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My Cell Phone Regret

June 9, 2016

Having a cell phone is not as advantageous as I expected.
I grew up in the era before cell phones were thought of, barely a few years past the invention of the phone. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration.
Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone in 1876. He helped start the Bell Telephone Company in 1877 which eventually, in 1885, became the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) of today.
The mobile phone came into being in the 1950s. They were large, clunky and often built into the car. One of my TV heroes (can’t remember name of the actor or show) used one that looked about 10 inches long, not including the small antenna. The early mobile phones worked by communicating with a nearby base station that connected to the main network. The first mobile phone call was made in 1973 by Dr. Martin Cooper from Motorola, but did not use the type of phone network we have today. In the 1970s, Japan created the first mobile phone networks.
Over the years cell phones have become smaller and more affordable. They combine several technologies–mainly telephone, radio, and computer. Modern cell phones use digital networks instead of analog like the early versions.
Cell phones have very nearly replaced the land line. Maybe after having mine for awhile longer, I’ll think the cell phone is the best invention since television. Doubtful.
I had my phone only a few hours when the store where my husband bought them send me a text message welcoming me to Verizon. Nice first message. I had no clue how to answer her back and didn’t bother to try. I plan to go back to the store for a lesson on how to use the phone, but haven’t made it yet.
In the two months I had this contraption I’ve used it roughly a dozen times, not counting our weekend trip. This is not my first cell phone. As a home health nurse I carried one 24/7, but it was simple. The small screen showed me who was calling and I could lock the keys so I would not accidentally dial a number while it was in my pocket. I got the occasional wrong number, but not as often as with this cell.
In the first month I got at least a dozen hang ups. I guess they didn’t like my “hello.” There were at least a half dozen “Is this…?” (put in any name). Fortunately, there were only three or four advertising phone calls. I finally learned how to text back, but don’t know how to do the punctuation.
Hang-ups decreased significantly the next month along with the wrong numbers and I’ve not gotten any more ad calls. However, Jennifer Davenport has gotten to be a problem. I’ve never met her and don’t have a clue who she is, but I’ve gotten three calls for her. The first one was from either a credit company or the sheriff’s department. The other calls didn’t tell me anything helpful on the little screen.
I’ve decided to use her name for a bad character in one of my novels. It is a pretty name and she might be a pretty girl, but I don’t expect to ever meet her so I’ll never know.
My biggest regret with owning a cell phone happened on Tuesday. I got a text message from a number I didn’t know asking me if I was at work. My friends know I’m retired so it had to be a wrong number. I texted back ‘No wrong number’ or something close to that. A few minutes later I got a return text. It made no sense to me since I understand little text talk and this was like nothing I’d seen before.
It was a vertical line with backward slash lines forming something like a radio tower. About half way down several horizontal lines slashed through it with a letter and number at their end. I felt the sender’s anger as I looked at the message.
My grandson was playing a game on the computer when I asked him to explain it to me. His smile disappeared instantly. He looked up at me and asked if I really wanted to know what it meant. Seeing his face, I told him no.
“If it’s that bad, why do you know?”
My grandson gave a little smile, but no answer. He’s fourteen and will be fifteen in July.
“Maybe I should find out.”
This time he told me it had to do with a man’s genital area. Nope, don’t want to know. I asked him to delete the message and he did.
I wonder how long that sender will stay mad at her friend who has no idea what happened. I did say a little prayer for both of them.

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From → Everyday Life

4 Comments
  1. At this point I’ll sound like a tv commercial – go with an ordinary FREE phone with Consumer Cellular and get about 1,000 minutes per month for $20 – no contract, change your plan anytime – there’s no down side to this !! If you see one of their ads on TV, believe every word.
    If you have to have texting – you can add that, etc.

    • I copied your comment and filed it for when I get a new phone. One of these days I’ll go back to the store for a lesson or two on how to use this one. This phone texts, but there’s no keyboard. You have to hit the number to get the letter you want. This past week I was playing around with it and discovered how to type the numbers when I need to. Still haven’t found punctuation. I’d rather not text, but that seems to be the way most people communicate nowadays. Thank you for your helpful input.

      • Although my phone can be enabled to text – somehow I have survived all these years without it. Sometimes it’s nice to know you can’t be interrupted 24/7.

  2. I do miss the peace and quiet, however the last few weeks my phone has rarely rung. I think all those wrong numbers have finally stopped. Also I often leave my phone turned off and forgotten.

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