April 26, 2006

Cell Phones Of Today

I bought my first cell phone, a Nokia, I believe, in the mid 1990s. Since then I’ve owned about half a dozen others. At first, buying a new one was no big deal, I could figure out how to use all the functions easily, without much consultation of the manual, then suddenly — bam! — they started coming loaded with truckloads of technology that people of my generation might not, as strange as it seems, associate with a telephone.

When I opened the account I now have with Verizon, whom I incidentally find a lot easier to deal with than any of their competitors I’ve used, the phone that came with my account was a little silver colored LG camera phone, and there was so much going on in there that even with the manual, I couldn’t figure most of it out. The people who write these instruction manuals seem to believe that everybody, like them, grew up at the right time to acquire ground floor entry into what has become today’s technology, or engineers, as a technical writer aunt of mine suggests, who can’t write anything most folks can understand unless they have an armload of PhDs.

So I contented myself with using only the functions for which I had gotten the device to begin with: A telephone. I took a few pics with it when I first got it and found that the camera wasn’t all that good, which didn’t bother me in the slightest. I have a digital camera that also contains all the bells and whistles, and I use that the way people used a Kodak instamatic a few technological centuries ago, but that’s, as they say, neither here nor there, as we’re discussing cell phones.

The problem I did have with the LG, however, was the distance between the speaker and the mouthpiece. When I was having a conversation, if I didn’t hold it up high enough I couldn’t hear what the other party was saying, and if I didn’t hold it low enough, the other party couldn’t hear what I was saying. It also had this too-light, flimsy feel to it and finally, last Fall, I went to the Verizon store and bought a new one — really new, as in the model, not the item. They didn’t even have spare batteries for it in the stores. It’s a Samsung that renders the LG a mere piece of technological history, boneyard material if there ever was any, with a videocam and even more high tech marvels I’ll never be able to figure out. I actually bought the phone for the sole reasons that a) it’s bigger, heavier and fits better in the hand, and b) the speaker phone function is infinitely better than that of the smaller LG.

What got me on this topic was a seriously funny column I read by television and book writer Lloyd Garver on one of his own cell phone experiences.

Read it here.

by @ 6:45 am. Filed under Technology
Trackback URL for this post:

Comments are closed.