I have a decent cell phone with a slide-out keyboard for texting that works just fine. In fact in the past two days I’ve probably texted well over three hours. I know! Ridiculous! No one talks any more. I’m thinking they should call these new gadgets something else.
The word “phone” somehow elicits the idea of talking, listening, dialing, communicating, voice tone, hesitations, long pauses, or silence. I suppose that’s why we have emoticons so we can tell what the other person is feeling or thinking without nonverbal cues. I never know if “I’m busy” means my friend is upset with me or simply really busy. I could tell if I could hear her voice.
As fine as my current phone is, my two-year contract is up and I am due a “free for $30.00” new one. So I went to look at Smart phones this past week. The camera is great. The internet is easy to use. I can get an app that will let me see an item’s price at a dozen different stores before I purchase it. I can use it to find recipes. I can check movie times. Siri will tell me where the closest Chinese restaurant is and how far to the next gas station. My iTunes music will sound fantastic. I can watch a movie on the plane. The phone will tell me when it’s time to take my medication or alert me to the fact that I turned left instead of right toward my destination. It will remind me of my sister’s birthday and allow me to send a digital card and even attach a gift card for her favorite restaurant. I can check calories on a meal if I’m eating out and keep track of my daily calorie count as well. Last week’s episode of my favorite TV program is easy to locate and replay so I don’t get behind on this season’s shows. I began to think there was nothing the device couldn’t do except possibly boil water.
After a half hour in the cellular store, I was a) confused; b) concerned I’m not smart enough for a smart phone, and c) do I really need a higher monthly bill with a contract or buy the phone and sign up for prepaid monthly usage with no contract. I was so confused I made the difficult decision to wait. However before I left the store I had one last question for the sales person. Perhaps it isn’t important, but I simply wanted to know. I looked him in the eye and asked, “Can I talk on it?”