I can take pictures with it and email them. I can text and receive texts [mostly from my provider urging me to upgrade], but don't enjoy the procedure.

My husband and I were on a reasonable phone plan, and after we finished with the contract we  continued on a month-to-month basis.

My kids, my kids' friends, my grandchildren, my friends' grandchildren, my relatives, my neighbors, everyone in town, everyone in the world it seems now uses a 'smart' phone.

A smart phone does everything a dumb phone can do, plus a million things more. These 'things', called apps [applications] congregate all over the screen and I'm sure when you're not looking they multiply, procreate, regurgitate [well not quite, but somehow the word fits].

I'm not knocking the handiness and multiuse functions of this device. I mean, you can tell exactly how many feet you are above sea level. What the weather is like anywhere in the world at any given moment. Who starred in what movie and sang what song in what year. Important stuff like that. Well, I'm sure it's settled just as many arguments as it's begun.

And of course the popularity of these devices is staggering. People of all ages walk through a mall texting their friends, family, husbands/wives, bosses/employees. When a disaster or a fight or an argument occurs one thousand videos will capture the moment for posterity to be shown on YouTube, Facebook, twitter, wherever.

So, we were passing a phone store. Maybe, I thought, it was time to finally upgrade. I admit I was dazzled when shown all the different things I'd be able to do with a smart phone. I picked one out, got our plan changed, signed a new contract for three years, and went home to set everything up.

I should've known when I saw the instruction booklet. It was 1 inch tall by 4 inches wide and had the tiniest print I had ever seen. [Yes, an instruction manual is available over the Internet. A good size, too. I could print out all sixty or so pages if I felt like, or sit at my computer and work on it there.]

I should've known when some of the apps began to replicate themselves and I could find no instructions for stopping this. I should have known when I typed a contact in wrong and could find no instructions for deleting it. I should've known I would never use a thousand apps, because all I really wanted to do was make calls and receive them.

So we returned to the store, returned the smart phone and all the paraphernalia it came with, including the inch-high instruction manual. Everything was refunded, the contract was nullified, it was as if I had never even gone there. My weekend nightmare was over.

I was overjoyed to have my precious dumb phone reinstated in all its glory.

-- Cat [forever dumb, but happy]