Kicking and Screaming My Way into the 21st Century

My husband and I have been longtime holdouts in the cell phone world, dragging our heels and hanging onto phones that do little more than call or text. We’ve had good reasons — the cost seems ridiculous, we’re Luddites at heart, they can become a colossal time-suck in people’s lives. But mainly it’s been that we don’t want to become pointless-amusement-obsessed zombies who can’t even be fully in a conversation with another person without itching to check (or actually checking) our phones. Is anything more frustrating that being in a room of people who are pretty much ignoring you as they work on developing their “iPhone chins” by constantly checking Facebook or playing Words with Friends on their phones? (Probably there’s lots of more frustrating situations, but for the sake of this post, these are the most insufferable people in the world, and I don’t want to become one.)

I am definitely a late adopter in most cases of technology development (though for some reason I got on Facebook relatively early). But there have always been several features about smartphones I’ve been keenly interested in using. MyFitnessPal, instantly posting photos to Facebook, easily finding restaurants near you in an unfamiliar town, instantly finding out what awesome song was playing on the speakers at the coffee shop and being able to buy that song right then and there…. And Instagram. Not necessarily to send photos of my food out into the world (though if it looks amazing, why not?) but to get beautiful photos fed to me and to share the occasional beautiful photo myself. Plus there’s just a really fun kind of Polaroid vibe on Instagram I’ve kind of felt left out of.

Zach (who still proudly uses a c. 2003 Palm Pilot daily, mind you) had to get out of his old but beloved phone’s grip (cost benefit ratio did not add up) and found a very inexpensive Android phone that wouldn’t cost a ridiculous amount of money each month (thus satisfying his cheap Dutchman’s heart) but would also interact with his Palm platform, thus not rendering his Palm obsolete, the specter of which I’m sure kept him up nights. And every time he told me something else very practical he could now do, I coveted that new phone. So, now we have his and hers.

And now I’m on Instagram, just in time for gorgeous summer travel Up North and another trip to the Southwest come September. If you want to follow me there, you can by clicking here. At the moment my photo stream is sparse and lacking in variety (hey, I haven’t left the house since I started it — give a girl a break) but I’m hoping to remedy that in the coming weeks. I’d love to see you over there. 🙂

 

6 thoughts on “Kicking and Screaming My Way into the 21st Century

  1. I still hang onto my flip phone! My daughters want me to get an IPhone so we can do face time. Sounds too much like something out of the Jetsons for me! However I am considering getting an android.

  2. Oh, I am so with you here.

    In my case, it’s mainly the monthly cost, but also my philosophy that just because something is cool and fun to use, I don’t have to own it. (I never even got a PDA for that reason.) Certainly, there are times when a smart phone’s GPS would be helpful, and I’d love to have access to Google without having to fire up my desktop or laptop. BUT . . . I have a ridiculously cheap monthly plan ($30/month for TWO cell lines) and I just can’t see paying four times that for even a minimal monthly smart phone plan.

    With my plan, I do have to pay additional charges for every call or text. Which means I rarely use the cell, and that annoys people who want to contact me that way. And yeah, it’s an inconvenience for me, too, when I miss out on things that I would’ve known about if I’d gotten a text. But I just can’t justify the expense of going smart.

  3. As someone who’s had two iPhones over the past 4 or 5 years, I’m happy to report it’s possible to stay relatively unconnected with a smartphone, Erin. You just need to set things up from the get-go to be the way you want.

    For instance, I don’t view e-mail and won’t let it automatically download–if I need it before I get home to my laptop, which is rarely the case, I’ll manually download it. I never stream music on the phone, and I turned off all notifications of any activity (that constant booping, beeping, and whatever drives me NUTS). Oh, and I keep my location tracker off unless I need it for directions. I do have Facebook and Twitter on my phone, but again, I turn off all notifications and only check it when I feel like it.

    As a result, I love my phone but it doesn’t run my life. I have a friend who has an Apple watch, and I know it’s not the case (at least I don’t think so), but it makes me feel like she wants to be somewhere else when she’s constantly glancing at her watch as we talk.

    All that said, I do love having the internet at my fingertips when I need to look something up. And more than anything, I LOVE having my iBooks (and my remaining Kindle books; I don’t use Amazon anymore) on my phone to read when I’m standing in line, or waiting at a restaurant, or in the car while my husband’s in one of his stores.

    1. Linda, I’ve been told that if you are not an Apple user, iPhone can be difficult to get used to. That’s why I’m considering an android instead of an iPhone. How difficult was it for you to use iPhone.

      1. The learning curve wasn’t bad at all, Patricia. There’s so much information online that I was able to google pretty much anything when I had a question. But I have to qualify that with the disclaimer that I work with a number of Apple fangirls/boys, so I always had someone to ask questions of when I couldn’t figure something out on my own–although I didn’t really have many issues, probably because my use of the phone is so basic. One other disclaimer: I never use iTunes in conjunction with my phone. I think iTunes is the most incomprehensible program ever, and I was afraid I’d mess up my phone with it. So I only use it for my iPod, and even that is stressful for me. But my phone? I love it.

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