Most of my adult life I’ve tried to keep up with the latest technology, but lately, I’ve fallen behind. Recently, my son asked me with a grin as he looked at my cell, “Mom, isn’t it time you got a “grown-up” phone?” I answered I really didn’t need one. In addition to my bundled land-line, I have a cell phone that takes photos (in case I’m in an accident), a slide-out qwerty keyboard that enables me to easily text a friend with a hearing disability, voice mail, and unused Internet that drains the battery, besides the obvious ability—phoning people. And it is cheap to own and use each month. So what if my phone is dumb, not smart!?
As a writer, my home and office are located in the same place, so I don’t need traffic and weather reports, or coordination with carpool members. My home computer provides most of the information I need each day and connection with the outside world, and I have GPS in my car.
I’m probably shocking a lot of you readers, but I’ve seen some of you isolate yourselves from the art of conversation at the doctor’s or dentist’s offices, in the grocery store line, at the hair salon, in restaurants, etc. How can I learn how to develop my characters if no one will talk with me?
I remember years ago when I had my dance business; I depended a great deal on my answering machine for acquiring jobs. When messages changed from analog to digital, I suddenly found it difficult to understand them. The digital ones were tinny and it sounded like people were mumbling far off in a concert hall. I still have that trouble. When people call me now, I ask them to call me back on my land line, because I have difficulty understanding them on my cell. I even had my hearing checked to see if it was just me. Nope, I have great hearing.
But, my son’s question played around in my mind. By not having the latest gadget, was I losing my edge, whatever that means? Why do I need to spend a lot of money, time researching, and effort learning how to use a smart phone?
Never the less, I did some research on smart phones and, my goodness, they do a lot these days! They also cost a lot. I’m not poor or cheap, but I can think of better ways to spend my dollars for something I rarely use. Anyway, I went to several consumer websites to gain more information.
Do you know there is not a single review that gives any of the myriad of smart phones an excellent rating on voice quality? Out of a ranking of 5 points they all rank a three. Isn’t that what telephones were originally created for? Apparently, not anymore. I do know it depends on the chosen carrier and the signal and the phone, but…
We humans can send people to outer space, but we can’t make a phone that has great voice quality? That is shocking to me.
Remember the days when, if you purchased a multi-function machine of some kind and if one thing went wrong or broke, you were stuck with having to replace several items or buying another combo-unit? I think that has influenced me also in not buying a smart phone. It does too many things. I know eventually it will be inevitable, but do I have to take that step yet? Hmmm, what to do?
Okay, folks, tell me why you can’t manage without a smart phone. If I’m missing out, I want to know.
Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland.
Join her here each 11th of the month.