Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm so cool! I just don't know it!

I have had a number of cell phones since the mid 1990's, from a large "bag phone" issued by my employer for on call therapists to the compact little phone on the left in the picture. I bought this last phone in 2002 and lately the battery would only hold a charge for one call. When, I went to my contract provider to get a new battery, the very young man who waited on me stared at me in disbelief.

"They don't even make batteries for phones this old," he told me.
"Why would you want to get a new battery when you could have any phone here for *free*?"

He pointed to a number of small, flashy gadgets. I told him I was not interested in a camera phone but was told that they only sold camera phones. I then asked him just to pick out the best quality phone for me and to renew my contract. I walked out of the store with a flip phone/camera/camcorder/web browser the size of my palm. When I got home, I asked my daughter to read the manual and then teach me how to make a call and retrieve my voice mail messages.

"Mom! You got a razor!"
"No, I bought a phone, not a razor."
"Mooommm! Haven't you seen the commercials? A RAZR!"

In a few minutes she had snapped a number of photos and had little thumbnail prints beside each person in my address book. My background now is a picture of our dog. Each person who calls me has a distinctive ring, and I have a movie clip to watch. She and her sister tried out all the programmed songs and were dancing around to the music. And the instruction book remained sealed in a plastic bag.

This *phone* is definitely too cool for me.

I mentioned before that I was reading The World is Flat... by Thomas L. Friedman. He describes the future of cell phones in the chapter, Flattener #10.
"So young people in their business life use PCs in the office, but in their private time they base their lifestyles on a mobile phone. There is a growing movement to allow payment by mobile phone...Next to the cash register there will be a reader...and you just scan your phone and it becomes your credit card too.
We believe that the mobile phone will become the essential controller of a person's life...You will not be able to lead a life without a mobile phone and it will control things at home too."

Technology changes at an astounding rate. This cool phone will be obsolete very soon and they will stop making batteries for it as well. My five year old laptop computer is too slow to charge an iPod and is a dinosaur by today's standards.

I still don't know how to retrieve my voice mail from my new phone so I will have to read the manual. I received a number of calls today and was startled by the boisterous music coming out of my pocket. I answered the phone upside down on the first two calls.

Being cool is going to take some practice!


  1. LOL!!! Ooooooooooh mooooom....(do you want me to change the ringtone for you again??)

  2. Oh My God, I just posted about CELL PHONES on my blog tonight!!! Is that eerie, or what? We are thinking alike.

    Enjoy the gadget, Ruth. I have a Razor phone, too. Just got it in November. I know little about it except that it rings and I answer it. I did learn the voice mail thing, though. I hate my ringtone right now but I'm too lazy to change it.


  3. Ruth says, "I just want to make a phone call! - the heck with all this other stuff!"

    Funny. I have an old phone too - my friends make fun of me - but I never use it so what's the sense of getting a new one.

    Hope you figure it out before the new model comes out!

  4. Well you are slowly catching up, now only 3 years behind the fun stuff we get from Asia here. However modern my current phone is (SE K800i) in the end I mainly use it for calls. The same as ten years ago.

  5. One of us...
    One of us...
    One of us...


    Now all you need to do is decide what kind of cool you want to be:

    Trendy Cool - Apple Iphone

    Techy "My phone can initiate a nuclear attack while playing KC & the Sunshine Band" Cool: Sony Ericsson K800 (like me and the old man)

    I was surprised though that you didn't want a camera phone!

  6. I smiled at your recollection of the old bag phones. My husband's first cell phone was one of those. What bulky contraptions!
    I too have no need for a cell phone to take photos, and am hanging on to my "old" phone for now. I am sure I will get nudged in the direction of a cooooool new phone soon.
    Have fun--and keep your daughter handy to help you make the transition to the lightning changes in technology.

  7. "Being cool is going to take some practice."

    Words to live by!!! LOL!
    I got a Razor too and mt 12 year old s on programmed it for me!

  8. Anonymous3:53 pm GMT-5

    I'm right there with you on the bewilderment issues. My phone is probably a dinosaur - it's a year old. I just learned to send a text message yesterday. I still haven't explored all the stuff it can do, and I'm sure I will NEVER want a camera phone. It scares me that my 8 year old nephew knows more about computers and how they work than I do. But there are things kids today just can't when my Mom used to holler out the back door at the top of her lungs "Ooooowweeeee,ooooowwwweeeee" and we knew that was our "call" to come in for supper. Now five year olds have cell phones. I'm not entirely convinced this is a good thing.

  9. How funny Ruth! My hubby (the tech whore) has a Razr which is bluetooth equipped so he can anwser it through the radio in his car! HUH? Also has the wireless ear bobamathingie too. Way too cool for me. I took his "old" phone which I made him program with all my contacts and it has a real "ring"... no songs for me please! Good luck learning how to use it... man, aren't YOU cool!!!!

  10. Becka- I need a real ring tone. The songs make me think there is a radio on somewhere.

    Mary- How did we manage without cell phones in the past? Now they are almost essential.

    Laura- I never would have traded up if I could have found a battery. All I want to do is to make calls too!

    SLB- In Friedman's book, he pointed out over and over again how advanced Asia and Europe are in digital technology compared to North America. I think Japan is likely the leader in wireless connectivity. right?

    Uber-cool nephew- What can I say. I can't even pretend to be cool compared to your generation. My thumbs will never learn how to text message fast enough.
    I always have a decent camera in my pocket. I doubt I will use a 1.3 megapixel camera, but we will see.

    KGMom- When did we get too old to catch on to these things quickly? I am glad someone remembered a bag phone. They were around for only a little while, thank goodness.

    Lynne- A 12 year old son is a great asset when it comes to technology. How do they know these things so instinctively?

    LauraO- I agree that young children should not need to be using cell phones. I would have loved to hear your mother's yell! My mom used a bell.
    You are way ahead of me with text messaging.

    Jayne- My phone says "bluetooth equipped" but I was afraid to ask what that meant. I guess that answering through your car radio may be a safer option when driving.

  11. Yes, being cool can take practice. But if you are like me, you are just born with it.
    : )
    Cute phone!!!!!!

  12. Susan- There is a cultural age divide these days and you are still on the cool side of it!

  13. When I mentioned you behind, myself and SLS have 3.2 megapixel cameras (Sony Cybershot), with flash and zoom in our phones. Plus up to 4 GB storage for files, music, video etc.
    You are right 1.3 you will never use.
    Maybe you should come over here and then we will get you the new 5 MP version coming the end of May.
    It is nice to have the convergence since in the end you only carry one device, and you decide

  14. SLB- Yes it would be nice to carry only one device. Imagine a 5 MP camera phone with zoom and flash! I haven't seen anything like that here. Would love to make a visit....

  15. Sometimes I swear the children of my generation are going to know how to text message before they can walk the way technology is moving forward.

    My cellphone is a brick though, don't feel bad, I had the same model when I was 14 (7? years ago) before Dad upgraded me. Now I live in the USA and am back to the old phone since it was the cheapest at the time.

    I would love to have a red razr though, they are much easier to text with which has been my primary means of "calling" since they came out with the technology. Just ask Dad about my 300$ text message bill when I was 16, le ouch. My kids are having prepay phones not contracts...

  16. Jaspenelle- I don't think I will ever learn to text message. My thumbs are way too slow. I could have had the RAZR in colour for an extra $50! crazy! Maybe you will get one of your dad's cast offs this year :)


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