Monday, November 28, 2011

My New Phone

I got a new phone today. What is my phone of choice?? I'm a hi-tech guy. Surely I got the latest, greatest iPhone. No. I work for a company that sells software for Android. Then surely I got the a fully-loaded Droid phone. Nope.

What I actually got is an LG Rumor Touch. The name makes it sound like it's similar to an iPod Touch. The fact that it has a touch screen is about the only similarity. This is not a hi-tech phone. It is better than my previous phone--an LG Rumor--but not by a lot. And, I don't have a data plan of any kind. No web browsing. No email. No picture mail. No FaceTime. No GPS. Just phone calls and texts. The lady at the Sprint kiosk in the mall was palpably disappointed with me.

I've been surprised by the social pressure to get a smart phone. I'm not just talking about the Sprint lady. My coworkers think I'm the crazy old guy in the office that thinks the internet is a passing fad. Almost everyone I know has a smart phone and loves it. They use them all the time. They get all the latest apps. It makes me feel like the old guy that stops at the end of the freeway on-ramp because the traffic is coming too fast for him to merge.

Am I living in the dark ages? Am I starting to show my age? Will my next phone be a Jitterbug? That might be a partial explanation. After all, I run Windows XP on my computer at home...and I actually like it. I also find my computer programming skills becoming more and more dated. My language of choice is C++. Some of my coworkers think I may as well just be programming in Fortran on punch cards. I have to admit that as I get older I am slower to adopt new technologies.

But like I said, this is only a partial explanation. There are a lot of technologies that I adopt quickly. I bought an Android tablet over a year ago before Android was even cool. I've had a Blu-Ray player for years. No, I don't think my aversion to getting a smart phone is just because I'm old. It's because I'm cheap. I just can't bring myself to pay for the data plan. The aforementioned lady at the Sprint kiosk told me it was only $10 more. Right. When she crunched the numbers it came out to more like $50 a month on top of what I'm currently paying. And Sprint's plan is cheap compared to most.

If you know how cheap I am then you know that $50 a month is about $49 more than I would like to pay. I'm way too frugal to pay that much. The phone itself cost me precisely $0 because of my credits I've earned. Maybe when I'm willing to buy breakfast cereal that comes in a box or soda that isn't labeled "Sam's Choice" then we can talk about a $50 data plan. I'm almost never far from a computer, so really all a smart phone would do for me is let me web browse while I'm in my car. That's a pricey luxury. Oh, and it's illegal.

What do you think? Am I the old lady that has a million dollars in the bank but still lives off dog food? Am I an old dinosaur? Please post a comment. I'm sure one of my kids can show me how to read it.


Rita said...

Hahaha. You aren't nearly as old-fashioned as you are cheap! I would love a smart phone and a data plan but it is even too pricey for me. I know too that as soon as we take that dive, we won't be able to live without it so I'm all for holding off...for a while.

Beverly said...

To be honest, I admire your frugality when it comes to not getting a smart phone, although it seems ironic that a guy who works with Smart technology uses less Smart technology than his mother!!

You might want to rethink your use of a programming language, however, and learn something more current than C++, because being known as the "old dinasaur" at work could be dangerous. Old dinasaurs can be the first to go when companies restructure---even when they are super competent as you are.

Barb said...

This is my favourite line.....
It makes me feel like the old guy that stops at the end of the freeway on-ramp because the traffic is coming too fast for him to merge.

Bahahhhhahah still laughing. What ever you will always be like Star trek smart technology ahead of me, so I am going with the frugal thing.

Janelle said...

Brent it's Dean here. No worries about not having a smart phone. I may have failed one of the most important tests of my professional career because I played too much Angry Birds. Plus when Janelle and I are alone at night I find we are checking our emails more than we are talking to each other.

I only have a smart phone because my work furnishes it.

You are probably spending your free time actually socializing with your family. Good job.

Mary Hagopian said...

There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to buy a smartphone, especially if all you want from your phone is to let you get in touch with your loved ones. A regular mobile phone can do that. Plus, the plans on mobile phones are cheaper than smartphones. There’s also nothing wrong with being frugal, but it also won't hurt to splurge and enjoy life right?

Mary Hagopian