My cell phone … it’s a classic, a collectible, an heirloom

By Raul Ascunce Relatively Speaking

In every household there is one person who is the techy, the IT specialist, the problem solver, when the electronics malfunction.

I am proud to say that I am not that person.

The wife, for years, has been on top of all advancements in the world of information technologies, whereas I have been on the bottom of these advancements. To say that I am old school is an understatement. (I am currently writing this column with a No. 2 pencil in a three-ring notebook.)

Last week the wife broached a sensitive subject: “Honey, I think you need a new cell phone.”

“How ‘bout no. There is nothing wrong with my phone. It rings some of the time, will occasionally send a text on the first try, and connects to any WiFi within 3 feet. I do not need a new phone.”

Making her case the wife said, “That cell phone is so old it still has a rotary dial. It has an actual TV antenna. Its case is the size of a briefcase.”

“You are so exaggerating. It’s only 7 years old. Its release date was Sept. 9, 2015, so it’s a classic and probably worth a lot of money.”

“A 7-year-old phone that still works. Somebody call Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The advancements in the phone technology are amazing. The cameras alone can do just about anything.”

“Well,” I said, “unless I can take my own X-rays, I’m not interested. I still think I broke my toe yesterday on the Dyson. That vacuum cleaner almost sucked off my toenail.”

“Don’t you want a phone that works faster, sounds better, has thousandsof applications that can make your life easier?”

“Dearest wife, how long have we been married? I asked.

“Forty-eight loooooong years,” she answered.

“And when have I ever been interested in having the newest, latest, fastest, smartest piece of technology? Never would be the correct answer.”

“But there are so many new wonderful new features on a new phone.”

“Of the wonderful features on my old phone, I know how to use about three: call, answer and text. That’s all I need.”

It amazes me that things like phones, computers, homes and automobiles have become so complicated, so “smart” that people of my vintage just want to give up. Do manufacturers not realize that roughly 20% of the population in America is over 65 years old? We don’t want to waste the rest of our lives trying to figure out our dang phones. We would much rather be playing checkers and sucking on a Werther’s Original.

To all those young whippersnappers out there inventing impossible to understand technology: I can read and write in cursive. Can you?

Raul Ascunce is a freelance columnist for the Sentinel-Tribune. He may be contacted at [email protected]