It took a 10-year old to show me that me and my cell phone were stuck in the Dark Ages. One day when visiting my friend Jen, I whipped my very bland Motorola phone out , and her 10-year old nephew practically laughed at me.
“What is that?” he asked, pointing to my no-frills phone in disdain.
I felt a sting, as if someone had told me I still dress like I’m in the 80s when I thought I was all hip and now. I looked at my faithful clunker, which had served me well over the past, ummm, how many years now had it been? Four years? I guess I’m not one of those people who continually upgrade to the latest technology.
“It’s a phone. What’s wrong with it?” I asked him.
“Well, for starters, it’s huge. Secondly, what can it do?”
Now I was starting to feel like I was holding one of those cell phones from the 80s the size of a loaf of bread with an antennae that was more like a flag pole. Suddenly, I was feeling decidedly unhip.
“Well, I admit it’s no iphone. What, do you have an iphone or something?” I asked the kid, fully expecting that I had stumped him.
“Like, yeah, duh,” he said, whipping the gorgeous, slick chrome piece of machinery out of his back pocket.
My beat-up phone practically shrunk away in embarrassment. I looked at it again. He was right. It was kind of sooo 2005. It took shitty pictures, didn’t have Internet connection and without a keyboard texting was painful. But it did make phone calls. Wasn’t that the purpose of a cell phone, after all?
What did I need some fancy, schmancy iphone for anyways? Not like I’m some on-the-go urban professional that constantly needs to check my emails. When I’m home I have my computer, and when I’m out, I’m out. Emails can wait.
But then the ridiculing increased. It seemed my old-fashioned cell phone was starting to attract more attention. It was becoming the butt of jokes, the center of unwanted attention, a source of embarrassment. It was like that BONGO sweatshirt with the wide neck that I kept wearing well into the late 90s until my cousin made fun of it for the tenth time and I finally realized that it was time to let the thing go. Maybe it was time to do the same thing with my out-dated cell phone. I decided to make the call.
As soon as I reached the uber-friendly customer service representative at Sprint, I knew I was in trouble. I told him I was searching for a new phone.
“Do you want a Smart Phone?” he asked.
“A Smart Phone? What’s that?”
I thought I heard a sigh of contempt and annoyance coming from Mr. Customer Service. Clearly, according to 1o-year old boys and Sprint representatives in India, I was way behind the times. I think from now on I’ll wear my scrunchies and neon-newspaper print sweatshirts in private. But with my new Blackberry, no one will ever know that yes, indeed, I am still stuck in the 80s. And dam proud of it.