Smarty pants phone brings disappointmentAbout four years ago, the hubby and I agreed that while we definitely appreciated the convenience of having cell phones, we didn’t feel any great need for features like cameras, texting or Internet surfing. I did my homework and settled on a no-contract, simple plan billed for usage at the end of the month.
By: Judith Liebaert, Superior Telegram
About four years ago, the hubby and I agreed that while we definitely appreciated the convenience of having cell phones, we didn’t feel any great need for features like cameras, texting or Internet surfing. I did my homework and settled on a no-contract, simple plan billed for usage at the end of the month.
The selection of phones available from this service provider is limited, but that didn’t matter. We just wanted a well-made phone, simple to use and easy to see; the big button old peoples’ phone, I call it.
Our little flip phones served us well until late last fall when my husband’s phone wouldn’t hold a charge for more than half a day. I sent for a new battery, but that didn’t seem to help. Then the phone started dropping callers, repeatedly. We sent for a replacement phone for hubby.
Just a few weeks later my phone started dying function by function. I soldiered on. I really use my phone very little, so as long as I could still place and receive calls, I didn’t care if I couldn’t set it to silent mode. I just turned it off in situations where ringing would be inappropriate or rude.
Nor did I care that I couldn’t save new numbers to the sim card. I have a small circle of friends and family, and have selected my phone book entries quite carefully.
However, when the internal speaker gave out (the one that lets you hear the caller speaking), I gave in.
My husband suggested I should buy a smart phone. He thought it might be helpful to be more connected away from my home office.
I started phone shopping. It’s no surprise I quickly settled on an iPhone. I have an iMac desktop that I absolutely love for its ease of use and reliability with never a need for service in the past five years.
I didn’t like the price quite as much, but thanks to the numerous folk who upgrade their phones every two years when their contracts expire, there is an abundance of like new offerings on the market.
I settle on an affordable 3G (that’s two Gs back if anybody is keeping track), purchased online. Then I sat back and eagerly awaited delivery of the package. When it arrived, I felt like a kid with a new toy ... that needs batteries the kid’s parents forgot to purchase. It wasn’t the battery that was missing, though, it was the sim card tray.
A quick call to the seller and the tray was on its way via two-day express mail. When the essential component arrived, I popped it in, slid my sim card into place and held my breath. The process wasn’t as instantaneous as my provider promised, but a call to customer service had me up and running in no time.
I have to admit, it was fun being able to check weather, email and Facebook without having to go out to my studio and fire up the big computer. The phone was surfing on my home wireless network, which meant not using minutes from my plan — a bonus.
The next day was a big event; baby’s first outing. No sooner did I wander beyond the reach of my home wireless, did I hit a bump. There was no 3G connectivity, or any G for that matter.
Another call to customer service, and I was provided a link that should magically complete the connection process. However, by this time was battery power was dwindling so I thought it best to charge baby up.
Hours later, nothing. That night, nothing. Next morning, nothing. So back baby went to the cell phone orphanage — home for phones without a plan.
I have since settled on a slightly upgraded version of the big button, flip phone model with no frills. I was hyper connected to the information Autobahn for about 36 hours.
It was exciting and fun at first but the experience became increasingly anxiety ridden, with my phone demanding my attention every time I received a new email, text or FB message.
I know I can turn notices off completely, but if that’s the case, why do I need a smarty-pants phone to begin with?
So, am I smarter than a smart phone? That is a matter of opinion, but I am definitely smart enough to know I don’t need one.
Judith Liebaert was raised in Superior and now lives in rural Douglas County. She blogs on-line as the Mad Goddess™. Send your comments or story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.