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Sunday, April 15, 2012

OT: Dragged into technology, kicking and screaming

OK, y'all. Most of you know I'm kind of a Luddite. Also, most of you know that I hate the phone. If I could correspond with everyone via email for the rest of my life, I would. Receiving phone calls is like having someone drop in on me unexpectedly (which I hate), and I don't like making calls either, as I always feel like I'm bothering or interrupting people.
That said, I've decided to get a Smart Phone.

Why, you ask? I'll tell you.

1. Last weekend, I got lost. Literally. There was a mega-accident on the freeway on the way home from John's, and I had to take an exit I'd never taken before. Once off the freeway, I had not a clue where I was, or in which direction I was heading. It was Easter Sunday and everything was closed. Panic-stricken, I pulled over, turned on my antiquated cell phone and called John at home. "I'm lost. I'm on the corner of Flower and Sonora." He Google-mapped it, asked me a couple of questions as to what I was looking at (could I see a freeway if I looked ahead of me or behind me, etc.), and then gave me directions to find my way. I was rattled for a long time afterward. There is no excuse in this day and age to get lost anywhere.

2. Neither John nor I have laptops. (Yes, I know there was talk about my getting one last year, but that never happened. I was too overwhelmed over the variety and decided to wait.) So, we're both dependent upon our desktops at home for the Internet. This past Friday (the 13th, naturally), John's computer crashed and he had to take it to the shop. Which meant I was Internet-less once I left my place for his. I admit it; I'm an Internet junkie. I finally (and with much embarrassment) told him last night that I wanted to go to Fed-Ex Office to check my email/blog comments. Ridiculous.

3. Boardwalk Badness. Again, no laptop to bring with us. Therefore, we would be Internet-less from early Thursday morning until Monday afternoon. That sucks. Enough is enough. Everyone seems to have non-stop access to the Net, either via phone, tablet or laptop these days. I want it too.

So I've been researching and reading, and I've been to my local Verizon store and spoke at length with a salesperson. (Verizon is my carrier.) I know a lot of you might squawk at this and tell me no no NO, but I'm not getting an iPhone. I have my reasons. First and foremost, I want a phone with a proper physical keyboard. I hate touch screens. Hate. Them. I tried using one in the Verizon store and couldn't even type my address without a ton of typos. Second, the Android phones come equipped with GPS; the iPhones do not, you have to add that. Third, the Androids have a bigger screen, which I also want.

I've read a million reviews, and they all conflict. I read a bunch of them for the Droid, and they varied from "Great phone!" to "Worst phone ever!" So, just for giggles, I also read reviews on the iPhone. Guess what? Also a spread between five-star raves to one/two-star rants. Not everyone thinks that Apple products are the Holy Grail. Oh, and I don't need access to the iTunes library. I'm not putting music on my phone; I have an MP3 player for that. Nor am I watching videos. I watch videos on my TV screen, not a tiny little phone screen. (Never could understand how people can stand to watch anything on a screen the size of a couple of dominoes.)

Apparently people say the same thing about ALL the Smart Phones' batteries: they all suck. They all don't last. So I'll deal with that regardless of the brand.

Finally, and this made me laugh like hell: While researching and comparing, I stumbled across an article about Steve Wozniak (you know, the co-founder of Apple?). In this article, he sheepishly admits that he prefers his Android phone to his iPhone. LOL! He hastens to add that the iPhone is a better phone overall, though. Right, Woz. If that's so, then why do you have an Android in the first place?

The Verizon salesperson made a good point. Since this is my first Smart Phone, I'm not going to notice any of the nuances between Android and iPhone; no matter what I get, it will be a huge improvement over what I have now and it will keep me happily entertained for a very long time. She said they haven't been getting any complaints about the Droids (although they've gotten several about the Blackberry, so I scratched that off), and once I get more Smart-Phone savvy, I could always get an iPhone somewhere down the line. In the meantime, the Droid has both the regular keyboard AND the touch screen, so perhaps I could practice on that. After all, I wouldn't be surprised if regular keyboards on phones become obsolete in the future.

With a proper keyboard, I may even learn to like texting. I mean, it certainly would suit me better, given that I feel less intrusive texting rather than calling. However, I will swear this to you all now, and you can hold me to it: I will NEVER TEXT AND DRIVE. Never. And if I go back on that, forget about spanking. Take the phone away from me and don't give it back. Seriously. I have verrrrrry strong feelings about people who are careless behind the wheel of a car. I lost a loved one that way.

And oh! I'll have a camera! Granted, the camera on the Droid is supposed to be mediocre. Still, it's 8 megapixels. And right now, my cell phone has no camera. I can't tell you how many times I've been driving through John's canyon and seen a deer, and thought, "I wish I had a camera with me."

