Friday, March 11, 2016

Kicking and Screaming

The sad news came in an email.  My cellular service carrier took it upon itself to send out a notice that 2G service was on the chopping block--it would be discontinued after 1/1/17, but it could crap out in any given area between now and then, as the cell companies were not going to be required to repair any 2G networks that failed early.    Those of us who had old phones that relied on this archaic bandwidth were going to have to get with the program and get our hands on more “modern” hardware, or lose the ability to make or receive calls when the 2G service in our area crapped out.

I am not exactly a techno-phobe.  I have been laptop literate since 2003, and three years ago, I got my first tablet.  So, you know…I take advantage of technological advances when they are useful to my needs, but I draw the line at CREATING a need for each advance in technology.  I got my telephone in 2010 when we first signed up with our current carrier.  I picked it out specifically because texting is my preferred method of communication, and it has a QWERTY keyboard.  It also has a great keyboard lock so butt-dials are kept to a minimum.   The cameral sucks, but I have plenty of cameras.  It does not have a touch screen and it does not accept “apps,” but my iPad has these things…I don’t need them on my phone.  Consequently, the battery charge lasts forever, so I am not tethered to a power source, which is way more important to me than all that “stuff.”  

I love my phone.  It does everything I need a phone to do, it’s compact, it’s nearly indestructible—it once took a two-hour ride in the bottom of a sink full of dishwater, and lived to tell about it.  I have dropped it a million times, smashed innumerable protective plastic cases, but the phone has survived unscathed.  In six years, I’ve never replaced the battery, and it still holds a charge for a week.  This little chunk of high tech is better engineered than 99% of the stuff that is out there.  When they built this little guy, they left out the “planned obsolescence” that is routinely built into these things…much to some manufacturer’s chagrin, I’m sure.  What is not to love about this phone? 

But now…now the gun is firmly placed against my temple.  My fantastic, reliable, everything-I-want phone is going to become a paperweight sometime within the next 9 months, due to circumstances beyond its—or my—control. 

Now, we have a great cellular carrier that is cheap and offers packages designed to appeal to older farts like us who do not live with our phones surgically connected to the palms of our hands.  And, bless their hearts, they have offered to ease the transition a bit by offering $35 toward the purchase of a new phone from the assortment that they offer.  Unfortunately, their assortment SUCKS.  They offer two ancient-styled flip-phone models with no keyboard at all—I imagine these are for REALLY old farts for whom merely owning a mobile phone was as technologically advanced as they could ever manage.  And from there, we jump into smart technology—androids and iPhones and tablets, oh my!

I do not want a smart phone.  I do not need apps.  I absolutely LOATHE touch-screen keyboards, and I will go to great lengths to get the QWERTY keyboard I want on my new phone.  But my carrier does not offer one.  And now I find I am cast adrift into the swirling maze of Amazon and Ebay and big box tech stores, trying to puzzle out how I might get the phone I want and connect it up to my nice, comfy, cheap, old fart cel service.  For less than $800. 


No comments:

Post a Comment