It’s been awhile since I mused about anything, so, today I’ll dust off and resurrect “Tuesday Musings”.
Today, was not just a good day, but a G-G-Great day, because I officially “arrived” and am in the 3G age!
So, I’m no longer a dinosaur I guess. I didn’t embrace this change, nor covet it, but, instead I was forced into it when I discovered my petite 2G AT&T cellphone, circa 2002, would no longer be serviced by the carrier at the end of 2016, so I needed to upgrade to a 3G phone.
Now, I am truly not much of a gadgets-and-gizmos kind of gal. My credo is “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”
I purchased that cellphone when Robb and I left the downtown law firm where we’d both worked since the early 1990s and embarked on a new adventure, one where I might be driving sometimes, as it was not in downtown Detroit proper. The decision to get the phone was because an AT&T kiosk in the lobby of the Buhl Building made the purchase even easier.
So, I bought a phone and kept it on me, but seldom, if ever, used it.
When I began working off-site in 2010, it seemed silly having a $50.00 a month phone contract for a phone that sat in the drawer 99% of the time. Since I worked from home, I used the landline, near my elbow as I work on the kitchen table. So, I converted the phone to a non-contract variety and loaded minutes once a year.
Still, the phone pretty much sat in the drawer – I’d take it out to charge it once a month, whether it needed it not.
Two or three years into my walking regimen, some friends pressured me into carrying the phone after crime started getting bad in our city. So, I strapped the phone onto my fanny pack, along with my pepper gel mace and digital camera.
I’m really not one for talking much on the phone – anytime, but especially when clasping a phone that is about the size of a credit card to my ear. In fact, the only time I used it was to call my boss in Canada at the cottage, after I took long distance off my landline, but, since he got his new Samsung Galaxy 4G, he can receive phone calls and e-mails, even out in the sticks.
I remember the first cellphone I ever saw … it was probably circa late 80s. One of the attorneys liked his afternoon golf games, but was afraid of missing important calls. He bought a mobile phone that was cradled inside a small leather suitcase – you had to unzip the bag to use the phone. The first day he brought that mobile phone into the office, we clustered around him as if it he was Alexander Graham Bell showing off the very first telephone. That attorney, of course, thought he was quite trendy, and his secretary bemoaned the fact that she no longer had a reprieve from him when he was out of the office.
We were probably the last house on the block to get a cellphone – after all, we relied on the old rotary dial phone way into the new millennium. We only got a new phone as it was getting more difficult for my mom to spring up out of her chair to answer the wall phone, and the portables lost their juice by mid-afternoon. After we got touchtone service, my mom still continued to tell people who called our house in error that “you must have put your finger in the wrong hole” … I said “Mom – maybe don’t say that, and, if the caller is young enough … they won’t have a clue what you are talking about.”
So, I am no longer a dinosaur I guess … not that being a dinosaur is all that terrible. After all, I still have my VCR, though I have not watched TV in six years. When the audio went kaput on the VCR around 2005, I reluctantly realized I had to step up and buy a new one. I was more concerned about getting the many cords and connections in the right place, since the VCR was in the back of a cabinet under the T.V. and I was working blindly. At Best Buy, the salesman said “VCRs will soon be obsolete – buy a combo VCR and DVD model instead”, so I did. I have to admit that I was feeling pretty smug last week when I heard that VCRs will no longer be manufactured, a decade after the Best Buy salesman’s warning to me. I never did learn how to use the DVD portion.
I’m not one for reading manuals – I learn just enough to navigate my way around, so, before I left the phone store today, I asked for a little tutorial, and I mean just a LITTLE tutorial. After all, I told her I had minutes to transfer, and no contact information, plus I’d never texted a day in my life, so this was going to easy peasy for her. After sheepishly admitting my dinosaur ways, I said “I live on my laptop and I text from there, so I’m good to go if you show me how to just make a call and how to shut the phone off.” She was equally incredulous when I told her that, unbelievably, in all the years I’ve owned the cellphone, I’d never received an incoming call, and, I never left the phone turned on. She showed me what buttons to push and I was all set … that is, except I forgot to turn the phone off before I left the store. As I was driving home, all kinds of bells and whistles were dinging and ringing like crazy – what in the world? Who wants me? It was probably just welcoming messages, but really?
So, I’ve now “arrived” … no big deal, really, and I am still behind the learning curve of the average kid who has upgraded to a smartphone. After all, a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday morning, during the first few days of the Pokémon Go craze, I walked past Ford Park where a group of young kids had gathered around. I slowed down, all the while hoping it wasn’t a body, or even a big snake. As I neared, I craned my neck to see what it was, thinking if it was the latter, it might be an interesting subject for that day’s blog post and perhaps even a photo op as well. So, here I was, your roving reporter, and suddenly the tallest kid in the bunch said “I know … it’s taking too long to load” as she frantically swiped a screen with a look of impatience while her “followers” hovered about. “Oh, for goodness sake … *&^% Pokémon Go” and I dismissed those kids’ antics and headed straight home.
So, at the phone store today – I felt a twinge of “Old Fartdom” even though the young girl was very nice and helpful. As I walked out the door, I thanked this friendly Millennial for not making this Baby Boomer feel like a Tyrannosaurus Rex.