The one luxury I can’t live without is my iPhone. I am addicted to my Smartphone and have a hard time putting it down.
I existed for years without a mobile telephone. You either used the phone at home, or if you were on the road and needed assistance, you used a payphone. I’m old enough to remember rotary phones that had letters in the phone numbers and used a party line system. The phone number at my parents’ house was UN5-0071. I don’t remember what the “UN” stood for. My Grandmother’s number started with “NO3” and that was short for “Northfield 3”. I can almost hear someone picking up the phone and saying, “Operator, get me Northfield 3 ….” I hated being on a party line. We had rude neighbors who’d tie up the phone for forever, and when you wanted to make a call, you’d pick the receiver up and hear someone talking away. You were supposed to politely put it back down and wait your turn. That was difficult sometimes. I had people pick it up when I was on it, listen for a bit and then slam it back down. That was usually the signal for “get off the phone”. My parents kept the party line for as long as it was available because it cost extra to get a private line. Eventually they all went to private lines, and there was no extra charge.
I didn’t have a cell phone until after I got married. Hubby had a pager from work first, and that was annoying because they were always paging him to come in to fix a computer problem. Next he had a Nextel push-to-talk phone provided by his employer. The Nextel push-to-talk phone was more like a two-way radio or a walkie-talkie. As part of the employer’s plan, he managed to get me a Nextel phone, too. I hated that phone. It had a speaker system on it, and similar to a walkie-talkie, it would beep and the phone would start talking to you. I was always turning the speaker off because I didn’t want him talking out loud to me at work or while I was grocery shopping. There was no privacy, and it was embarrassing and disconcerting to have this disembodied voice start talking. (I don’t like being the center of attention, remember?). After the Nextel phones, we got our first cell phones.
We went through various phones. I liked to trade mine in when the contract said I was eligible for a new one because I discovered I like gadgets, and it was fun to have a new “toy”. Hubby was the first one to have a Smartphone. He had a Palm phone first which was a combination phone and Palm Pilot. This was an improvement over the separate phone and separate PDA (personal digital assistant). He had so many gadgets he was carrying around that having a Smartphone made sense for him. I resisted, insisting that I only needed the phone for emergencies (if the car broke down or the kids got sick and school wanted to reach me). Even after I got the Smartphone, I kept thinking I didn’t need it and I would cancel it if we decided we couldn’t afford it.
I had a Palm Pre for my first Smartphone. It was okay, but I wasn’t addicted to it. Next I tried an Android phone. I actually had a couple of Android phones, the last one was a Droid X2. It was a nice phone, but it was complicated and VERY SLOW. It used to drive me crazy. I’d touch the screen to select an application, and the screen would go white and I’d wait and wait and wait. After a minute or more, the application would start to open. It crashed a lot on me, too. I was always rebooting the darned thing to clear up the memory. Everyone around me had iPhones, but I wasn’t convinced that Apple had a good product. I resisted. At one point, someone handed me their iPhone and said, “Try it”. I touched the screen, and the application opened immediately. The phone was fast. The response was immediate, and the graphics were so much sharper and clearer. I was hooked. The next time I was due for a renewal, I ordered an iPhone.
That was a year ago, and I haven’t looked back since. I love my iPhone. It keeps track of my “to do” list, I text on it, I track my WeightWatchers activity, I have 3 or 4 different cameras I use on it, I have PhotoShop to edit my photos, I check the weather, it’s my datebook, I access Facebook, I browse the web, I listen to music, I have access to all my email accounts, I read electronic books on it, it holds my photos, I do my online banking, I take notes, I access my pharmacy to order prescriptions, I track my exercise, I play games on it, I blog on WordPress, I use Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn, it’s a calculator, I order items from Amazon and eBay, it’s a flashlight, I watch videos, I check what’s on TV tonight, it’s an alarm clock, I can make ringtones, and I can make videoconference calls with Hubby. That’s only part of what it can do, too.
I can’t put my iPhone down. It really is the one luxury item that I cannot (or choose not to) live without. I could almost eliminate my other computers completely and live with just the iPhone. It’s that good.