Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Force fed: on acquiring a new cell phone

I didn't want a new cell phone. I was, after all, perfectly happy with the old one.

Well, maybe not perfectly happy, but happy enough.

But it wasn't holding its charge for all that long, so I trekked in to the Verizon Wireless store to get the battery replaced.

As it turns out, I am a victim of built-in obsolescence.

You'd have think I'd walked in with a 10 pound, Bakelite rotary dial phone trailing a cloth-bound cord the way they looked at me. Replacement battery for that relic? You must be kidding?

Of course, I'd gotten that relic just a couple of years ago to replace the other obsolescent relic I'd been perfectly happy using.

So now I'm the owner of a sleek new phone that, while sleek and new to me, is no doubt on the lower end of the Verizon phone spectrum, and will no doubt be obsolete within the next year or two. (Speaking of a year or two, I think I had to extend my service contract out two years to get the money back on the replacement phone.)

Naturally, it has all kinds of crapola that can be done with it that I do not care about. (Although maybe this time I will break down and figure out how to take a picture, if not a video.)

Forget about the crapola I'm not interested in. I now have to learn an entirely new set of tricks for sending-receiving-muting. I now have to spend time picking a new ring tone and figuring out my wallpaper.

But all this time spent on learning my new phone. Time I would rather spend doing just about anything else: pumicing the dry skin on my heels, cleaning underneath the fridge, staring off into space and imagining how blissful it would be to be completely disconnected for an hour or so...

Of course, I do have to admit the phone itself is cooler. That the interface is nice. That they really are doing good things with the form factor. Maybe I will end up downloading Tetris and turning the damned thing into a juke-box.

Meanwhile, I gave them my old phone and charger, since they told me that they do something or other with them. I'm envisioning that it will go to some deserving soul in the Third World who won't mind how clunky and out of date the phone is. If they're just going to throw it on the slag heap in some cell-phone elephants' graveyard, I don't want to know about it.

I must away...have to go listen to all those new ring tones I get to pick from.

1 comment:

John Whiteside said...

One of my friends needed a new phone (his old one just died altogether) and went to the Sprint store to see what they had. The catch: he didn't want a camera, because he works in a government-secured facility where cameras are not permitted. So a camera phone would be help at security for him all day, defeating the purpose of having a phone.

Sprint had exactly one model for him to choose from. (Fortunately, he liked it.)