Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Leaping Into the Digital Age

Two years ago, I was sucked into a two year contract with this:

You are probably looking at this "cell phone" right now and laughing hysterically.

Less than two years ago, this phone was cutting edge technology.  No, seriously.  Now, it's gone the way of the dinosaurs.  Calls on it often aren't clear and texting is, basically, non-existent because...well...look at it!  It takes approximately the time it would take to drive to the person's house and have an actual conversation to actually send a text.  In fact, I will usually snag Justin's Android (on the rare occasion I actually have to send a text), just to enjoy the incredibly indulgent feel of that smooth surface and the luxury of an actual QWERTY keyboard.

I had been saying for the last, oh, year and a half, that this phone was so last year and that as soon as Sprint got their two years out of me next February, I was getting a new phone with a touch keypad that doesn't require figuring out which number equals the letter "q."

Once I really started to think about it though, I realized that having two of these phones (the second was originally Ben's, but he has since moved up twice and the other one went to Jamie for emergencies) for $40 month was a pretty good deal, especially considering that I hardly ever have the actual need for texting.  Most of my phone involvement is usually in the form of (gasp!) a conversation.

This is a fact that I know is also somewhat last year, as we seem to have vaulted into an age where all of our discussions are had either by instant message or text.  Our children are growing up learning the English language without vowels.  One of Ben's friends last year actually got carpal tunnel syndrome in both of his thumbs from texting.  From texting???  Really????

I idly remarked to Justin last night that there isn't much point in my upgrading to one of these neat new phones with web surfing, touch pad texting, movie streaming on a four inch square screen, the ability to play music, and, in my spare time, maybe writing my doctoral dissertation on it, when I already have the ability to do all of these things with the technology we currently have in our household.  A quick inventory turns up six televisions, five computers (three of which travel with us), four gaming systems, four cell phones, three handheld gaming devices, three iPods, two home phones, cable and internet access for all, and a partridge in a pear tree.  Okay, I'm kidding about the partridge (although we do have our plethora of pets), but seriously, do we really need all of this technology for five people?  It could be argued that the only one who really needs access to any of these things is Justin, who works from home on his computer and spends most of his day on lengthy conference calls on his nifty little phone (Which hold earphones for muting so I only hear his side of the conversation.  How cool is that?)

I suppose I could also argue for my own internet access on my laptop, since my collaboration on my children's books with my illustrator takes place completely by email and through the websites he sets up for me and since he lives in Florida, while I am here in Virginia.  And, even though I'm not making any money off of it, I do flex my daily writing muscles on this blog.  Plus, okay, all of this new stuff is just, well, fun.

But none of these arguments gives me any reason to upgrade my cell phone when the contract ends in three months.  I don't have to have a new phone with an expensive monthly fee because do I, if I'm being honest with myself, really need an app for that? 

Then Justin said he thought it would be a good idea to get rid of the land line and get us all new cell phones.  Um....I like the way he thinks.

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