For years I poo-pooed anyone who spoke so highly about their smartphone. I mean, c'mon, it's a freaking phone. How grand could it be? Why would you need a phone to do something other than make phone calls? Geeze Louise, get a life, will ya? I even tried one once, my cousin's droid, and sure enough when I tried to text a message all the letters were coming out wrong. My fat little sausage fingers couldn't hit the teeny touch screen where they were supposed to. Instead of "What time you coming home?" I was getting "ShAy tonw uou .Omkng jome," Talk about annoying. If that was my phone I would have thrown it against the wall. I handed it back to him in disgust. "I got my Envy with a keyboard I can feel, that's all I need." And it was, but Verizon had other plans for me.
Although my phone was a workhorse, the rest of my families' weren't, and they could barely wait until their contract was up to get new ones. My contract had been up for over 4 years and I received monthly "you're eligible for a smartphone" notices, which I always threw out. You see, I was grandfathered on their unlimited web plan that I had for $24.99 a month, plus $5 for e-mail. If I wanted to upgrade my phone I also had to upgrade the plan since they no longer offered it. Whereas I was paying $175 for four of us I would have to pay way, way more than that if any of us wanted a smartphone, and some of us did. Well, one of us did, my daughter.
When I told her there was no way I would pay close to $400 a month for cell phone service she jumped ship to StraightTalk. With her own money, she bought a Hiawei Y Ascend smartphone from them. I talked her into the $99 droid as I couldn't see her paying so much for a phone. She pretty much hated the thing and regretted listening to her phone-challenged mother. So, as soon as she started working full-time at the station, along with part-time at the restaurant, she upgraded by buying an iPhone. I was aghast that she would "waste" almost $600 on a phone! Heck, my laptop cost half that price. She calmly explained to me that it was a necessity in the newsroom, and that the $45/month in unlimited usage, including web, would pay for itself within a year. In reality, it was her money and there are teens spending their parents' money on tattoos, liquor, drugs and what-not, so who was I to question her. Every couple of weeks I'd ask her how her phone was doing and she would exclaim, "I love it!" Again, I would shake my head and ask myself who could love a phone?
Cut to my son -- after I yelled at him for not answering my texts or returning my calls pronto, he discovered that his phone wasn't receiving and/or registering some calls. This is not a good thing when one is actively looking for full-time employment. Although he is cheap, um frugal, he finally agreed with me that it was time to update from his flip phone to a phone where he could get on the internet. He jumped off Verizon and went to Straight Talk as well. He was too cheap, I mean frugal, to buy an iPhone (besides he's a fan of Gates, not Jobs) so he went with a Droid, a better one than the one his sister had used and advised against. He quickly adapted to it, even though it took some getting used to, what with not having to hit each key three times to get the letter he wanted.
At first he wouldn't admit he liked it. He'd shrug his shoulders with an, "eh" every time I asked him how he liked having a smartphone, yet, he seemed to be glued to it. On the fourth day of having the phone, and after receiving a phone call on it from who would soon become his new boss for a full-time position, he finally admitted to being glad he upgraded.
That left just my husband and me as the hold-outs. Frank already told me in no uncertain terms he did not want a touch-screen phone...his fingers are even fatter than mine, and with his being a mechanic and all, a flimsy thing is probably not a good fit. He did say it would be nice however if he had a phone that could take and send pictures once in a while. Back to WalMart where he found a flip-phone that could do all that, and more. So that left just me...
I wanted to get something before our last trip to New York. I wouldn't be bringing my laptop and thought it would be kind of cool to have something I could go on-line with. My Envy barely could get on-line, and was so old most sites wouldn't open for it. I checked out both kids' phones and both of them said their phone was good and they were happy with Smart Talk's service. My son's phone was a little larger than my daughter's, which was way larger than my Envy. The boy dangled the price of his phone, while my daughter dangled something called Face Time as a neat feature that "we" iPhone users could share. In the end my daughter's, "Mom, who are you going to listen to about electronics, me, or the kid who didn't want to part with a flip-phone? Besides, you never buy anything for yourself...splurge for once!" won out. I went with the iPhone4S. Why not the 5? It was bigger than the 4, more expensive than the 4, and the 4s still had that neat feature that John Malkovich spoke to in that commercial, Siri. I hoped she was more useful than the stock I bought in Sirius Satellite radio, whose ticker symbol is SIRI, has been. So, I ordered the phone, and on the advice of my daughter, an Otter Box to protect it. Now I just had to hope it arrived before I left. It did. I'll let you know how it went/is going in a future post...