Flip Phone Flips Out For The Last Time

by Kevin Burton

   When it was time, I knew it was time. I took firm control of matters, no hesitation.

   The technological advancements, the conveniences, the newly-allowed mobility, all these things and more brought me to the decision to scrap my flip phone and begin using my I-phone Thursday.

    In the end, it was an easy call.

   This was a decision with its basis planted firmly in science and reason and the best interests of myself and my family. There would be no procrastination on my part. This was tech-savvy Kev, making it happen!

   In other technology news, I dropped the flip phone Wednesday and the guts came out.

    I had dropped the phone many times and had the back come off, the battery slip out and all the parts scatter like bowling pins or billiard balls. This has always called for search and reassembly, restarting of the phone, then back in business.

   This time was different.

   I was talking with my mother and trying to multi-task doing whatever else, I can’t remember now.  After I dropped the phone and picked it up, I noticed some little orange papers/wires/whatever, protruding from the left side of the top part of the phone.

   I called my mother using our Amazon Echo (Alexa) device to let her know I was OK.

   After that, my first thought: for what it would cost to fix this I could probably buy three or four new phones. 

   It’s not as though I hadn’t been prodded to join I-phone nation before.  Verizon notified us months ago that my particular phone would no longer be supported by the company after this calendar year.

   Later Verizon began pestering me, saying the phone would not be supported beyond Nov. 30.  At some point my wife Jeannette, knowing this, sighed deeply within, then reluctantly told me it was possible to get a new flip phone. 

   When I declined, she must have been relieved.

   Mind you, I don’t know what Jeannette or the rest of Western civilization has against flip phones. My flip phone has been the source of much derision of hilarity over the years. By extension, I have been too.

    The device served me as a telephone, no more no less, and I was good with that.  It didn’t need to make my bed, do my taxes or change the cat litter.  My old land line phone was a telephone only and nobody seemed to mind that.

   I don’t remember when I got my first cell phone, but it was long after the rest of the world had them.  I became aware over time that most people had switched to smartphones, but that didn’t affect me.

    There have been many times recently when I have taken out the flip phone to check the time and got both amazed and amused comments from people, as if I had pulled a bullfrog out of my pocket.

   I was a good student, but I flunked peer pressure in school and afterward.  So to my reliable flip phone I have stuck all these years, until now.

   When I saw the unfixable state of my phone Wednesday, I must admit that South Dakota popped into my mind. While on vacation there, I ran into a logistical problem managing my fantasy football team, in part because I didn’t have a smartphone and wasn’t very good when borrowing Jeannette’s (see “Rage And Despair In The Business Center,” Oct. 21).

   Having said all of this, I promise you, there is no way I would have activated the I-phone had the flip phone not oozed its innards onto the kitchen floor.

   As she was in South Dakota, Jeannette has been the hero of the forced switch to the I-phone.  She made the actual switch, saving my same phone number, keeping the phone messages I had saved and helping me set up sounds, so that a text sounds different from a call or a voice mail.

   I will just have to stumble through learning to use the phone.  The zillions of things the phone can do are mostly things I don’t want or need. I will settle into using the features I want. 

   It is nice to be able to listen to my favorite fantasy football podcast on the commutes home from work. It’s also nice to get eight updates on the Ohio State-Iowa football score without leaving the recliner in the basement. 

   The phone even fits in my pocket, though the weight of it has required me to tighten my belt a notch.

   I’m still set in my ways. But I am set in some new ways now.

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