Well, I am now the reluctant owner of a brand new “smart” phone, or as I like to call it (when I’m not cursing at it), a smart-aleck phone. I can think of nothing in recent memory that made me feel more stupid than this piece of electronic wizardry. Why, I have been asked, did I purchase it if I don’t like it? I’ll not get into all the reasons, but suffice to say data share plan, two family members who were interested in them, and passive aggression of sorts.
The first problem arose when the salesman, we’ll call him “Joe”, was transferring contact lists from our old phones to our new ones. Of the three of us, mine refused to do it. I don’t know if my old one refused to let go, or the new one refused to accept. “Joe” told me I’d have to do mine manually. I told him that I should get a 5% discount for my trouble, but he just gave me an amused look and continued entering things into the register. Next, the screen protector on mine had bubbles in it, in spite of him trying twice to put one on smoothly. I suggested another 5% discount might be a good will gesture. Again the amused look while entering data. Perhaps he was a bit miffed because in spite of his urging us to purchase cases for our phones from him, we huddled briefly and decided that we would go to a nearby discount store and purchase them for about 40% less, thus robbing him of some of his commission. When he told me the total I just about passed out, but handed over my card and smiled.
To celebrate our new purchase we decided to stop on the way home for dinner. While waiting, we took out our smart phones and tried to figure them out. Of course, my 23 year old daughter had no problem, and a bunch of “oh cool!”s came from her. “Hmm!” and “Ah ha!” could be heard emanating from my darling husband, while I sat there muttering curses under my breath trying to figure out how to do the most important things I want my phone to do—make and take calls, and text. Once we were home it was time to try out all the ring tones and set all of that up. I confess, I am not crazy about any of the sounds that come with the phone, but chose them anyhow. Next came me trying to download “apps” and then figuring out how to turn the sound off of the notifications. Really, I don’t need to know every time someone comments on something on Facebook that I have “liked” or commented on! Nor do I need to know every time someone takes a turn on “Words with Friends”.
Then came the day that I had a voicemail, and couldn’t figure out how to listen to it! By the time I thought to put the phone to my ear, all I heard were the last 2 words of the message. I tried and tried to listen to it again, but could not figure it out! Everything I tapped on either did the opposite of what I wanted, or did the same thing over and over, and wouldn’t clear. Tempted as I was to throw the stupid thing out the window of my van, I compromised and threw it on the empty seat next to me. The following day I had my daughter show me how to listen to voicemail.
A week after purchase, I am slowly coming to terms with my smart-aleck phone. It’s like a new child; try to figure out how it works, then work hard to get it to do what you want. If it starts talking back to me or sticking its tongue out I’m definitely throwing it out a window!