Joseph O'Brien 9 a.m., April 26
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- shanty town
I didn’t want to do it, but I was forced into it…….I had to get a new phone. I had looked at and compared phones for over the last three years.
Yes, as much as I hate to admit it; I was intimidated by the whole experience. My contract had expired over two years ago and I was well overdue for an upgrade.
This will sound totally ludicrous to everyone out there who’s techno savvy and who’s willing to camp out, or stand in line for hours waiting to buy the next state of the art toy coming out, but quite frankly, I could never find a phone I felt I could be happy with. I wasn’t looking for anything extravagant. Just a phone I could be comfortable with.
I don’t use apps or the internet. I don’t instant message, chat, do Facebook, check my stocks, download music, watch movies or videos. Call me a Neanderthal if you will, but I use my phone to talk to people. Now there’s an interesting concept…..speech. The simple art of verbal communication. Don’t get me wrong, I do however text. Especially when I need to get information to a lot of people quickly, or if I’m where I can’t talk. Like the library.
I’m not a newcomer to cell phones. I’ve had one for the last twelve years. I just hate to change them. Once I hit my full comfort level I’m done until the phone dies. I did finally make a decision and the new phone sat in its box, on my desk, for two days before I attempted to use it. Thank God my daughter was here, or I would have resorted to Rent-A-Kid to figure it out. I want instant gratification. I don’t want to read a manual and play with the phone. Just show me how to do what I need, so I can get on with other things. Like life. Remember Cingular? They were my first cell phone provider. My daughter, Emily still refers to my first phone, as the military walkie/talkie. It didn’t have a sim card or the ability to take pictures. Hey, what can I say, it worked. That’s all I cared about. I was hauling around eleven Girl Scouts and needed a phone for emergencies. Sometimes, the emergency was to just be able to hear another grownups voice. The new phone I picked out is great, but I loved my old phone. There was a certain comfort when I held her in my hand. She was like an old car; dependable, but a car that needed body work, tires and a new transmission. She was starting to look a little war torn, but still got me where I needed to go. My little red phone was with me through joyous and tough times. I had finally dropped her one time too many and as I put that final tourniquet on her, I knew she was not long for this world. I needed to replace her before she died and I was unable to retrieve my address book, ringtones and pictures.
I had held onto that four year old Samsung flip phone for dear life. There were no bells, or whistles. She was just a phone I could use for emergencies. That phone became a surrogate umbilical cord when my daughter started to drive. Within two short years, she relocated out of state to attend college. The umbilical cord now became an 800 mile lifeline. There were sleepless nights when Emily had no cell service, which happened a lot at her school, or when she called in the middle of the night, because she was sick and I was too far away to hold and comfort her.
I had no choice….I had to learn to text. I was slowly being pushed and pulled, kicking and screaming into the 20th century. I say 20th century, because according to my daughter I am still a full century behind everyone else. I don’t send pictures, do email, check the web or anything else glamorous with my phone. I text and call, that’s it. Sure I’ll take an occasional picture. My daughter was so proud of me when I could set new ringtones and photo ID for incoming calls. I really appreciate and love the sarcasm too. “Wow mom. You did that by yourself?”