A self-indulgent, rant of a post. You have been warned.
I bought a smartphone. This decision was not an easy one as my poor sales-guy at the shop can tell you. Perhaps it was the two-year commitment Verizon straps you into, maybe it was the fact that an iphone (my eventual decision) packs more processing power in your palm than what the original space shuttle used, or that it costs more to replace than a couple months of rent. OR maybe it was the feeling of crossing the phone chasm I knew had been looming around the bend for some time now. Is there really no going back after going "smart"? This vicious cycle of a thought pattern was entering my mind at all hours, making me re-evaluate my priorities. What the hell was wrong with me? Fairly certain that I was blogging last June about halibut and hiking; a far cry from gigabytes and dual-core processors. Of course societal pressure is always great to push you right over the edge and conform. "You're an MBA student with a dumb phone?" or "Wow, a paper day planner huh? So vintage."
While researching phones, plans, carriers, and speculating on where I'll be and what I'll be doing until this contract is up, I drove myself and everyone around me nuts for the last few months. I even started counting and recording the times I was out and about and would have used a smartphone, just to see if I really could use one or if it was a childish "I NEEEEEEEED it" feeling. God help anyone around me who whipped out their little hand cannon of a computer to make a call or check their daily schedule. "Excuse me, sir? Do you like that phone? What carrier are you with? Oh family plan...I see. Well are you happy with it? What would you have done differently? And so it went. While I coveted these little shiny blocks of wonder and efficiency, I had to stop and think: If these things indeed make you more productive on the go, do I even want to be that person who Instagrams everything in a sexy sepia tone or madly swings her phone around trying to "calibrate" so I can get a perfect read on the constellations? I know, I know... privileged person problems. See the following for another example of this condition so you understand that I understand I'm ridiculous...
Ireland - $2500
Malta - $1500
Australia - $2000
Malta - $1500
Australia - $2000
I don’t have $6000.
With all of this mind-numbing knowledge, I decided that it is ok to make the jump. Because maybe...just maybe, if I finally made this decision, I could stop obsessing about it and move on. So, game day. I plotted my week out on my paper calendar and realized that I could indeed upgrade on the same day Verizon launched their new plan, the share everything.
Entered the store with shaky legs and nearly yelled my name to the nice guy at the door que-ing up people ready to take the plunge as well. Actually, they were all on their 4th or so smartphone and looked at me like I had the plague...probably due to my red faced, sweaty demeanor. I was about to sign a contract for another TWO YEARS!!!!!! Does anyone else freak out when they sign a contract? You SHOULD! Think about all that has happened in the last two years, it is a very long time!
Salesman spoke slowly and walked me around the store in a few circles to let me touch all the pretty screens. Salesman then started talking plans and I kept up, inserting my needs and pre-determined criteria when necessary. Not sure why I hinged my decision on coverage in Alaska. I don't work there at present and visits are a few weeks max at a time. But I think this is a gene passed from my Dear Mother, the woman who, when purchasing a camp stove made sure it would run on all sorts of combustibles, including jet fuel. Just in case the zombie apocalypse does happen and we have to hole up in an Air Force base and MUST boil water for survival with no other materials to burn.....
So, I stuck with the iPhone 4s, 3g coverage is JUST FINE. Since it's my first one, it's magical anyways and works in way more areas than the 4g territory. Yes I know other phones switch back and forth but the deal breaker for me was design. I am still a slave to Apple. They may not give a damn about customer freedom and continue to reign supreme over the land of unnecessary new product roll-outs, but their style just screams at me. Actually, it's more a subtle whisper, Apple is too cool to scream. "Buy me, I'll solve alllll your problems." "Come on, you know you want to swipe my screen just one more time to see if you've gotten a text in the last 15-seconds." "Apps? Oh yes, I rule the app game. Sibley's bird guide has never looked better" And so I caved.
My shaky credit card signature must have looked like I was in the middle of having a stroke. As Salesman was piling the counter high with accessories..."Sir, do I really need the pack of 7 screen protectors?" "Well yes, otherwise you won't get the (minuscule) discount on your allegedly bomb-proof case that is absolutely essential to your phone's survival" At this point I was so glazed over I just needed to get out of the money-sucking store. "Bag it up and get me out of here, Salesman." Walked through the doors and immediately took a solid 90-seconds to figure out how to call my mom. "Well now what are we going to talk about?"
Today I am headed out to touch my tomato plants and attend a clam bake. Friends and food, what it's really about...and probably an Instagram pic or two....