In Which a Stupid Phone Reduces Me to Tears

This morning, I woke up and my phone was broken.

It had been acting finicky for the past couple of days — losing internet connection, rebooting itself, just generally being sluggish. Then, this morning, I checked it and I hadn’t received an email since 9 p.m. the night before.

If you’re on any political mailing lists, you know that this is not possible two days before the election.

I tried everything I could think of — attempting to power it down, taking the battery out, holding down various buttons and switches to put it into safe mode. Nothing. Just that damn blinking Droid eye.

Adam took a look at it, too. After fiddling with it for awhile, he shook his head like a TV doctor. The patient was definitely not going to make it.

I started sobbing like a crazy person. Which is ridiculous for several reasons, not least of which is that no one should be that attached to a phone. But seriously, the worst thing that was going to happen was that I’d have to buy a new one. I even had the money, by no means a sure thing for a freelancer. But still, I was a mess.

In my defense, I use my phone for everything. I keep my calendar on it. I use it as an alarm clock. I take pictures with it. Before I had it, I got lost constantly; I have no sense of direction, and built-in GPS is pretty much the only thing keeping me from walking into the East River while looking for a restaurant.

Now, any new phone can do all those things, of course. But the downside of having phones that can do the job of about fifteen old-timey gadgets is that when they crap out, we lose a bunch of stuff at once. It’s very disconcerting to have to relearn the ins and outs of just about every tool you use to get through daily life. Getting a new phone at this point is like getting a new car, compass, MP3 player, and camera. It’s also, depending on how good you are about backing up your data, like finding out that someone threw your phone book, photo albums, and diary in the fire.

So why not just get the same phone all over again? Well, because whoever decided that phones were only supposed to last two years also decided, apparently, to discontinue new models at the same rate. My poor old Droid Incredible was no longer available. The guy at the Verizon store was very nice, but looked at my battered handset like I’d brought in a rotary dial and asked him to make it portable.

In the end, I got a Droid Razr M. I figured out where everything is in about an hour, and I’m getting used to the new layout, which seems to be more intuitive and less cluttered. It’s super fast, weighs almost nothing, and is much more responsive than the old model ever was.

Still, I wish we could stop making new stuff, for like a month. And I made the Verizon folks give me back my old phone, instead of recycling it like I should have. I pulled the battery out of the plastic shell, wrapped both in a plastic-bag shroud, and tucked them in the back of the junk drawer. It’s impossible, of course, but I swear I can see its big red eye blinking at me still among the piles of rubber bands and scotch tape.

DROID.


Image: Adweek

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