When I got a new phone at the start of my junior year of college, I was excited it had a camera. I have no idea what the elite phones were like in 2008, but at the time I still thought it was a novelty to have a phone with not just call and text capabilities, but that took pictures. Even though the pictures were stuck in the phone forever.
(And there are some great pictures in there: BYU campus at varying stages of weather and daylight, funny signs, Mom sitting on Kimberly while Dad tries to watch ESPN, Tyrel in a SARS mask, an extremely blurry capture of me and Kimberly at the dollar movies after we finished finals (I think we saw He's Just Not That Into You, which ruined any chance I had of ever thinking Bradley Cooper was attractive), me wearing a Relief Society service crown I unintentionally kept for weeks, a selfie of me "sleeping" at work, a close-up of my eye, and documentation of the last Jazz game I went to.)
As cellphone technology outstripped me, my phone got more and more useless. It couldn't send or receive pictures. Group texts didn't always make it. It used T9, not autocorrect. It had no GPS to get me out of helpless wanderings. Emoticons showed up as boring boxes. I couldn't check emails or consult Google. I rarely saw more than three bars for reception. And I never did figure out how to change the embarrassing voicemail greeting I recorded in high school.
Sure, I could still call people—which is the whole point of cellphones in the first place, in case you forgot—but as the world got more used to carrying computers around in their pockets, it got harder to keep up as a dumbphone user. I rather like being disconnected for hours at a time, thank you very much, but you'd be surprised by how often other people are annoyed, offended, and/or inconvenienced by my phone's lack of abilities.
I held on to that phone far longer than was practical. What can I say? I saw nothing wrong with being the last millennial dumbphone user. It made it much easier to not think about work on vacations. I enjoyed the "What the heck is that?" looks people gave me when I pulled out my flip phone that was actually small enough to fit in my tiny pockets.
"So you have an iPhone 6, do you?" I say. "Well, I've been using the same phone for six and a half years."
I think you already know which feat I think is more impressive.
And just like I did with my first car, I was fond of my phone's faults. Everyone else's phones were smug and hoity-toity—my phone was quirky and charming.
But about a month ago, those faults ceased to be cute. In a matter of days, the battery went from lasting almost a week to losing a third of its power every time I sent a lousy text. For four days it re-sent bits and pieces of the group texts I got last Tuesday, telling me several times a day that Kimberly was moments from giving birth, followed up by a stranger's reply-all congratulations text. (Which had five grammatical errors in it, by the way. After receiving the message 23 times, I think I'm justified in resenting that person for several more months.) And it chose now to get its revenge for all the times I dropped it—the back won't attach snugly anymore.
TO HECK WITH IT ALL—I'M JOINING THE 21ST CENTURY.
My iPhone 5 arrived in the mail today.
As a last show of respect for the phone that worked well enough for over six years, the first thing I did after I activated my phone was take a picture (in HD!) to immortalize its existence.
So long, dinosaur. I might have been a little more sad about this parting if you weren't so irritating at the end.