Saturday, August 28, 2010

Smartphones are an Oxymoron

I faced a genuine dilemma this week. No maybe it was not on the level of import like having half of the entire population of Chile trapped underground in a mine, but it was still a big deal to me. You see my TracFone annual subscription was coming due in THREE DAYS. Since I have seen a marked increase in my I.Q. as of late, I had to decide whether to keep my elementary TracFone, or ‘move-up’ to a ‘smarter’ phone for brainy folks like me, who can drive,text, and chew gum at the same time.

I currently use an ancient, tiny but mighty Nokia 1100, which is literally the most popular cell phone ever produced. Basically the thing does what any good cell phone should do – makes and receives calls/texts reliably, built to bulletproof standards, and oh yeah, features a ‘coolio’ on-board flashlight!

The problem is of course all about cost. You see I am not without experience on these high-end Smarty phones. I get the privilege to pay for an Iphone contract with AT&T but my costly spawn, off at college gets to use it. The phones are impressive indeed, but $80 a month (which equates to about 8 months of my Tracfone cost) is a pretty penny for a device which if you sneeze on it without a waterproof case, it will fail. I always feel my kid worries more about protecting the phone rather than herself and therefore she's often compelled to leave that dumb 'smartphone' at home. Who can risk sophisticated electronics to the caustic environment of ‘jogging’ and getting the phone ‘sweaty’, sitting by the pool, or sitting on the sand?

So tell me, who is the smart one now - the one who controls how and when they use their electronic tools, or the ‘oxyMORON’ who is relentlessly CONTROLLED by those same ultra-smart tools? I too would love the ‘look at me’ sophistication of a cell phone with an on-board GPS, nifty camera, and sleek styling that lets everyone know how truly intelligent and chic my hot, trendy ‘Smartphone’ makes me. But since they don’t make those fancy phones that ‘smart’ after all, I decided to ‘re-up’ with my economical, ‘do anything’, ‘go anywhere’, rawhide tough TracFone Nokia … and did I mention, it has a really keen built-in flashlight!


  1. I'm with you on that W.C. My wife and kids (grown up --more or less) all have smart phones. I just want a phone. Nothing like seeing a bunch of kids walking together and instead of talking they all have their heads down texting or looking at their phones.

  2. Oh that sucks. The cell phone companies are so dirty with their tricks. I think I am going to stick with sticking it to them by NOT owning one.

  3. Yep, W.C. -- I see you choosing the old Nokia for yourself so you can use it to hammer nails.
    Just something else to do while you're chewing gum and breathing at the same time.
    And since I haven't yet memorized all the knobs and buttons on my car dashboard, I don't want any more devices smarter than myself either.

  4. What do you need the flashlight for? Does it illuminate the inside of the dishwasher so you can scrub it with the toothbrush???