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Voices of MainStreet: April Lee

My Phone and I: In it for the Long Haul

March 25, 2011

Cellphones are impressive gadgets, aren’t they? There is a whole world living inside of this tiny machine that fits in my pocket (that’s a requirement I have). The whole world, metaphorically, fits in my pocket. I can call whomever I want at any moment, something which was not possible all that long ago. I can look up words, check to see how long my favorite TV show has been airing, look up the Dow’s numbers today, read email (electronic mail), and check my bank account balance either by calling or texting. This is amazing and also incredibly invasive.

There is a saying that goes, “When staring down into the abyss remember it is also staring back at you.” It is, truly. Nothing comes without a price, eh?

Cellphones are complex machines that make our lives a bit more accessible though not necessarily easier. In theory, answers are right at our finger tips.

Two years ago I walked into my cellphone provider’s store to purchase a simple flip-phone. I didn’t want anything fancy or unnecessary, “just a phone,” I explained to the salesman. It wasn’t long before I walked out with a smartphone, unsure and excited about my new purchase.

It took months to readjust to the phone. Really, it was like a mini-computer. Though I didn’t care for the operating system it was running on, I can’t imagine living my life without it now. It’s become an appendage to help me function.

Now the time has come to upgrade to another phone. It’s overwhelming. Truthfully, I passed the buck to loved ones who know what I need and are far better shoppers than I am. Best left to the professionals, I suppose. Okay, they’re not professionals but close enough for jazz.

There are many contestants now to consider: Some people like to exchange their phones every year but I’ve heard of others exchanging their phones every three to four months! Of course, those I’ve heard of exchanging phones this often are typically in the technology industry and sometimes it’s pertinent to their job to keep up on trends.

One individual told me he thought he might possibly buy an iPhone simply because he hated it and wanted to know all the reasons why he was not a fan of Apple. He works at Microsoft but don’t be fooled into thinking his distaste for Apple has anything to do with Microsoft. Plenty of Microsoft employees use Apple products.

If I didn’t dislike the operating system my current phone uses, I’d be more than happy to keep it until it no longer works.

I suppose I’m old fashioned that way.

—April is a well-traveled young woman planting her roots in sunny Seattle, or well, just Seattle. Her writing covers whatever piques her interest and curiousity. Check out her blog here.

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