Saturday, February 28, 2015

Time for a smart phone?

Technology has passed us by.
For several days this week our Triple Play wasn't working. That's advertising-speak to say that our TV, internet, and telephone weren't working. Those are all things that I can certainly live without, but golly, they are really convenient. If we didn't have any of them on a regular basis, we'd have to change the way we do things here.

First of all, there's the weather. During this season of ice and snow, we do a lot of checking of the weather and the road conditions. This helps us to plan our day to travel in the safest way. We usually do this with the TV local news or local weather channel. Also, we sometimes use the internet to get the same information. The first morning of the outage, I was at a loss until Ward reminded me that we could use old fashioned radio waves to get the information we needed. So we turned on the radio and found out what we needed--sort of. We didn't get all the details we wanted during the 30 second-blurb that happens every ten minutes. We got some generalities, but the not the specifics for our out-of-the-way community.

Next, we have a very serious family situation going on right now in which there are frequent updates. Many of these are done with email with the occasional phone call. The internet is definitely missed in this situation. And during this very serious time, our nerves have been on edge. And when this happens, I find old reruns of Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy the most calming for me. Ward plays a couple of different computer games to slow his thoughts down. Those were not an option when we felt like we really needed them.

We could have handled all of these problems if we had had a smart phone*.

And you're probably thinking, "Okay, so they don't have a smart phone, don't they at least have a cell phone? Or what about at work? Couldn't they use the internet there?" Well, yes.

We do have cell phones--very old flip phones. In most circumstances, they have been just fine for our needs. However, their poor quality was noticeable during the important family calls. And yes, I can use the internet at work, but I'm not supposed to use it for personal reasons. Consequently, when changes were happening frequently with the family situation, I checked for updates, but not as often as I wanted.

So during the time when our Triple Play was out, I really missed all of our services for some serious and not so serious reasons. I thought about how nice it would have been to have a smart phone. I thought hard about it.

I have been almost ready to get a smart phone for a while now. I like the idea of having a good camera and the internet at my fingertips. I like the fact that you can pay for things with it and get good coupons and deals with it. (I really don't like the fact, that many of these are not available to those of us without smart phones.) And while not necessary, I like the fact that I can look up something easily. I have seen this feature used quite well during our book club discussions. And what about all of those Youtube videos and streaming tv shows I can watch on it.  And the list goes on. When I think about it, a smart phone is a miracle device.

So, am I going shopping for a smart phone today? Well, no. Everything is working again, so the edge is off. But soon, very soon I may join the 58% of Americans that already have one. Up until now, we have chosen not to spend the money on what we considered a luxury. However, it may be making it's way to the top of the list soon.

Do you have a smart phone?

*(We are really technologically challenged. We don't have a tablet either.)