So I plan to buy my new phone sometime next week and fiddle with it before the party. Hopefully by the time BBW weekend rolls around, I'll be somewhat acclimated to it.

Go ahead, laugh. I know I sound like I'm buying God knows what. But remember, technology and I are not comfortable bedfellows.

What's next for me, a flat-screen TV??


  1. Loving your blog!!

    I do love my smart phone to the point of getting nervous if I leave home without it. I also avoid talking on the phone, though I think I may just be self-conscious about my slightly manish voice. Texting is great especially if you don't know if that person is busy, etc.

    The cameras on these phones are pretty impressive! No, they're not SLRs, but sometimes they capture more detail than I'd like, if you know what I mean!

    I noticed you were in LA... Can I buy you a cup of coffee sometime and talk about all this spanking business? As a baby spanko I have SO many questions!!

    Happy phone shopping!

  2. You've convinced me! I'm going to look into the Android. I have a laptop but no phone of any kind, and it sounds perfect. Camera, a decent keyboard, just what I am looking for.

    I can't believe how many idiots out there text and drive.


  3. Which one did you eventually decide to purchase? Mine is the Bionic. I was going to go for a Samsung, due to the physical keyboard. But you do get used to a virtual keyboard. And you get the ability to showcase your videos at the touch of a screen.

    Plus it makes a very good camcorder!

  4. I do love my smart phone. Your right about the battery life, I have to charge it every night. Took me a while to get used the the touch screen but now no problem. I bought a HTC.


  5. I have a very old cell phone. It works, though I have a feeling they may not be making batteries for it anymore. (Sigh)

    On texting while driving, Sarah Gregory got a major "what for" for doing that. I don't think she will be doing that again. Of course, the worst part of it was she disappointed both Paul and Dana, the ones she loves.

  6. Hi Erica--that's COOL that you are getting a smart phone :-)they are fun to have,i don't have one but i want one :-)Good luck on your phone shopping,have fun maybe they come in girly colors like pink,that's the color i would pick :-)much love and hug's from your naughty girl Jade xoxo

  7. SpankCake -- cute name! Why don't you write to me and tell me about yourself; you're welcome to ask anything you like. If we're in close proximity and we hit it off in writing, we can talk about coffee. :-)

    Hermione -- the wealth of information out there will make your head spin. If you don't have a cell phone carrier, I would get one of those first and then see them about choices, as a starting point.

    Loki -- I haven't decided on which one yet, but the salesperson recommended a Droid 3 over the Droid 4. She said I won't know the difference between 3G and 4G, being new to this, and the 3 has a removable battery, whereas the 4 does not (a major hassle, according to the reviews).

    I'm not going to watch videos on my phone, though. My old eyes like a nice big screen for video viewing. :-)

    Ronnie -- I probably would get used to the touch screen if I had to. But at this point, I'd just as soon not have to hassle with it. With the Droid, I can have the keyboard and still practice on the touch screen; I like choices. :-D

    Bobbie Jo -- my old phone works fine as well, although texting with it is a colossal pain in the butt, since I have to do it the old-fashioned way (!) with the number/letter keys. But I really do want the portable Internet.

    Jade -- no pink for me; I'm going with black. Some of them come in different colors though.

  8. I was caught in that traffic jam too. I was even on Sonora after I took an exit. Then I pulled out my smart phone and navigated my way around the whole mess. If I had seen you I would have waved. Of course you would have thought who is this nut. Anyway they are very handy.

    Enjoy your purchase whichever one you choose


  9. I hate electronic change. I got a blackberry when TVBB had his surgery a year and a half a go. New I needed a reliable way to check email, facebook, and text the kiddos. I love the calendar though, it is the best way to keep track of all the different activities. Now it has a buzzing sound when I talk on the phone. I keep thinking that if I ignore the sound it will just go away and I wont need a new phone. Like I said hate to change. Will probably get another just like it. Isabela

  10. I love my I phone x(not trying to convince you to get one) - I charge it in my car, and by my desk at work, it is always full and no stress at all. It is like an old fashioned, useful boyfriend who wears a suit with lots of pockets when you are in your party dress- he has everything you need whenever you need it and more besides.
    I like the apps on the I-phone, I have just found an excellent one for running with. I can do my banking, sat nav in the car and so on. Really if it could spank me and tell me off I could do away with men all together.
    I will keep an eye out for the spanking/ scolding app and let you know.

  11. Jon -- oh, now that's funny. You would have recognized me; I was the one pulled over on a red curb, sitting in my car and crying. Well, I was close, anyway. Wasn't that awful? Some damn drunk driver plowing into a tanker truck... ugh.

    Isabela -- I resist change like a plague. But when I reach my limit, that's it; I'm ready. It just takes a long time to get me there. :-)

    Poppy -- I think I would consider the iPhone more if it had a physical keyboard. I really can't stand that touch pad. And you have to toggle back and forth between letters/numbers... blech!

