I’m not exactly a pioneer when it comes to cell phones and new cell phone technology.
Despite the urgings of friends and family, I held off on obtaining a cell phone until 2005. I realized it might have been more convenient if I had one, but it certainly wasn’t a necessity. Besides, it was kind of nice having people not be able to reach me at all times.
But I eventually decided to join cell phone nation when I purchased a simple flip phone from Verizon. That phone served me well for a few years. Finally, in 2009, due to time and some water damage, it was time to replace it and get myself a new phone.
At the time, Mrs. Cutter wanted me to get a smart phone. We were switching to AT&T so that she could get an iPhone, so she thought that I should get one too.
I said that I didn’t need a smart phone. I mean, it seemed like a nice enough device, but was it really necessary? I also liked how there seemed to be more substance to a flip phone, as with smart phones, it almost feels like you’re talking into air.
So I bought another flip phone. And it served me well for the past two and a half years. I probably would have held onto it for a while longer, but fate had other ideas.
Returning from Long Island last week, I am pretty sure that I brought the phone on to the airplane. But between lugging a few bags, a stroller, and a baby, it seems that the phone didn’t make it off.
I’m guessing that I had to help out with the baby at some point and dropped the phone in an inconvenient place (The seat pocket in front of me is the most logical guess) and didn’t retrieve it when it was time to deboard.
After almost a week of hoping that it would turn up, I had to come to the conclusion that the phone was probably lost forever.
In the past, I might have just gone without a phone, and lived a cellular free life. With the Cutlet around, that didn’t seem like a real option. So on Saturday, we ventured out to the AT&T store to get a new phone.
I still wasn’t sure what I should get. While I was sure that I would use and appreciate a smart phone, it also seemed like an unnecessary luxury. I mean, a simple flip phone had served me well enough for almost six years. So why not stay the course?
Mrs. Cutter argued in favor of the smart phone. She said that I’d often use her iPhone, and I seemed to like it. And I pointed out that yes, I did enjoy the phone, but once again, it was more a question of necessity. Did I need to pay extra for a smart phone, when I could easily live without it?
Ultimately, I decided to go the smart phone route. I settled on a Motorola Android phone that had a slide out keypad for easier texting. It seemed like a decent enough phone. But I still wasn’t 100% convinced that I had made the right decision.
On the drive home, I was using the phone, and found I didn’t like the interface as much as the iPhone’s. I thought that perhaps I had made a mistake. Even more frustrating was that I kept getting a system error when trying to edit my contacts or use the web browser.
The phone’s battery was low, so I hoped that the errors would clear up with some charging and a reset. After plugging the phone in for about an error and then giving it a reboot, the error remained, and actually became worse. At this point, the phone was near unusable, since the error came up on just about every operation.
I logged onto AT&T’s website and used their customer service chat. I was told that this was a known issue with some Motorola phones, and I would have to exchange the phone at the store.
I was unhappy. But perhaps this was just fate’s way of telling me that I had made the wrong decision.
I returned to the store. I asked for the same salesman from before. He asked if there was a problem, and I said it probably isn’t a good sign when a customer returns to the store shortly after making a large purchase.
I told him that aside from the phone not working, I didn’t like it anyway. But would I revert back to my flip phone days, or go for the iPhone?
I went with the iPhone. While the iPhone was more expensive than the one I had originally purchased (but really, once you hit a certain cost threshold, does it really matter?) I was familiar with it and liked the interface, so I decided I was better off going with something I already knew well.
Thankfully, because the phone I was exchanging was broken, I avoided the “restocking” fee, and was able to make an even exchange, only paying for the increased price of the iPhone.
So now, I have joined the rest of the country and I am using a smart phone. The 21st century begins.
My fear is that like many Americans, I may become a “smart phone zombie.” I don’t want to be out with people and have my head constantly buried in my phone. I don’t want to interrupt a conversation so that I can check my email or update my Facebook status. And I certainly don’t have to use foursquare to announce my location at all times.
But on the bright side, I can now do fun things like play Words With Friends (I’m treachx if anyone wants to play!) and take decent pictures with my phone. So there are definite positives.
We’ll just have to see how it goes for the next two years until my contract expires. By then, I’m sure there will be another technical advance which I will resist for as long as possible.