When it comes to phones, I’m a dinosaur no more

My dumbphone was making me dumb. I was one of those dinosaurs who had a generic cellphone that could call, text and not much else. I kept it in my purse for emergencies and oftentimes didn’t bother to turn it on.

To be honest, I was annoyingly self-congratulatory about the whole thing. “Think about how much money I save,” was my response when anyone questioned me about it.

True, my pathetic phone was cheap. But I was missing out on a lot.

Unless I was home, I was very difficult to get a hold of. On the rare occasion I’d answer a text, my friends would respond with “OMG! Jenny texted!”

When I chaperoned a field trip to the state Capitol last spring, I wanted to Google a state representative who was meeting us. Another mom lent me her phone and I didn’t even know how to use it. I felt pretty pathetic.

The simple decision to save money had strangled my cultural literacy.

It reminds me of how some people in the 1980s decided to stick with phonebooks and typewriters instead of computers. At the time, that seemed like the frugal move. But three decades later, the world has evolved without them.

I didn’t want that to happen to me. But what type of smartphone should I get? I was completely bewildered. I didn’t even know how much data I would use.

I asked for help on my Facebook page and half of my friends recommended one phone and the rest another. But my niece had the strongest argument. “Listen to the teenager,” she said. “Get an iPhone.” The next time I saw her, she gave me a very patient tutorial on how to use one. Everyone should be blessed with such a kind teacher.

By the time I went to the store, I felt a lot more confident. Of course, not as confident as my 5-year-old, who picked up every phone on display and instantly found a game to play. She might also have been creating a stock portfolio; I don’t know. These new phones can do everything except pick your nose.

While my daughter went into a tech coma, I whipped out my credit card. I was all set to buy an iPhone and make my family proud. My niece is right — iPhones really are user-friendly.

But then I noticed that on the Samsung Galaxy, you could get Polaris Office, which is a word-processing application for your phone. Instantly I imagined typing out future columns while I waited on the bleachers during swimming lessons. Of course, I’ve done this in the past with a good old-fashioned pad of paper, but whatever. Typing on a smartphone is a lot cooler.

So guess what? I’m now the proud owner of a Galaxy S5. The jury’s still out on how it affects my wallet … and my IQ.

Jennifer Bardsley blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.

(SELECT p1.ID FROM wp_posts p1 INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON p1.ID = tr.object_id INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy tt ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE p1.post_modified < '2014-08-01 13:10:56' AND p1.post_type = 'post' AND p1.post_status = 'publish' AND tt.taxonomy = 'category' AND tt.term_id IN (5) AND p1.ID NOT IN (76127) ORDER by p1.post_modified DESC, p1.ID DESC LIMIT 1) UNION (SELECT p2.ID FROM wp_posts p2 INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON p2.ID = tr.object_id INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy tt ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE p2.post_modified > '2014-08-01 13:10:56' AND p2.post_type = 'post' AND p2.post_status = 'publish' AND tt.taxonomy = 'category' AND tt.term_id IN (5) AND p2.ID NOT IN (76127) ORDER by p2.post_modified ASC, p2.ID ASC LIMIT 1)

More in Life

How did 300 feathers get stuck in that old utility pole?

Artful adornment in Everett is the creation of a retired Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Herb Alpert aims to uplift the world in two recent albums

The Tijuana Brass bandleader releases a Christmas record and an album of covers.

Slick new V6 engine, safety updates boost Nissan Pathfinder

The SUV’s extensive redesign boosts towing capacity and adds driver assistance technology.

Prioritizing permanence and putting down roots

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I’m at a loss… Continue reading

Foo Fighters bounce back with new album ‘Concrete and Gold’

Foo Fighters, “Concrete and Gold”: Can you hate the Foo Fighters? Not… Continue reading

Taking a service dog on the trail

Tenley Lozano hikes with her service dog, Elu. They have section-hiked the… Continue reading

‘Fixer Upper’ couple say they’re ending popular HGTV show

Chip and Joanna Gaines says season beginning in November will be the last one.

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Most Read