So, I finally entered the 21st century and purchased a cell phone yesterday. Don’t get too excited, it’s a pay as you go phone. Or, more accurately, a prepaid phone with a pay by the day plan. At $20 for the phone and $10 plans per month (or 3 months for the best bang for my buck), T-Mobile was by far the best deal for anyone not really needing a lot of minutes and hoping not to break the bank.
BUT, it’s not working! Admittedly, I was slow to figure out how to insert the SIM card (am I the ONLY one who is unable to decipher the “universal” instructions with tiny drawings, meaningless arrows going every which way and NO words?!?!) I don’t know if I scratched it up or what, but it’s just not registering (even though, yes, it is in correctly now). [Edited 9/9/09 to add: It’s working! Let the craziness ensue. Turns out this is a “common issue” with the Nokia 1661 phone I bought. I can see why, because the SIM card fits nicely in the slot for it … but it’s not supposed to fit perfect, a little offset instead. Go figure.]
I paid my first babysitter today while I was downtown for the much-anticipated BI Tool Vendor Showdown in Chicago. I went to the store with the express purpose to purchase and activate a phone to have it ready by 8am this morning. Sigh. It wasn’t to be. But, everything went without a hitch anyway, and now I will have a phone (if we ever get it working). I’ll have to entrust the great minds at Target (or T Mobile if I am so motivated) to see if I can exchange the SIM card or figure out what’s wrong.
At any rate, people seem overly excited about the fact that I have a cell phone. I understand why they have nagged endlessly for me to have one, and I do know it will come in handy … esp when we are late meeting friends but are driving around endlessly looking for a restaurant at the wrong mall or if I’m at Menards and realize I didn’t write down whether the Antique white trim paint we needed was supposed to be eggshell, semi-gloss or satin finish. It also means that Avery’s teachers can reach me at any time for any reason, which gives me peace of mind to leave the house while she’s at school.
But in some ways, I am not happy to have “giving in.” It has nothing to do with being against “change” or not “embracing technology.” It has more to do with trying to slow down how quickly our society is evolving technologically. I know my boycott isn’t going to have much of an effect globally, but there’s something to it, sticking to the traditional ways of doing things. Because I can. I am not meeting with clients on a daily basis or commuting 45 minutes to work on busy interstates or providing valuable information to people that only I can offer. Do people REALLY need to be that accessible? Maybe it’s the arrogance of it all. I’ll admit, I am a people person so I am not one who wants to miss out on an invitation to Dairy Queen (helps that I love ice cream) or to friend’s for games, because we were out for a walk. So, I’m not really sure why I’ve stuck it out this long … But I will miss the looks I get when I tell people I don’t have a cell phone. Just classic. Even better is the attempted recovery: “Oh, that’s cool, whatever.”
I’ll probably eat my words in a few months when I rack up the minutes on my cell phone, but I will be surprised if that happens. In order to do that, I have to remember to keep it charged … and within reach.