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Friday, May 8, 2015

A Twenty-First Century Woman

After you read this, I am fully prepared to receive at least a little bit of grief. Heck, I'll be ready to receive lots of grief. I can handle it because I am a Twenty-First Century Woman. Finally. Hey, it only took me a few fifteen years to truly arrive here. So there!

And now for the shocking true confession. I, who used to always help my sister Liz with her cell phone, did not have a smartphone. At your mental prompting, I am now hanging my head for a few seconds in shame. But today at 11:04 a.m., MDT, I signed in on my brand new smartphone. I finally bid adieu to my phone-of-average-intelligence after having it for...oh, my goodness, more than six years. In the last several months, it has been a challenge as one of the hinges was coming unhinged. (No, this would not be a great moment for you to say that the phone is unhinged just like the owner!) But I soldiered on, waiting for the day when I would be eligible to upgrade to a newer, not unhinged model.

We began looking at devices online several weeks ago to try and find some that we liked - Trent was eager to get a new phone as well. One of the first things I noticed was that the selection of basic phones, or average intelligence phones, as I like to call them, was pretty dismal. I have resisted smart phones quite vocally over the years. When I originally decided that they were not something I wanted, the screens were fairly small. As someone who wears bifocals, I said many times that I'd probably go blind trying to see the teeny-tiny screens. Even worse, that I'd lose my glasses because I had to take them off and hold the phone right in front of my face to read the baby screen.

Suddenly the phones and their screens became larger. You didn't have to have eagle vision to read them. And I started using a tablet and realized how convenient it could be, especially if you needed to find something while you were out and about. Unfortunately, my most recent tablet has no data plan, so unless I find myself lost in a place that has free wi-fi, I will remain lost. So lost that I might revert to the childlike version of the words and say that I was losted.

We found a few phones we liked and narrowed them down to a winner. We both wanted the same one, perhaps because it has a camera that seems pretty amazing, among other things. We placed our order online this morning and headed out into the torrential rain to pick up our phones at one of our carrier's local stores. Naturally, their computer system wanted to charge us $149.00 more than the price we were going to get online. Luckily for us, that was cleared up pretty quickly and we were in business. 

When the salesperson handed us off to the very nice man who was in charge of getting the phones up and running, things got to be pretty fun. My phone was up and running in moments. Trent's on the other hand - well, three phones and an hour or more later, he was also good to go. 

While my phone was being set up, I said to Colby, the very nice man behind the counter, that this was my first smartphone. His smile froze for an instant as he thought, "Aw, man! After I get these phones set up, I'm going to have to teach this woman how to use it! Argh!" What follows is an encapsulated version of our conversation.

K: But I have been using an Android tablet, so I'm fairly familiar with how it works.

C: (with face lighting up) Oh, so you'll be okay, then, since you already know how Android works. Hey, there's a great thing you can do now; you can download the movies that you buy that come with digital download to your phone and watch them on there!

K: Oh, we already have a Vudu account.

C: (smiling from ear to ear) You do? That's great!

K: Yep, and we use it with our Chromecast, too. We have Roku on one tv and Chromecast on the other.

C: (visibly thrilled that Mr. White Hair and Ms. Going-White Hair are so tech-savvy) That's awesome! You're above the curve tech-wise!

It was great. Even though he had to do a lot of extra work because he found the phone(s) that was a lemon, he had someone surprise him by being different from what the start of the conversation had suggested. When someone tells their manager about how cool you are because you know about and use some of the new gadgets, you know they really mean it. It really added to my fun.

So we are at home playing with our new phones. I already know how to use the Android part of things, it's the basics like assigning ringtones and photos that I will need to learn how to use on this phone. That should be pretty easy, I think. After all, back in the day, I was the one who taught Liz how to do that on her cell phone. And to think that "the pretty one" got a smartphone and entered the twenty-first century before me! But I knew android before she did, so there!

A personal note from The Lunatic: As much as we love our cell phones and other electronic devices, I implore you - please don't use them while you're driving. There are people who love you and want to be around you for many years to come. There are also many of my readers to whom I have become quite attached. I want to know you for a long time, and write for you for a long time as well. Be safe, be well, be happy! 

With love,

The Lunatic