I celebrated my birthday a few days ago and decided to give myself a new cell phone. There wasn’t anything wrong with my old one, but Verizon sent me this brochure filled with glossy photos of their latest models. Like a kid looking through a Toys ‘R Us catalog, I was hooked. I don’t use my cell phone very often and when I do, it’s for making and receiving calls, or using mobile e-mail. Period. I don’t text much and I’m not on a host of social networks.
I entered the store and was immediately set upon by a guy barely out of high school, who launched into his sales pitch.
“This phone can do everything. It’ll keep you in touch with the outside world, and alert you to the latest postings from your friends on Facebook and Myspace.”
“I’m not on Spaceface or Mybook,” I said.
“Are you a twitter?”
“No, and I resent being called one.”
He pressed on. “This other app lets you watch the latest videos on YouTube.”
“How can I watch videos on my tube?”
He gave me a blank look with his mouth agape. “Okay, how about this one? It gives you the most up-to-date headlines, sports and weather.”
“Why do I need that when I can watch the evening news?”
More confused looks followed but he was nothing if not unstoppable. He took a deep breath and continued trying to sell me something I didn’t need. “The built-in camera has a gazillion mega-pixels. It’s great for capturing embarrassing pics and vids of your friends and posting them on YouTube.”
“There you go, talking about my tube again. Is this a fetish or are you trying to pick me up?”
Undaunted, he continued. “If this doesn’t have what you’re looking for, how about this nifty new I-pad?”
“Does it make and receive calls?”
“Better than that – it does e-books, wi-fi, news feeds, GPS, games, photos, e-mails, stock quotes, streams movies and TV shows…”
“Will it take my temperature when I’m feeling under the weather?”
He exhaled in exasperation. “What exactly are you looking for?”
“A portable communication device that will let me call my sig other when I’m running late for dinner, or so she can call me to find out why I’m somewhere I’m not supposed to be.”
He looked at me as though I were from Mars. “That’s it? That’s all you want it for?”
“Yeah. I believe that’s why it’s called a cell phone – not a social club/newspaper/tickertape/entertainment center/embarrass your friends with secret videos phone.”
He finally gave up and I left with a new state-of-the-art-for- now phone. I don’t know what most of the bells and whistles are for but at least I can make and receive calls. If I ever want to post embarrassing vids on my tube, I’m sure there’s an app for that.
Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author whose books range from romantic thrillers to contemporary erotic romance. He is also a freelance photographer. More info about his books and photographs can be found at his website, www.timsmithauthor.com.