Years ago, when I started my first book and was typing away happily at the beach, I noticed one small snafu with the process: there’s no access to the internet out there, which meant I couldn’t research something on the laptop until I got home. Quite annoying and sometimes, dangerous (as when I forgot about the issue before publication…d’oh!).
I decided to move forward with a “smart” phone (an iPhone 3GS) so I could use the cellular connection to do my remote research. The phone served me well for the past five years. I was able to resist the pull of new models because I use the phone for the silliest of things, phone calls. No apps, no games, no streaming video. Heck, not even texting! If it weren’t for the internet, I would probably still have a flip phone.
A couple of years back, my Dad wanted to upgrade his phone and asked me to join him when he discussed new phone/plan options at the store. After some conversation, we decided to join as a shared plan and Dad got his new flip phone and I kept my old iPhone. I was well past my contract and was happy with my month-to-month billing but Dad had to sign up for 2 years to gain a free phone.
Dad began complaining about the phone almost immediately and the chafing about being locked up for two years started soon after. Finally, last month, he was freed from indentured service and we explored new options last weekend. To my surprise, Dad said he was now interested in a smart phone. I cautioned he might have little use of all the features, but he was concerned about having a high-resolution camera and felt a smart phone the best choice.
To my further surprise, we made a decision on carrier and phone in less than a week. I provided him a primer on the available carriers and options and a short list of phones. We then spent nearly three hours in the phone store picking phones and transferring contacts (for Dad).
And then, bang!, Dad is now a smart phone owner. I took the opportunity to (finally) upgrade to a 5C (I like the color blue, what can I say) and did just what I did with my first iPhone, printed off the 162-page manual. Gosh, this phone has so many features.
So now Dad’s as smart as me, technology-wise at least. In most ways, he’s vastly smarter than me.
Although, he did call me up the day after he got the phone to tell me he couldn’t get the thing to work, so maybe there’s still a little gap between us…