For over ten years, I had a Nokia cell phone, a standard one piece, no flip, no slide, no touchscreen—a basic cell phone. I used it to make calls, and to receive calls. This phone fulfilled its purpose. When my children entered high school, I was pleased that my basic phone could also send and receive texts, as this is the preferred mode of parental communication.
But the years took their toll and the number 5 button on my beloved Nokia began to stick. Instead of texting “I love you”, I texted “I mud you.” This wouldn’t do. So in 2014, I went to the AT&T store and asked for their simplest phone. The AT&T rep handed me a flip phone and said, “Welcome to 2010.”
I adjusted to my flip phone. I liked its compact size—I was still getting in the habit of having my phone always on me, and it fit comfortably in a pocket when at home or in my wristband wallet when I hiked the trails around our house.
Christmas 2014: I received an activity tracker from my husband. He had a heck of a time finding one that would sync with my computer, as most trackers are set up to sync with smartphones as apparently the entire world except me now has a smartphone. My Garmin Vivosmart is like wearing a watch again—sort of cool not to have to pull out my phone to check the time. Besides counting my steps, it buzzes and the screen reads, “Move!” if I haven’t moved in an hour—I love this feature, even if I don’t always obey its command. My tracker is waterproof—I wear it 24/7, and realized this is a step in the direction of barcodes on our bodies or embedded chips, and really, all ethical questions aside, how convenient would that be—to not have to carry cash or a credit card, or ID, and know how close you came to 10,000 steps each day.
This last fall, my husband upgraded to the iPhone 6 and offered his iPhone 5 to me. I certainly didn’t want a 6—too big. I put his 5 in my small Brenthaven purse—fit fine. Wristband wallet—no way. I would have to put it in a pocket or carry it. Or get one of those upper arm cases that make you look part cyborg.
So I succumbed to the smartphone. Five months later, I have yet to access my email through my iPhone or download a single app. I use it primarily as a phone. Though the map feature with voice directions is pretty nifty, and taking photos for my blog is a whole lot easier. But the new feature that I use the most, the feature that makes toting a larger phone completely worth it, is the flashlight. I use it to locate cat toys under the furniture, to navigate stairs, to find house keys hidden in the depths of garages. If I had known how much I would use the flashlight feature, I would have gotten a smartphone years ago.
Are you a smartphone hold out? If so, why? Love your smartphone? What’s your favorite feature? Love to hear from you in the comments.