Monday, December 19, 2011

I've Joined the 21st Century

I don't remember the last time I got a new cell phone. Maybe six or seven years ago. I do remember that it was free when I upgraded to a new plan. It was a little white flip phone and I was so excited to not have a clunky phone with an antenna. And that phone served me well.

Granted, I have not been a texter (the buttons were small; my fingers are big) and I only used it to make and receive actual calls. I rarely turned it on; only when I was making or expecting a call or sometimes while on my way to rehearsal. I scoffed at people who bought iPhones. "Why do you need to spend $400 on a phone? That's ridiculous!"

Then, this summer I went on a business trip to Chicago. As my co-workers and I sat in the airport waiting for our flight to board, they all pulled out their phones to play games; check their email; watch videos or text their friends and family; while I sat quietly staring into space, feeling jealous and bored. Granted, I had a book to read. But I wasn't in the mood to do so. Watching them being entertained so easily, I decided then and there that my next phone would be better.

So Christmas started to approach. 'Santa' (my mother) asked what I wanted. "A new phone," was my immediate response. I started researching, basing my criteria mostly on price. I could get a smart phone from my carrier (I've been with T-Mobile even before they were T-Mobile and have been quite happy with them) at Walmart for less than $50.00. So, off 'Santa' and I went. We quickly discovered that while the price of the phone was cheap enough, the monthly plan was outrageous. "What about the $49.99 a month plan they advertise?" I asked the very disinterested clerk. "Oh," she said. "You have to go to the T-Mobile store for that."

'Santa' said, "Okay. Just go to the T-Mobile store and pick out the phone you want and I'll pay for it. But don't spend more than $XX.00."

So while finishing my Christmas shopping on Saturday, I did just that. Of course, the phone I wanted was more than twice $XX.00. But the knowledgeable and patient salesman (actually, the store manager, who had dealt quite professionally with a very difficult customer before me) worked with me and we managed to come up with a deal and a plan that made everyone happy. 'Santa' paid for the down-payment on the phone, the 'skin' and the tax, while the remaining balance was broken up into $10.00 interest-free payments added to my monthly $49.99 unlimited plan. I got a top-of-the line smart phone that does everything but wash the dishes and tuck me in at night and 'Santa' even gets a $50.00 rebate. Double-plus good, no?

I'm still in the learning curve with the my new MyTouch phone. I have to sit down with the book, even thought the salesman told me just to play with the phone and discover it on my own. And I have to give it back to 'Santa' on Friday so she can wrap it and give it back to me on Saturday night. But that's okay. Maybe by then, I'll actually have figured how to use half of the functions it comes with. At least I can say I am "Walking in a 4G Wonderland." That is what they're singing, right?

I hope your 'Santa' brings you what you want for Christmas; Xmas; Hanukkah; Kwanzaa or Solstice this holiday season. More importantly, I hope you take the time to appreciate the people you love, the people who love you and all the blessings in your life.

More, anon.

P.S. - I donated my old phone to Cell Phones for Soldiers, which supplies phones for our military men and women who may not have one of their own, so they can call loved ones while serving their country. It's the very least I could do to thank them for preserving our freedom.



Stephen said...

I am afraid that I am going to have to join you. Is there an AP for that?

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I love the iPhone so I definitely can appreciate how awesome technology makes our lives easier. I rely upon my phone now with twitter and my address book, an alarm clock, voice recording, note taking, etc. I love it.