Life Without My Smartphone

A few years ago when the Droid Eris first came out, there was a buy one get one free and the first Eris would also get a huge discount. With that, my husband convinced me I wanted a smart phone because he wanted one with the discount. I looked at him with a “what do I need one of those for?” looks, but agreed because it was cheaper to buy both for the price of one and I did need a new phone. The first week all I heard from him was “how great this phone was” or “look at all this cool stuff you can do”. Much like every other time he did this, I pretended to pay attention and nodded in agreement.

I never quite appreciated that phone until our son started baseball and I realized that tee-ball was as exciting to watch as a chess game, and I could play games on my phone. Admitting that doesn’t make me an awful parent, it makes me an honest one. Then I realized I could easily put his schedule on the phone to keep track of games, practices and doctors appointments. Maybe this smart phone idea wasn’t so bad, but I didn’t understand those people who couldn’t live without smartphones.

That is, until now. I can send a grocery list to my husband’s phone so he can stop by the store on the way home. I can read the news while waiting at the bus stop for my son, and avoid conversation with the other mothers. I can manage my blog from it. There’s basically an app for everything: games to entertain your kids with while they wait for appointments to ordering a pizza so you can stop and pick it up on the way home. Personally, I love the pregnancy apps that give me daily bits of information. Today, I even discovered an app for Babies ‘R Us that I can scan items from my phone to add to my registry. This leads me to a question of what did we do before smartphones?

I take back everything I mocked my husband for in his excitement over the smartphones. I can’t go anywhere without it, and I find use for it everywhere whether it’s to prove my husband I was right about something or to get an address to a place we forgot to look up on the way out. The newest app to my collection is an app that tracks the infant feedings and changes, making it easier than the old-fashioned paper and pen way and less likely to lose it. Though since I’ve been pregnant I even lose my phone. With everything else being difficult and confusing, it’s good that we have our handy phones to make it a little more manageable.

Familiarity

I got a new phone yesterday, and it was a good moment for me. But in the store, I was completely lost. I don’t know what the specs mean, or why anyone would ever need a dual core processor in a phone. (Even more than that, I didn’t understand what a dual core was. Thanks techie husband!) Yeah, technology isn’t my thing. I wanted something simple; take pictures, video, and using the social networking aspects.

Upon entering the store, I became overwhelmed with information. I knew I loved my Droid Eris. I knew my husband and father are big into the Thunderbolt. I knew my mom and brother had the Incredible 2. (My family realized mine and my husband’s love for Droids, and couldn’t resist.)  I knew my friend who worked at a Verizon store said a Charge. The salesperson there mentioned the Bionic. I just sat there doe eyed, waiting for the cell phone fairy to come down and tell me what to do. I’m a writer, not a very tech-savvy person.

My husband was no help. He had his bias, and he knew it and he knew that I’d get mad at him trying to influence my decision. I knew I wanted a 4G phone. That’s really the only criteria I had. So I did what any person would do. I played with each of those phones. I played until I got a feel for each of them, and that was the only way I was going to decide. I don’t get influenced by what anyone else says, I’m far too stubborn for that. After a good 20 minutes playing with all the shiny new phones I could, the answer was clear. I had my mind-set and that was that, much like every other time I make up my mind.

Approaching the counter, part of me felt ashamed. I knew the look she’d give when I gave my answer. I knew what everyone’s response would be. I had finally had a lock in my head of the shiny new Bionic, new today in stores, or the Thunderbolt. Dramatic, yes, but the walk back to the counter seemed longer than the 5 second walk. My head was spinning, apps, processors… I didn’t know anything. It wasn’t like this was a life changing decision, it was a phone I’d have for only 2 years. It seems so silly to over think something so inane. But it was foolishly important to me.

“Have you made your choice?” She asked. She was a very nice woman.

“I’ll take a Thunderbolt,” I stated comfortable in my decision.

I saw her look. I knew it was coming. I knew when I celebrated on Facebook that people who bothered to read sat there with looks of awe at my womanly stupidity. I realized this, even before I said anything. But I had valid reasons for my choice. I loved my Eris, I loved Sense. It was easy to use, and not to sound like a “stupid girl”, it wasn’t blocky and awkward looking that the Bionic was. I chose what I was familiar with.

Familiarity is something we all stick to. We follow the same routine day-to-day, simply because it’s something we’re familiar with. We’re all guilty of sticking to the same brands for items we commonly use. Cell phones are the same way. You have a person that sticks with the iPhone because it’s something that’s comfortable to them. Why should anyone feel guilty for that? I sure don’t. And, like I said yesterday, I regret nothing. I’m happy with my choice; it serves its purpose for me. Sometimes, it’s just good to stick with something you know and was something you had trust in.