I love my cell phone.
I'm all but addicted to it.
I vaguely remember life before I had one. And sometimes, the thought that I might be just plain un-reachable sometimes is alluring. (But then I remember the day that Kitty broke her arm. Had I not had a cell phone, she'd have been sitting in the school office for hours, in pain and scared.)
I love what you can now do with a cell phone. I have a smart phone, and the simplicity of keeping track of my calendar (in a way that integrates with others in my family no less), makes so many things easier! I use many features of the phone every day. (I also play with it, since it lets me play scrabble with my friends from anywhere!).
I hate the way it dominatrices our lives. I hate it even more when it's upgrade time. Now, don't get me wrong, I like that they have a system whereby one CAN upgrade one's phone. I like that they improve the technology. But the process is unreal.
Normally, I live happily with an old phone for far longer than the two years I'm required to, because the phones are usually just fine. But this round -- in which we joined the hyper-connected universe with cell phones -- we learned some lessons.
1) I my pockets are unreliable, and that even though I can carry my phone there with no mishaps for months on end, eventually, it will slide right out of the pocket into a wet place with no warning.
2) there is no time that is short enough for a smart phone to be in a wet place without killing it.
3) the insurance that you pay for with your phone -- through the carrier anyway -- is disappointing:
a. your replacement phone will not be free (yes, it will be far less expensive than an outright purchase, but far more expensive than you'd expect).
b. your replacement phone will not be new. It will be a refurbished phone, and there's no guarantee that it will work right.
c. if your replacement phone doesn't work right, you're out of luck -- and out of chances to replace it
4) even after one person in the house has dropped a phone into water, the other will not be wise enough to avoid simply setting his phone into a puddle on the kitchen counter. See 2 above.
So, we've been running on one klugey smart phone that doesn't work well, and one old phone that we put back into use despite the fact that we were paying for internet access for a phone that couldn't use it. Finally, the upgrade window opened.
Friday, Golf Pro and I went in to upgrade our phones. We're kind of trapped into our carrier for two more years (T-Mobile is the only one who has Family Allowances. Having that kind of control over kids' phones is worth it -- we've learned the hard way that no matter their intentions, they're not capable of ignoring texts that come into their phones during class). But -- we're no longer trapped into sources to get new phones.
Enter Best Buy Mobile. They have slightly different deals on the same phones, but more importantly they don't do rebates (they do straight up discounts) and their Black Tie Geek Sqaud Coverage is better than the regular insurance: no deductible, if your phone is klugey you can bring it back and they'll try again -- as many times as you need to.
But... you have to wait for them to ship the phone to you. Oh dear.
Alas,BestBuy doesn't actually have live phones for T-Mobile in their store, because they don't do that much T-Mobile business. So -- we tortured the folks at the T-Mobile kiosk, then went back to Best Buy, then went back to check something, etc. And then..once we'd make the decision (which of forty-leven phones do you want), we started what turned out to be an unbelievably long process to place the orders. I wound up with three separate transactions -- one for my phone, one for GolfPro's phone, and one for the GeekSquad Protection. oy! Each one took forever. We were in the mall for FOUR HOURS! It took well over an hour to process the transactions.
Yesterday, we received our phones in the mail, and went back to get all the data transferred over.
That took over an hour and a half. And though they promised ALL data, they just meant contacts and pictures -- which for me was not necessary -- I could have used google. They were able to move all my texts though, which was nice.
Now... download all the apps again. And for some (since they don't save their data to the SD card, but just to phone memory) I have to re-enter data. While this does give me the chance to choose which old data to keep, it turns out that the apps I have that don't save their data for easy transfer -- I actually want 90% of it. Sigh.
Maybe next time they'll have figured out how to get data out of the apps too. In the meantime, I'll be lobbying the app makers to store their data on the silly card!
The bonus: my new phone is just enough bigger than the old one that reading on it seems to work. Kindle app here I come. (or pdf reader -- I have scads of books in pdf format!)