Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Why My First Foray into the Modern Era Lasted Only Two Weeks

(Note: I have added a “notify me of follow-up comments” feature)

I decided it was time for me to emerge from the cave and get a personal mobile phone. I was going to text, access the web, and send excruciatingly cute and artsy photos and video to all my friends — from anywhere!

I went with a text and data plan from Verizon, because along with my work phone I get a 17% discount on all things Verizon Wireless. It was going to set me back about $30/month for unlimited access. In a pinch I could make a voice call, but it would cost $0.40/minute.

Take note: this was not for a smartphone. I had carved out a monthly allowance for this, my first personal mobile phone, by cutting back in a few other areas. The minimum plans for smartphones easily doubled that amount.

I went with the well-reviewed and nicely-priced LG Octane, and a royal blue protective carapace. After an online discount and the break I got, it was mine for roughly $40, and the activation fee was waived.

My first message was to my best buds, announcing that they now could reach me anywhere, anytime. Moksha and I even volleyed photos of our respective children as they prepared for bed one night. It was, as I predicted, excruciatingly cute.

I quickly became accustomed to the pop-out keyboard, and was surprised to find the phone doubled as a capable mp3 player. It also took 3.2-megapixel photos and tiny videos that were acceptable for a phone. Web use was clunky and a bit slow, but I could check favorite websites and manage my web-based e-mail accounts anywhere I could get a Verizon 3G signal.

Which is to say, everywhere except our house. If it had supported wi-fi, then this would not have been a problem. As it was, however, when I actually wanted to use the phone at home, functionality was spotty at best. At work the signal was phenomenal, but I certainly didn’t have time to use it there besides on my lunch hour.

I also found that most of my friends didn’t have time to sit around texting one another, and that the phone was not going to work as the portable writing device I had hoped it would be. For any amount per month, it just wasn’t worth it.

In the end I returned the phone and got a full refund. It felt strange to return a device that was genuinely fun and easy to use and was working fine.

For Christmas, however, I got a device that does much more than I ever hoped the phone would do, and carries no monthly fee. In fact, it has contributed to my recent desertion of this space. Now that the discovery period is over, I hope to remedy that.

More on that amazing little device in my next post.

4 Responses to Why My First Foray into the Modern Era Lasted Only Two Weeks

  1. Nice to see you again, Mark.

    I, too got a phone with a camera, thinking I could whip it out and take those excruciatingly cute and endearing pix. Turned out they were only excruciating.

  2. Let me get this straight… you don’t own your own personal cell phone??

    Wow… you must be one of the last hold-outs! *chuckling*

    Nice to see you posting again Mark!

  3. Dave, he has one through his work, and it has satisfied all of his cell phone needs for 6 years now. We have unlimited Verizon to Verizon minutes to use between the 2 of us, and he rarely talks on the phone unless it is work related. We still have a land line with unlimited long distance, for situations where a phone call is necessary/desired. Can you believe I just got texting on my phone for the first time earlier in the spring? Now I use it a LOT, but Mark just doesn’t have a need for it. He can send limited texts from his work phone.

  4. Being really old fashioned, I prefer email and phone. My text messages cost 20c each.


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