Today I’ve been obsessed with my new toy, an iPhone 6 that I decided to get yesterday, sort of on a whim, although I’ve been contemplating the change for a few months. The most salient difference between this new phone and my old phone is the size (this one is larger), but I’ve been having a lot of fun setting it up and trying it out.
For someone my age, I think I’m pretty tech savvy, and I take some pride in that. My son is probably most responsible for whatever technological abilities I have. He cut his teeth on electronic gadgets (literally, and I have baby teeth marks on some TV remote controls to prove it). He could handily program the VCR at age 2, and was proficient on our mammoth IBM personal computer well before he entered kindergarten. So I learned a lot from him - about all the fun and interesting things you could do with computers, but also about not being afraid of new technology and figuring out how to use it.
My husband, though extremely competent at all the logical thought processes needed to make technology of any kind work properly, is not always so eager to jump into new devices. "I hate that part,” he said to me this morning, watching me adding apps and assigning ring tones and share photos to my new phone. “I hate all the setting up and organizing you have to do on a new phone. It’s a redundant waste of time."
“I actually like this part,” I admitted. “I like having an opportunity to start with a fresh new device. I like decluttering and reorganizing and taking advantage of new features like this one...” as I excitedly demonstrated the new fingerprint unlock feature on the iPhone 6. “Like Star Trek, isn’t it?"
I do feel slightly out of my element in cell phone stores. The young people working in the Verizon store yesterday moved through the set up process so quickly and matter-of-factly. It was as if they were doing nothing more intellectually taxing than stocking shelves at the grocery store. They managed to carry on two or three conversations, all while setting up my new phone, connecting my old phone to the wireless account, downloading all my contacts and other information, and determining I was paying too much for my current plan and could “save a lot of money” by changing plans.
“I would never sell anybody this plan you’re on!” Juan, my young sales associate was aghast.“Why, I wouldn’t sell this plan to my grandmother!"
“I should hope not!” I replied, praying he didn’t think I was old enough to be his grandmother.
“She’s rich,” he answered. “But I still wouldn’t sell it to her!"
Okay then. I guess.
People buzzed in and out of the store continually, and the four sales associates were busy the entire time I was there. It’s a tiny store in a tiny strip mall near my house, not a place where you would expect much traffic. But cell phones are big business these days.
I am a little bit guilty about my new phone, much as I’m enjoying it. I replaced a perfectly good-as-new iPhone 5s that was just barely two years old. I didn’t need a new phone, but this larger size is definitely easier on my eyes. (Remember how big the first cell phones were - you know, the ones we carried around in a tote bag? - and how our excitement increased proportionately to the diminishment in size over the years.) Most of the time I pride myself on being practical and conservative when it comes to shopping. But in the area of gizmos and gadgets, I can easily succumb to the modern desire to have the latest thing as soon as it’s available. I was absurdly excited when I learned that with my new Verizon plan, I would be eligible for upgrade in 18 months instead of two years.
“If you have any problems or questions with that phone, just come back in and see me,” my sales associate said cheerily when I left yesterday.
Thanks, but I think I’ll be just fine on my own.
How about you? Do you have a love or hate relationship with technology?