Sunday, April 12, 2015

Belatedly getting into the 21st century

It is with mixed feelings that I enter the world of the smartphone.

I have only had a mobile phone in order for school to be able to reach me when I'm running errands, and up until last fall I had been happy with my archaic flip phone (which was actually my upgrade).  

D has been asking me for years, every time he upgraded his iPhone, if I wanted to use his old one, and I have politely declined for a variety of reasons:  I didn't want the distraction of the internet; I didn't want to have one because everybody has one; I didn't want to pay a monthly fee when 1000 minutes would last me 6-9 months.  

But over the past 8 months or so, I've had a series of small inconveniences that have made me decide that, perhaps, a smartphone might be helpful.

One of these inconveniences was when I texted a friend to get a mutual friend's number.  She sent me the number using her smartphone, and I couldn't open it.  I replied with "Caveman phone.  Send real #."  Since that initial event, it has happened a few other times with different people.

Then there is the issue of communicating with people via different modes.  Some people I text.  Some people I email or message through Facebook.  I have had occasions when I was expecting a message from someone via email or FB and had to drive home to check because I was unable to do so on my phone.  I was supposed to meet the person somewhere and didn't want to drive to our meeting spot only to find out they had sent me a message saying they couldn't meet.   It certainly wasn't a big deal, but considering how much time I currently spend in the car, and how much additional time I anticipate in the car when N starts middle school and M begins elementary, I really would appreciate anything that reduces time spent on the road.

I generally try to keep a book on hand at all times, but there are many occasions when I forget to run upstairs and grab my current read off my nightstand.  When I am waiting in carpool line or in the doctor's office, I have nothing to do.  Being able to check for articles for my classes in those 10 minutes of carpool time would save me 10 minutes on the backend of the day when I could be showering and going to bed.

There is also the coupon thing.  I have gotten so bad about using coupons.  Partly this is because there are 1. rarely coupons for generics and 2. rarely coupons for healthy foods, so I don't use them that much, but for household items like toilet paper and tissue, they still come in handy.  It is all I can do to remember the binder I have them in.  If I don't leave it at home, I leave it in the car.  I am hoping this forgetfulness is mostly due to having to run errands quickly during the 6 hours a week I don't have M with me, but having all of my coupons on my phone, which stays with my wallet, can only help.

I am not looking forward to having a monthly bill, but I am hoping that all of the bells & whistles of convenience (gas saved from not driving home to check email; ability to bring coupons and actually save a bit on expenses, etc) will minimize the time I spend stewing over it. 

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