Most of my friends think of me as fairly tech savvy. I’m an early adopter for the latest computer gadgets and open source programs and have been my family’s in-house tech support and network administrator for years. I read books on a Kindle, video visit with my granddaughters on my iPad and even upgraded my laptop to Windows 8 the day it became available.
However, I have to confess that when it comes to the cell phone I am one of those poor souls who just can’t seem to grasp the concept. I only reluctantly purchased one of the infernal devices so that I could keep in touch with my family when traveling. And then I refused to join a network, choosing the compromise of a pay-as-you-go plan.
Smart phone? Not a chance. The basic cell phone was enough of a challenge for me. I wasn’t about to pay for a device that was aware that it was smarter than I. No way could I face being condescended to by Siri.
For months after getting the phone I only turned it on while on a trip. The rest of the time it nestled silently in my purse.
When my sons began to ask why I never answered my phone I begrudgingly began to leave it turned on so that they could leave me messages when I missed a call…if I could remember how to retrieve my voice mail, that is.
My greatest frustration with my cell, though, is that I never realize that the sound it is making is for me.
Initially, I just used the default ringtone, that annoying trill that gets louder and louder until you manage to find it. Later, deciding to become proactive, I recorded my own voice saying soothingly, “Jonna…there’s a phone call, better answer it”, but that sibilant phrase seldom broke into my consciousness.
Hoping to make it more difficult for me to ignore his calls, my youngest son downloaded the “I Dream of Jeannie” theme song onto my phone as my ringtone. That seemed less annoying than the default ring and more attention-getting than my own whispering, so I left it on…and forgot about it.
One evening I found myself happily humming that theme song while doing some work on the computer. I don’t know how long it had been “ringing” before I became aware and leaped up to find my phone. The music stopped before I could dump the contents of my purse onto the kitchen counter and come up with my phone, of course. I may never know who was trying to reach me.
Do you remember the time when every telephone in the country sounded the same? When the phone rang, everyone knew what it was…and where it was, usually. I like to keep up with the times, but occasionally, like when my cell “rings”, I really miss the good old days!