The credit card came first so that I could eventually buy my house. No, I didn’t put my mortgage on the card, silly. I had to build up a credit existence, from what I was told, so that the state could put me under a microscope for a home loan.
The cell phone came a year later. My wife was worried that I’d end up in a ditch somewhere and need help. In my mind, if I had ended up in a ditch somewhere, having a phone wouldn’t help, unless that phone could call someone while I’m lying there, unconscious.
But, I caved and got a phone. It was a simple LG flip model that basically called people and had a camera. I spent more time taking photos than actually calling someone. That seems to be the case nowadays. Everyone buys a phone, not for the actual phone part, but for everything else. There’s texting and video and apps and music and games. I found it funny when Apple would release the new iPhones that could do all these whiz bang things, except actually make a call.
I admit I am a bit of a gadget geek and love tech stuff but sometimes making a product into something else actually negates the intended purpose. I’ve shied away from getting the latest iGear or whatever else is out there in favor of actually functional pieces of technology. I buy a camera or I buy a phone to do what the device is intended for, not because of all the extras. Besides, that costs more money and I am a self proclaimed cheap ass.
Still, when I got my last phone, an LG ENV2, I drank the Kool Aid a bit and took on a trial of VZ Navigator, which was nice. That was the one thing that was worth having on a phone. Having to buy pay hundreds of dollars for a GPS device was silly when you could pay $10 a month for the ability to do the same thing on your phone. I mean, you were going to have your phone in the car anyways, in case of a ditch scenario, right? So, I exhausted the trial month and said, “Eff, it! Ten bucks a month is too much for me to know where the hell I am going at all times. Let’s put St. Christopher in the driver’s seat.
The other indulgence I gave into was downloading games. Now, I was under the impression that my month long trial of VZ Navigator and web browsing included downloads. I didn’t realize I was purchasing a game that would be downloaded to my phone. In that month I downloaded Tetris and Monopoly. For the two years I owned that phone I played Tetris every day. When I’d sit in appointments I’d play. When I was stuck at the airport, waiting to board, I’d play. Loved that game. It was an addiction, back in college, when we had it for the NES. In fact, if I would have had Tecmo Super Bowl on my phone, I’d never get any work done.
But phones, like other technology, become obsolete and degrade over time. New plans, new two year contracts, and the chance to get a new phone, for free mind you, become options laid out before you.
Now, I was never a huge fan of the ENV2. The case became worn and the rubber case that I put on it made it difficult to type in the numbers because the edges of buttons were no longer raised. For someone, like me, with flippers and banana hands, I’d constantly miss dial a number or a password to my voicemail. Also, I would constantly butt dial people. There was a way to lock it but you had to go three screens deep into the phone menu to do it. Having the buttons on the inside was a plus, in my book. My pocket would constantly vibrate from me leaning on buttons, making noise. From then on, I kept my phone on vibrate and developed a case of vibration nervosa. That’s where you constantly check your phone because you think you felt it ring.
So, when it came time to change phones I chose the Cosmos. Why? It was free. Yeah, it had buttons on the outside and even though it had a complicated lock system, did I mention it was free?
Here’s the sucktitude that is my phone plan. I attempted to move everything from one phone to the other. Contacts, check. Messages, check. Pictures, check. Games….ch…um, nope! Turns out I would have to repurchase and download those games again. Granted, $10 is nothing huge in the scheme of things, but it’s the principle. Every two years or so, I would have to spend $20 to play games on my phone. I contacted Verizon Wireless customer service and they said, “Sorry, thems the brakes.” So, I say, The ENV2, yesterday’s phone, today’s Game Boy. I guess if I know ahead of time I’m going to be sitting around waiting for something like an oil change or a dentist appointment I’ll bring my ENV2 along to play games and use my Cosmos… to call people.