Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Dumbing It Down

Over the last 6 months or so, I've been developing a lot of problems with my smartphone. Chief among these problems is an issue involving the inability to keep the thing charged for more than a few hours at a time.

Back in February, I thought the phone was about to die on a permanent basis. I couldn't get it to do anything properly. And then it shut down and rebooted on its own. Twice. Within an hour. I'm not one to really believe that our technology can become possessed by evil spirits, but I was a little concerned about the Droid X2 that I hadn't even owned for two years.

That's the thing. I'd had the thing for less than two years. And two years is how long I needed to hold on to it before I could make an upgrade, according to my contract with my wireless carrier. My target for phone survival was mid-July. You may have noticed that mid-July has come and gone.

I'm currently eligible for a phone upgrade. Friends have convinced me that it's time to make the switch to the iPhone. And if I want the iPhone 5, I'll have to come up with approximately $300 to get the phone and all the necessary accessories. I don't have $300. Summer is a rough time financially, so the iPhone 5 isn't an option at the moment.

But it's kind of what I want. And I can wait for what I want. But, in the meantime, I can't keep dealing with a smartphone that stops working every time I try to look at Facebook for more than 30 seconds. And taking a picture to post on Instagram is like committing a felony offense.

In my recent move, I unboxed the cell phone I used before getting the Droid. It's an old LG phone with the slide out keyboard. It looked like it was still in pretty good shape, so I plugged it in to see if I could still get it to work. When it powered up, I decided that it would probably be a good idea to downgrade back to the dumbphone for a few months while I save up for the iPhone.

The Droid has been deactivated. Well, I can't make phone calls or use the 3G network to check Twitter feeds on the go. The data plan is gone. So I should save some money on my cell bill for a while. But the dumbest smartphone in the world will still work when I connect to WiFi. Not sure where or why I'll use it that way. At home, I use the computer on the WiFi. I'm not allowed to connect to WiFi at school. And I'm not gonna carry the Droid with me when I'm out and about and happen to be in a public place that offers free WiFi. Why would I carry two cell phones?

So it's just me and the LG. And it's brought back classic ringtones such as "Don't Stop Believin'," "We Built This City," the theme from Superman and "The Imperial March" from Star Wars. That last one, you know, is the music they play whenever Darth Vader enters the room. I used it on the old cell phone as a ringtone for people I didn't want to talk to but kept in my contact list so that I'd know it was them calling.

I went through both my phones today, updating my contacts. I added new contacts that I'd put into my new phone since deactivating the dumbphone a couple years ago. I also eliminated people that I've had in my contact list for a decade but probably haven't contacted outside of Facebook in more than five years. Why do I need the number for a place where I worked back in 2004? Short answer: I don't.

One thing that may be a problem is that I'm used to the touch screen now. I sent some texts to a few people today and realize that I have to readjust to using the keypad to compose messages. I know, it has the slide out keyboard, but I was never a big fan of that thing. Even though I'm used to the fact that my touch screen friendly smartphone had an onscreen keyboard that I've grown accustomed to. My only fear is that I'll forget the dumbphone doesn't have touch screen capability and try to touch a contact's name on the screen to make a call. I've only done that once today. I really thought I'd do it more.

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