When a phone was just a phone

I suspect that the bulk of my readers are old enough to remember a time when every home had a land-line telephone, when call waiting was a new and exciting feature and when cellular phones first arrived on the scene. Back in about 1993 I had a job working for a market research firm that did work for the movie industry. In some ways it was a glamorous job especially because when we were in the field, we were given a cell phone to use to report our findings back to the office. Ahhhh, my first time using a cell phone and it was unbelievable, big, clunky and in a bag. If memory serves me correctly the connection and sound quality wasn’t great but damn we were talking on a mobile phone!

A few short years later in about 1996 or so I recall getting my own cellular phone and it seemed so sleek compared to my earlier experiences. I think it might have been a bronze colored Nokia, I remember how neat it was to call someone just for the hell of it. Of course my poor husband was still walking around with beeper back then, granted pay phones were still fairly plentiful so normally if I paged him he could call me back within 20 minutes or so.

I think back now what seems to me just a few short years ago when I moved up to the Motorola Razr and how cool that phone seemed, not only could I make calls but dammit I could take pictures and send a simple text message! However back in 2009 I made the leap to a Smartphone at that time getting a Blackberry because they were hot. Oh it was love at first sight, my goodness I had a gadget that was pretty much a computer that I could put in my bag!! I was hooked.

But technology is steadily progressing and not even a year after getting that Blackberry, it started feeling dated compared to my son’s Droid and my other friend’s i Phones, but I am loyal. Besides I hate having to start all over and trying to be frugal I figured I would just stick with my trusty old Blackberry. Yeah, sometimes she gave me a hard time and of course there was the issue of the track ball that occasionally got stuck making it hard to use the damn thing.

Yet all good things must come to an end and about two weeks ago, the poor track ball got stuck and none of my usual tricks worked. I realized old Bessie the Blackberry was going to have to be replaced when I couldn’t access my address book and payroll needed to be called in. I didn’t think my staff would be too happy about not getting paid because I couldn’t get the number of the person I needed to call.

So at the beginning of a large snow storm, the Spousal Unit and I braved the snow to go to the local Verizon shop to see if Bessie could be repaired or for a simple replacement. Upon getting to the store the staff announced that Bessie was no more…her ball had gone off the track one last time. I had known that might be the case so I was fully prepared to get another Blackberry since they are economical also I like… no need a keyboard. Since gaining possession of an iPad during the holidays I have learned there are limits as far as me and touch screens especially when doing work related stuff.

Well the handy dandy staff showed me the Droid Pro, the latest Droid apparently designed to entice faithful Blackberry users…the holdouts clinging to the candy bar design and the keyboard yet who want more out of their gadgets. Fuck it, I said. Turns out it was upgrade time so they offered me a deal (yo, remember when they used to give us free phones every 2 years for being faithful customers?) so I walked out the door with my pockets $160 lighter and a fucking beast in my bag.

Let me tell you it’s two weeks later and I still don’t know what the fuck I am doing with this thing, someone told me they were Tivo’ing with their Droid…I’m like hey how the hell can I assign ringtones to select folks so I know when to answer the phone? Don’t get me wrong, I have decided to keep the phone and while I agree with elder boy that the navigation system is lovely, lately I find myself longing for the days when a phone was a phone. Nowadays you must have apps to maximize your enjoyment of your gadgets…all I want is a simple internet connection, email and a phone.

For some reason I am remembering Star Trek…space the final frontier. Lately it feels like phones are the final frontier.