My old - very old - mobile phone stopped working a few days ago.
The pink phone in the picture is mine.
I’d often felt self-satisfied knowing that I used it solely for voice and text messages – no internet or emailing and definitely no ‘selfies’.
I pay Aldi Mobile a small amount (about $30) every few months and that is all.
I mock the TV ads that spruik ‘bargain’ plans at only $79 per month to enable access to countless apps, which I neither want nor need.
But now I have to brace myself, join the 21st century and buy a ‘smart phone’.
Interestingly enough, ‘mobile’ phones (that is, not connected to a land-line) were in use as early as 1916, as seen in the picture from World War 1. They were, of necessity, rather large and cumbersome and occasionally unreliable, but they did the job.
It wasn’t until many decades later that we, as individuals, embraced the concept of ‘need’ to own our own mobile phone.
The first one I had was a ‘car phone’ and had to be fitted to the car, where it sat in its ‘cradle’ charging as we drove along. It was oh so smart to own it - and (to be honest) oh so heavy and awkward.
Then followed a series of more devices that we used mainly when away from home - usually when staying at a holiday place; these were big, bulky and expensive to use.
Finally there was a phone to put in a pocket or handbag.
Starting off as fairly large, heavy - and ugly by today’s standard - the phones advanced until such as my little pink one - bought on eBay (second hand) for very few dollars.
And that’s how I liked it. It seemed perfect.
For years and years.
I tolerated the few jokes more progressive friends and relatives proffered, especially anyone of the teenage variety, and stayed with my simple device, even though sending text messages was a trifle tedious – 4 taps on the tiny ‘pqrs’ key to locate the letter ‘S’.
However, today I am heading to a shop to purchase the simplest ‘smart phone’ for the cheapest amount I can find.
Once it is charged up, I have a teenager ready to remove all the excess and costly apps - and any other ‘garbage’, to make my new phone able to send and receive voice calls and texts and that will be all.
Then all I will have to do is learn how to turn it on and off - and work out what to do if it ever ‘rings’.
Wish me luck!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.