An Ode to the Non-Fancy Phone

No one even has a calculator app on their smartphone?

I don’t have a smartphone.

Really? Good for you!

This exchange took place in class last evening. Professor, myself, classmate in close proximity respectively. Really? Good for you!? Have I become one of those people who deserves praise because I’ve resisted the strong temptations of Instagram and, well, being able to navigate without writing down turn-by-turn directions on a piece of paper? Am I old-fashioned?

My initial pride ebbed, replaced by several other thoughts. My worry that I seemed to be “making a statement”, that I seemed to be a holdout. My defensive conviction that my current phone still works, that even though I could have upgraded months ago, that I stick with it because it’s never abandoned me in a time of need. My second-thoughts: maybe I should buy a new phone already, everyone else has.

Partying with my handy dandy feature phone, summer 2010

But then I remember all the good times we’ve had. The exciting struggle to compete in a scavenger hunt against other teams and their smartphones. The  delight at finding my friend’s address in the depths of my phone’s notepad and realizing I didn’t need an address book if I just used that feature. The battery-sucking pictures that I’ve taken and had no way to upload to a computer, until all of a sudden, I got my hands on a USB cable. The sheer glee we share in moments when the room fills with Marimba, and I’m the only one not checking my phone because I know I don’t have that ringtone.

And then I remember that it’s just a phone. Maybe for people that need to be in constant contact and have filled their phones with apps, it’s more than that. But not for me. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it’s nothing soapbox about either. So perhaps this is a strange “ode”, but it is what it is. And I’ll be the indifferent holder of a feature phone until it dies, or until I get a really-good-you’d-be-a-fool-to-pass-it-up deal on upgrading.


5 thoughts on “An Ode to the Non-Fancy Phone

  1. I quite liked my regular cell phone (The Alias and later the Alias 2 if you’re interested) but finally upgraded to my wife’s old phone last summer when she wanted an iPhone. There are advantages and disadvantages to both; I love having access to the internet everywhere I go and I hate having access to the internet everywhere I go (cause I will use it and because my parents and brothers who’ve yet to upgrade ask me questions and then expect me to look up every answer for them). I finally upgraded simply because they’re becoming ubiquitous and when that happened with the third generation of cell phones (ones with colour and cameras and maybe some pisspoor internet connectivity) my old candybar second gen phone was “mysteriously” shut off and I was forced to upgrade. Id rather upgrade on my own terms then have that problem again and the price was right for a Droid 2 (a keyboard phone that allows me to blog everywhere) so I made the faustian bargain.

    By the way; congrats on the Freshly Pressed on only your second day on the job. Of course, this will probably leave you with some pretty high expectations for your next post, but congratulations nonetheless.

    • I really do like my current cell phone (all of my other previous phones were great too, I just had to get new ones when they broke). And yes to upgrading on one’s own terms! I’m not happy about having to pay a $30 upgrade fee in addition to paying for a new phone and a dataplan, so I’ll be holding out for as long as I can!

      And thank you! I’ve had plenty of blogs in the past so I’m no stranger to having very *low* expectations, but I was shocked to get such an honor on this one!

      • I was actually making fun of my elder brother yesterday because he asked me to look something up on my phone. When I suggested he get a smartphone he said he was never going to upgrade. I had to remind him that six or seven years our second-gen phones stopped working within a few days of each other and Verizon said sorry, we stopped service on all of those phones. Then he started asking questions about my Droid 2 and my wife’s iPhone…

  2. How did we ever live without smartphones?
    Answer: Comfortably, thank you.
    I’m heading up a time-traveling party to go back there, who’s with me?

    • Amen. My mother still uses a pay-as-you-go Tracfone; somehow she has survived all this time. I’m down with Kickstarting a time machine!

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