    A spanking app, huh? Until the day the damn phone sprouts actual arms and hands, I think I'll stick with those delightful and mysterious creatures called men. :-)

  12. My brother is a senior public servant with the Attorney General's Department in the Australian State I live in. He travels by bus and train. His job involves dealing with barristers. He has never even owned or carried a mobile phone.

    As far as he is concerned if a barrister can't catch up with him during his work hours he/she can always wait until tomorrow and his non-work time is his own.

  13. John -- I admire that. If more people stuck to that, I'll bet we wouldn't have so many stressed out, overworked and ulcer-ridden employees without personal lives.

    However, this phone will be just for fun!

  14. Erica-- yes it was an awful accident. But if I had seen you crying in your car I would have come to your rescue. Displaying my smart phone and all it's glory then telling you to follow me to safety. And if you had continued to follow me I would have bought you a gelato because that's where I was headed.


  15. I get by with a cheap Trace Phone for calls and texts. I can't access the internet on there, but I'm fine waiting to use my home desktop computer. This only sucks royally when I go on my annual family vacation because then, I'm at the mercy of waiting in line to use my Aunt's IPAD. That's pretty cool for being a touch tone screen, but otherwise I'd have no use for that option. Like you,I prefer keying my info.

  16. Jon -- mmmm, gelato! :-)

    Kelly -- yeah, I think I'd be the queen of typos with a touch screen.

  17. That is strange. 4G is faster than 3G. And there is one type of Droid that does not have a removable battery, but I believe they all are still removable. My Bionic's is.

    And the screen is adjustable, making the picture or print larger at will.

  18. Loki -- oh, I know 4 is faster. But still, for me (the newbie), 3 will be plenty fast. And here is a direct paste from one of the Android sites: "As you no doubt by now know from our hands-on with the Droid 4 at CES, you can't actually remove the battery from the phone."

  19. I have an android and LOVE it! One main reason I chose it was cuz it was a kink friendly browser. My phone, an LG Thrill, is big enough to resemble a small internet pad. I do hate the touch screen but it almost seems there is virtually nothing out there offered without one (in smart phone category). I have used my built in GPS often. Especially when being routed around country roads due to accidents or construction. You have internet access whether you are in a wifi spot or not! If you have a signal, you can access the net. You can look up anything on the spot! I love it!

    Way to join Civilization!


  20. Sarah -- the Droid 3 & 4 have a slide-out keyboard, which is why I'm choosing that. But they also have a touch screen, so I can practice on it and get used to it.

  21. I got my smart phone a year ago, and hated it for months--particularly the touch screen. I don't have big hands, but I can't imagine how a guy with large hands can manage to touch all the tiny little 'buttons.'

    I now have a much better relationship with LG Optimus V phone, though I still have trouble accessing sites that I need a password for. My passwords contain both letters and numbers, and I haven't figured out yet how to switch back and forth between text and numbers. Seems like it should be something simple to do, but I tried all the obvious things and am no closer to solving this problem now, as opposed to a year ago.... Me dumb techno-bunny!

  22. Dana -- didn't your phone have a manual or a tutorial? I would Google it and see what you can find. No reason to deal with that kind of frustration!

    On the newest iPhone, there's a key on the pad that reads "ABC." When you press it, it becomes "123" and that's how you get your numbers. You have to toggle back and forth between the two. Forget that! The phone I'm buying has a dedicated number row.

  23. SO??? How's the learning curve going with the NEW smarty-pants phone today??? You can send me a txt now on Monday nights when ST is over! I can help you with my "throw-under-the-bus-skills"! Whoopee!!

  24. Zelle -- haven't gotten the @#$%ing thing yet! Went yesterday to buy it and they were out of stock. It's being shipped. arggh

  25. Like I said a second ago in reference to "Danny" (grinz), I thought I'd never be able to txt on my iPhone (aacckk!).. drove me nuts for three days.. but damn.. now that I love how it offers up the correct words when I inadvertently type the wrong letter.. I never even miss a keyboard.. and trust me... I HATE CHANGE LIKE YOU DO!!!

  26. Wellllllll... 'tis too late now, as the Droid is ordered and being shipped. I really do think I'll like it. And I can always get an iPhone later if I don't.

    Autocorrect sucks! Have you SEEN some of the outrageous stuff it does? A friend sent me a message via text and it changed "Erica" to "pericardium."

  27. Auto correct is awesome for a speed typist. LOL I have learned, since my txts are SHORT and sweet naturally (snorts) LOL - to proof read before sending. I'm not into writing war and peace on my phone. LOL

  28. Good luck with the new phone! The battery life does suck on all of them and I agree with the dislike over touch screens.

  29. Lea -- I have a feeling the battery won't be that much of an issue for me, since I don't plan to use it nonstop. But we'll see!