For years, I have resisted getting a cell phone of any kind. Actually, maybe the word ‘resisted’ isn’t the right word, as I was never even a little bit tempted to get one. I just ignored the idea of having one altogether. People would complain at me. I would be at a live event 15 minutes early, when they expected me 30 minutes early, and some sales person would get all worked up – ‘how do I even get in touch with you?’
I would say – you don’t get in touch with me. Just trust that I’ll show up. Seems easy to me. Doc has an iPhone, and he seems to use it mostly to get a cat to repeat what he says in a funny voice. Woody has a blackberry, and he seems to use it only to send rambling, stream-of-consciousness emails on a variety of subjects when he hears a piece of news late in the afternoon. My wife has a blackberry that she uses to text her son when he’s in the basement.
So what, exactly, are these things good for? Nothing, it seems to me. My wife has been bugging me to get one so she can call me on the golf course and know when I’m coming home. I have never bothered explaining that the two things are mutually exclusive and the whole thing is therefore a non-issue.
Then I got this Rogers gift card. I couldn’t use it to pay my bills. There are no more video stores. Which meant that I had no choice, really. There are now three things I can buy with this thing. A tablet, a phone, or about 50 cases for my wife’s phone. Which would take care of Christmas for the next 50 years…
So I bought an iPhone. Then tried to figure out what to do with it. I can go on Facebook, but I don’t really use my Facebook ever anyway. I can go on Twitter, but for what? Oh yeah, I realized – this phone is also a camera! So I took a picture and tweeted it. Which was really easy. The picture was of the cilantro plant hanging in my backyard. My tweet said “cilantro”.
Now what? My wife started playing with the phone, I went to bed. When I woke up, it had a bunch of games on it. Angry Birds! Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that. I played it for 90 seconds. Then I was bored. There was also an Army of Darkness game – she put it on cause I love that movie. I couldn’t figure out how to play it. There was also a talking bear named Ted, from that movie. He sucked and I deleted him.
I did find one app I liked. It’s a meal-planning app where you type in an ingredient or scan a barcode, and it gives you a bunch of recipes. Which is great at the grocery store if I want to use peach jam and bacon in the slow cooker. I typed in ‘cilantro’. Then I made a salsa with cilantro and raspberries from the garden. Which is neat (for me – probably not of interest to anyone else), but is that really all I’m going to do with this phone?
The most amusing thing for me though, is seeing people’s reactions to me finally getting a phone. I get a lot of ‘welcome to 2012′, and people treating me as though I have finally become a real, fully-realized, human being. Most of them have sent me these sentiments via text-message. I have now received 41 text messages. And sent four.
My favourite was Sam from sales. I sent out my new phone number to the select few people I thought might, from time to time, need it for some reason. As soon as she got it, she started sending me text messages about Bluesfest, instead of the emails she normally sends. I kept responding on my email, which I have in front of me at work. And she kept responding via text.
I think I have already reached the limit of what I will do with my phone. I will take pictures and tweet them. Maybe of more cilantro. I will look up recipes. Cilantro recipes. My phone will be my cilantro resource and nothing more. Oh, one more thing I will do. I need to wait until my sister is over at my house next, and then I will spend her entire visit screwing around with my phone. I’ll read news and browse apps and maybe even send a text or two, and I will respond to her conversation in a disinterested way without really paying attention or looking up from my device. I can’t wait for that!
Obviously, I still haven’t figured everything out.