Phoning It In


Smartphones are amazing pieces of technology that give us access to unparalleled connectivity and productivity and I’m about ready to throw mine against the wall.

My current phone was already a little bit behind the tech curve when I got, but hey, what do you want for free?  It had the shiny screen I could get fingerprints all over and the ability to immediately max out its storage capacity by downloading three apps.  I was finally in the 21st century!  Bring on the birds and pigs and fruit ninjas.  My phone didn’t seem to take all that long to connect, I had plenty of storage space, and everything was bright and beautiful and new.

Of course, it didn’t take long to become completely jaded.  I quickly turned into exactly the person Louis CK famously railed against; I was holding a piece of Star Trek in my hand and I was this impatient, ungrateful troglodyte.  The phone that I loved a few months earlier was now this slow, buggy piece of junk with too many unwanted apps that I couldn’t uninstall, not enough space, and how the hell was I ever supposed to get these damn fingerprints off the screen?  I already had upgrade fever, and I was still a good year and a half away from even sniffing one.

So I soldiered on, enduring the torment of this sub-standard miracle of modern communications.  I managed to clear space by downloading an app that, well, took up space.  I shoved everything I could onto the SD card, even though the real space hogs sat there completely untouchable on my phone thanks to Sprint being absolutely certain they were so indispensable I would never want to delete them.  My phone and I were barely on speaking terms.

Finally, a few months ago, I rooted it.  I figured I was probably out of the warranty anyway, and I’d successfully rooted my Nook Color and had managed not to brick it, so I felt good about my chances.  And the romance was back.  I could finally get rid of the crummy stock browser, finally move those bloated apps off the phone, finally manage to cut myself off from Sprint’s voice mail service.  Oh.  I didn’t want that to happen.  Nor did I want to be unable to update my profile.  Okay, breathe.  There had to be an app for that.

Yeah, I eventually fell out of love with the root too.  For one thing, I think my phone doesn’t quite have the processing power to run it at full efficiency.  In short, I’d put a lift kit and a turbo conversion on a Yugo.  It tries, it really does, but it’s the Little Engine that Couldn’t.  Or Could, Just not For Very Long.

But I’m coming up on my early upgrade date.  The only trepidation is that I won’t be getting the full discount I could get if I wait until my contract ends.  Of course, I could just leave, pay an early termination fee which would be about the same as what I’d get charged for a new phone, and get a free phone someplace else.  Because let’s face it, these companies will move heaven and earth to get you in the door, then take away all the furniture and turn off the lights once you’re there.  They’re more about acquisition than retention.  But I still plan on trying to explain my logic and see if I can finagle them into giving me my full upgrade discount early.

Besides, I can barely see the screen on my current phone through all these fingerprints.

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