A Not-So-Smart Phone

I got my old cell phone before my oldest son went to college. It started to feel like it was some kind of record back in 2007. Apparently Cingular thought the same thing, and that was not the kind or record they were looking for. They want a quick turnover, and make ‘upgrading’ very tempting. They want a shelf-life not unlike toilet paper, or milk. They want you running out of the house every few months and stocking up on cell phones. My sons have bought into that mentality, but not me.

My old cell phone was a large black rectangle that had no moving pieces. My sons called it ‘the brick’ and rolled their eyes as they flipped their up-to-the-minute tiny silver microscopic devices and furtively communicated, James Bond-like.

I dropped my cell phone. A lot. It bore scratches and gouges and streaks of paint. It had a sticky residue on it that smelled like Juicy Fruit. But even at the end, when it was held together with duct tape, it did exactly what I told it to.

I dominated that phone. I dialed numbers effortlessly, finding them in the cellular phone book with no problem. People I hadn’t spoken to since 2005, I easily contacted with a quick touch of my index finger. I could send text messages, and receive them! I was smarter than that phone. I definitely had the upper hand.

I can’t say the same for my new phone. I can’t see it for one thing. I have to go to a dark room and blindly stab at buttons hoping the thing will illuminate.

 I can’t find my ‘contacts’ at all. I know they are in there, but I have not been given access to them. My new phone keeps all information from me, sharing it ‘on a need to know’ basis, when it deems appropriate.

 I finally figured out how to how get to the number pad (sometimes if I poke the bottom left corner of the black screen it comes up) and I learned to send a text (you have to turn the whole thing sideways).

I don’t know what I was thinking when I got this new phone. When asked if I wanted a ‘Smart’ phone, I should have said, ‘No, give me the dumbest thing you’ve got.’  I don’t need a cell phone to make me feel stupid. My four DVD/Roku/DVR/Dish controls take care of that.

I just want a telephone I can see, and talk on. I don’t need it to take pictures and play music and show movies and take notes and ring alarms and schedule my life and surf the web and direct me across the world. I just want to make a call.

Just give me phone that doesn’t know what the hell is going on, and is not smart enough to find out.

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