Adventures in SmartPhone Ownership
So I took the plunge. I switched to the hippie cell phone company (Credo Mobile, part of Working Assets, which Moth and most of Ithaca has had for decades). I could get a Smart Phone plan for pretty much what I was paying for a Dumb Phone plan on Sprint, plus I get a free phone that is much smarter than my current phone, and has a way better camera to boot. I read the reviews of all the free cameras and it turned out that the fanciest one was the best, even though it’s not that “current”– yuppies will look down their noses at me, but when does that ever NOT happen?
Thus I became a Smart Phone user.
It’s not that easy to become a SmartPhone user out of the blue, because “smart” is describing the phone, not necessarily the user. Since I’m a novice to this whole thing, I don’t even know what it’s supposed to do. My phone apparently does a zillion different things, and it didn’t come with a manual. It came with a barebones “getting started” booklet which included things like “answering your phone” and “making a call.” However, every time some random event in the universe happens, the phone makes one of 25 different noises that sound like Tinkerbell farting, and though I thought I turned them all off, it still twinkle-farts every now and then. Usually, my way to deal with new technology is to go through the manual and do all the different things in there one by one. However, I was able to figure out how to do all the stuff in the “getting started” booklet myself. I found an online manual, but it needed some new version of Adobe reader or something to decipher it, and when I tried to upgrade, it crashed or something, so half the pages don’t show up. Oh well, I’ll figure out something. It somehow added every single person I’ve ever emailed to my phone contact list (i.e., everyone who ever answered a Craig’s List ad when I was selling stuff, every potential date I’ve ever contacted etc.) I figured out how to get rid of all those people at least! To get rid of the Tinkerbell-esque sounds, I uploaded a new ringtone from my computer (there’s a site where you can do this for free) so it would play the word “wombat” in morse code every time the phone rings. However, it’s way too complicated a procedure and I have no idea if the ring tone actually saved or not, and if so where it stored it.
This morning the phone started making a more insistent shimmering sound. For a moment I thought I was having a flashback on a 1980s sitcom, but it turned out it was just Moth calling. She was actually telling me that Mikala wants me to go to Thailand, and I should get on that and also why haven’t I been playing Scrabble? “Are you OK? You sound weird,” she said.
“I wasn’t sure if my phone was actually ringing, or if it was just telling me the stock prices in Equatorial Guinea had just dropped 3/10 of a point,” I said.
I told her about my misadventures with the Smart Phone. Moth said “oh, now you can play Scrabble on your phone! … but I see you don’t want to play anymore. I guess I should just give up on our game(s).” These days Moth’s life revolves around online Scrabble. She actually called me once a few months ago to ask me if I was sick because it had been, like, 3 hours and I hadn’t made a Scrabble move.
I tried to appeal to her maternal desires to populate the world with more grandkids (or at least see me coupled up since in her mind it’s impossible for a female to be happy while single) and said “well I’ve been sorta like seeing this GUY… I haven’t had time to play a lot of Scrabble…” However, Moth knows me too well. She just said “well do you actually LIKE him, or is just another, you know… whatever?” I had to walk this line carefully. If I said, “meh, whatever” then it would be no excuse to not spend every waking moment playing online Scrabble and every sleeping moment dreaming about Scrabble moves, so even having mentioned it would just have been wasting time. If I said “I actually LIKE him,” then it would be assumed that armies of grandchildren would start marching out of my nether regions possibly beginning next week. “Um, he’s cool?” I began… luckily Moth has the attention span of a fruit fly and non-commital responses trigger her desire to rapidly move onto the next subject. Phew!
Back to the SmartPhone, though… I have a month to decide if being a SmartPhone operator is enough of a positive addition to my life to keep the phone or cancel. At this point (being a user for less than 24 hours), I really can’t see how it’s improving the quality of my life. Maybe that will change as I actually learn how to use the damn thing. Maybe in 29 days I will say “HOLY CRAP I AM ADDICTED, HOW DID I EVER LIVE WITHOUT THIS TINY HUNK OF METAL!?!?!?” we’ll see. I do get 4G network thingie, though I’m not entirely sure what that means. It’s fast? So if I need to download pr0n on the go, I can do it really fast? Apparently it uses up a lot of battery life to do that. It does take nice pictures, though!
Dear HTC Evo Shift 4G, maybe we can be friends sometime.