We arrived at the beach a couple of weeks ago and before we had even got settled Noah was already heading for the water. I snatched him up and waded into the water with him for a while. Walking back up to where we had set up camp I discovered I had done my wading with my phone in my pocket. It was kaput!
If you don’t know, I was late to the cell phone thing. At my wife’s request I finally got one when she was pregnant with Noah. He was due in the month of April and my wife didn’t want to go into labor while I was out coaching a baseball game incommunicado.
I guess the idea of always being at somebody’s finger tips made the idea of having a phone unappealing. Now that I have had a cell phone it is apparent that the convenience of the device makes up for the few negatives in my book.
For more than the last two years I have been using a Motorola Razr but now that it had met a salty death I had to get a new phone. So here was my dilemma: I really wanted a phone that I could load contact information onto easily at the same time I was very leery of getting a phone that would make texting easy. That’s right. I’m afraid of texting.
It turns out that I have some pretty strong feelings about the new trend in our society where people are physically in one location but mentally they are somewhere else. I think it is a pretty big deal. I think it is sad when someone is with you but they’re not really with you because they are carrying on all these great conversations with all their friends.
I was talking about the magnitude of the change texting has brought to the world we live in with my mother the other day. I think the change texting is effecting is underestimated. For example back in high school I like just about everyone else would pass a note in class to a friend now and then. During lunch I would hang out with my friends. But then I would go home and see my friends the next day.
Now people seem to stay in constant contact with their friends at any and all moments. In fact the novelty of sending notes back and forth becomes a focus of their lives consuming substantial amounts of time and energy. Whether the notes are harmless or distracting or positive is debatable but not the debate I am even talking about here. I am talking solely about the amount of attention texting requires. And when attention is devoted to texting it has been taken from other things like the people who are actually physically in one’s presence.
So why would I be afraid of texting. Well I am a person who likes technology and I know a lot of pretty neat people who text a lot. I worry that if I got into texting I would get addicted to it and turn into something that I rather not be.
This was never much of a worry because I had sent a few text messages with my Razr and it had taken me FOREVER. But now all the phones that were advanced enough to make contact management easy came with the dreaded QWERTY keyboard. What was I to do?
Well I ended up with a great deal. If you are ever in the market for a new phone may I suggest you take a look at Walmart. I had heard that Costco and Sam’s Club had the best deals on cell phones and I even went so far as to buy one from Sam’s Club after I had checked both places. It was a bottom of the line free phone (except for the tax I had to pay on the price of the phone before the rebate which made it free.) I think I walked out of the store with a basic phone for about $15 and another 2 year contract commitment.
I had to pick something up at Walmart that same day and while I was there I noticed they sold phones too. Lo and behold, instead of 2 free phone offerings like the other places, Walmart had 5 free choices and WAY better prices on all of the phones. Eventually I took back the other phone and bought a Blackberry Pearl Flip phone for free–real free, no tax, no nothing. (I did have to sign back up for a 2 year contract to get the upgrade price.)
It is a big upgrade over my previous phone and has way more features. Now I can actually compose a message. Don’t worry I won’t be turning into a texting zombie but my phone does have sudoku.