A cellphone chronicle

September 13th, 2012

Up until earlier this summer, I was stuck in prehistoric times. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.

From my senior year of high school until this summer, I owned a red LG enV2 cellphone. Compared to most of the phones of today, with all of their Internet and app capabilities, my phone was not up to snuff.

But back in the fall of 2008, an enV2 was a vast improvement over the flip phone I had. The flip phone was my first-ever cellphone, and had seen its share of wear over the two years I had it. The front screen of the phone was completely smashed. When I held the phone upside-down, the upper part would swing open and hang, seemingly by a thread.

The most exciting thing about my new enV2 at the time was a full keyboard for texting. Just having the ability to text message was a privilege I earned a few months before I got the new phone.

Over the next three-and-a-half years, my enV2 held up like a champ. I dropped that phone many times, and each time, it came back to life. The call quality was outstanding, and having a keyboard made texting much easier.

But, alas, it was time to make a change. Times and technology are changing, and I’m not trying to get left behind in the dust. I was also traveling this summer, so I wanted to have more mobile capabilities.

My parents had promised me a new phone at some point this year for my birthday. So, one warm summer night, my dad and I made the trek to our local Verizon store. The end result of my trip to the store: a new Motorola Droid 4 smartphone.

You might be asking why I picked a Droid over an iPhone. Frankly, when I compared the two, the Droid won out in terms of battery life and Internet speed. Sure, the iPhone is a very popular device that’s relatively easy to use. But I like the freedom my Droid gives me. In other words, I don’t want to be limited to downloading apps and other services made by only one company.

I really like my new phone because I have the world in my hands now. I can download apps for all my favorite news sources, Facebook, Twitter, an app to make lists or create Word documents when I’m not at a computer, YouTube and other useful things. I no longer have to find a computer on campus to check my email because I can access it easily on my phone. Less-than-pristine call quality and a short battery life are items I can tolerate when I have more mobile capabilities at my fingertips.

While it’s nice to be connected all the time, there are moments when it’s necessary to get away from it all. A smartphone can make that difficult because of all the capabilities it has to quickly get more information over other cellphones. I’ve found that the easy thing to do is just leave my phone in another room for a while.

In an age where our ability to find information is getting much easier, our need – and society’s need – for the latest news can also consume us. Sometimes we all need that quiet time away from the devices that allow us to access the world. Don’t ever be afraid to put your phone in a drawer for a bit and actually look around at the world. Our beautiful campus is a great place to start.

But when I take my phone back from the other room, I’m glad I have it. Staying current in the 21st century is a lot better than being stuck in the technological Dark Ages.