I got a new phone. It is not quite the experience of getting a new car, although for younger folks I suppose it is based on the amount of time and money they spend on their phones. My purchase, however, was a step way backwards and I know it definitely defines who I have become…not who I once was.
Technology is passing me by. I am officially one of the elder citizens who cannot keep up all these new fangled gadgets and whatchamacallits. I used to be on the top of technology, especially having spent my career in the communications business (commercial radio). When it came to a desktop, the keystone for my computer era, I was always state of the art. Meanwhile, I leased automobiles so I had a new one every three years, each one more advanced than its predecessor. But that was then, and now…well, it is what it is.
I do not live by the clock anymore. I don’t have a daily schedule of meetings or places to be at and I’m home on time because I am usually already home. Retirement is a whole new lifestyle. Now that I’m a good decade into it, I don’t have the need for a fancy phone.
Up until last week, I had a Pixel 2—a $600 plastic box filled with so many electronics and cyber what-all’s that it probably would have washed my car if I downloaded the right app. But that was the trouble with it—It put me in app overload. I could not figure out how to get it to do all the basic things I wanted it to do, plus the gazillion other things it could do that I wasn’t even aware of. Add to that, it seemed every time I picked it up it appeared with a whole new display filled with the latest do-dah’s that the automatic update system decided I must have. Maybe I must have them, but I didn’t know how to operate them. Once I managed to learned how to use one or two of them, along came another update that wiped them out and replaced them with new alien creatures for me to figure out all over again. I hated it. I hardly used it. I could not depend on it.
Sometimes it would ring and the answer button disappeared. While it kept ringing I would swipe, tap, punch and spit on any button or icon that showed up…but none of them would answer the phone. I’d hand it over to whoever was with me and ask them to answer it. They couldn’t figure it out either. And, oh yeah, that $600 price tag is something I would have never accepted if it hadn’t been hidden and double-talked by the salesman and somehow molded seamlessly into my contract. Shame on me. So I was to be stuck with it for two years. Last I checked, I was told I still had 8 months to go on it. I already felt I’d had it for 8 years. I had fallen into phone hell and I couldn’t get up.
But wait! There was a cyber lining in my cellular sky. Nathali the Phone PheeNom from AT&T, a competing company to the one I was with, came to my rescue. There she was, sitting at my dining room table (yes, she made house calls) explaining how she would give me a new version of the original star-trek flip phone…and it came with the basics of a camera, texting and a collection of USEFUL apps. I was in heaven. It was one-quarter the size of my old moose phone. I didn’t have to take it out of my pocket every time I sat down. And for Rosemarie? Well, she’s more tech savvy than I want to be so she go a new i-phone to replace the old one she had. That’s another reason why I don’t need a gimmicky phone. My wife has one and we are never seperated. So if we need gps to find our way home, her phone will do the job. All this, PLUS PLUS PLUS a significant drop in our monthly bill. See, toldjuh…Nathali the Phone PeeNom!
So, life is good again. I have a state-of-the-art old-fart flip phone. Beam me up, Nathali…I gotta show this thing to Captain Kirk.
Self-Publishing Alert: for those of you who have been following my lessons in self-publishing, the final instructions dealing with page numbering with Microsoft Word are now posted on my website: marckuhn.com …Have a Great Week!