HUMOR BY ELLA STEINBECK
When cell phones first came out my parents gave me a bag-phone. Not sure if you ever saw one, but it was a phone made by Motorola that came in a carrying case.
It was for me to use only for “emergencies.” It never even occurred to me to use it for social reasons. If I needed to call someone I could wait until I got home and use my trusty cordless phone. I did secretly dream for my cordless phone to go wherever I went. Who didn’t take their cordless phone out into the yard and ask if their friends could still hear them as they made their way further and further away from it’s base? The bag-phone was definitely a step closer to my dream phone, but it was big and clunky and heavy and only for “emergencies.”
A year later my parents gave me a brick-sized flip phone. I was so excited! I would carry it around thinking people would assume I was important. After all, I was important enough to need a phone outside the radius of my cordless phone. And hooray they were getting smaller!
The year after that I got a phone that actually fit into my pocket. My pocket! This was a miracle. I felt so cool. Phones kept getting smaller and more convenient. I knew, at this rate, phones would eventually be the size of a Chicklet and I could attach one as an earring. Not like Bluetooth but like an actual piercing. Imbedded in my ear. Technology was gonna invent the nano-phone. It was just a matter of time….
Fast forward to the Blackberry. It was not smaller, but it contained technological conveniences, especially if you needed to do business like make appointments and answer emails. I never had a Blackberry. As a hairstylist it wasn’t really necessary. I did have a Web TV. I could check my emails, surf the web, and watch TV at the same time. I didn’t get many emails because no one I knew was really into computers or business or the internet. It wasn’t deemed necessary… yet.
The iPhone changed everything. I had a really cute orange Samsung Erickson phone that I hated giving up for the new Apple invention. I was hesitant about the trendy item. My boyfriend gave it to me as a gift. I didn’t even want it and now I was stuck with it. I plugged it into my very slow but inexpensive dial-up service on my Dell computer and registered it. This was pretty awesome. I was immediately converted. I was digging it. I didn’t dig the monthly fee, but I did enjoy having access to everything that was suddenly important and neccessary. The size of the phone was reasonable although nowhere near the Chicklet I had been hoping for.
Where is my pellet sized phone? They just keep getting bigger! These new phones are giant. It’s a tablet. It’s a phone. It’s a computer. Make up your mind. The monsterous size makes sense if you watch TV shows or play games on them. They can also be used as a tray to serve someone breakfast in bed. I, myself, don’t have a need for such a big screen. I am still young enough that I can see text without enlarging the font or wearing reading glasses. Maybe having a small phone is just my way of showing off my capable youthful opthmalological skills.
The one thing I super-duper love about the big phones is that when I am next to someone on the bus or behind them at a store and they are texting, emailing or Tinder-ing…I can see everything! I don’t have to get creepily close to see what restaurant they are dining at with Amanda. And I can wonder why they didn’t swipe “yes” to the guy with the nice abs or the lady with the tiny shorts without being conspicuous. I can easily see how much you loved your night with Mike and that you want to see him again tonight. The big phones may not be what I was hoping for but they have definitely fulfilled my voyeuristic tendencies.