Despite my frightening net addiction and general interest in techy stuff, I am a bit of a Luddite when it comes to mobile phones. I got my first phone only three years ago, which probably made me among the last ½% in the country. I have only owned two phones, including the one I currently use. I have never bought a phone — my first was a gift, and the second is a hand-me-down.
By and large, I’ve been fairly happy with the situation though. I can’t believe the way most people go through phones. Seemingly many people go through them at the rate of about two a year, or sometimes even every other weekend when they forgetfully drop their phone down the drain in a mad binge drinking-fuelled bum-bum performance.
In a way, I’m like one of those insufferable people who go, “OH, I just can’t set my VCR!” People who boast that they can’t set their VCR are stupid posers who really need to find something better to be proud about.
Me? I just go around saying, “Look! My phone doesn’t have a camera on it! It takes me half an hour to send a text! I don’t phone anyone cos I can’t be bothered to top it up!” Yes, I’m one of those terrible people who almost takes pride in how rubbish their phone is. I mean, this is probably three years old, which in mobile phone terms makes it a proper dinosaur. I mean, no camera!
But a certain website has come along and changed my phone habits for the better / worse [delete as applicable]. Yes, that Twitter nonsense means that I now receive about a dozen (probably more — believe it or not, I don’t count!) texts a day. This can be a bit embarrassing. I now receive such a large amount of texts that it suggests that people want to talk to me, when in reality I’m am just getting loads of tweets complaining about hangovers.
Also — I don’t know whether this is down to O2 or Twitter, or just the way that phones work — but often my messages come in clumps of about a dozen or even more. When I’m sitting there in a dull lecture, my pocket is sporadically buzzing away like a short circuiting dildo. All I can say is, thank goodness I don’t have a really annoying ringtone.
Actually having to use my phone has made me realise how clunky and slow it is. For instance, I can’t believe the fact that I run out of memory after about 50 texts. I assume today’s phones can hold a few more messages on them. Also, because of Twitter, I have come to appreciate how handy a mobile phone can come in. And I have occasionally felt out of the loop.
Counter-intuitively, Twitter might be making me less of a geek. (Well, it might be fostering a new era of net addiction for me. But I just like to see it as “engaging with society”. Of course.) Because of my busy modern hectic 24 hour lifestyle, on many days I might not find my way onto a computer all day until well after 9pm. Beforehand, I don’t think I really noticed. It didn’t bother me too much — besides, it’s probably good to stay away from the computer for most of the day.
But now with Twitter, I am being constantly reminded that stuff is happening, and I am missing out on it. What if there was a vaguely important email sent to me this morning? I might not see it until late on in the evening. An interesting blog post? I might miss it entirely. Important news event? My face will be nuked off before I know about it.
As somebody who, over the past few years, has been a bit of a “news junkie” and pale blogger, the realisation that I am actually not informed has unsettled me. And the sporadic stream of texts that I receive via Twitter has made me appreciate that this stupid thing in my pocket could actually come in useful.
Also, I didn’t really get anything interesting for my birthday, apart from money. It feels wrong to have turned 21 and only have the Borat DVD (thanks Gordon!) as a memento. I could get an iPod (and believe me, this is a particularly good opportunity for me to get an iPod), but since I just wrote the other day about why I’m not getting an iPod that would be silly. I mean, my iRiver still works…
So, a phone it (probably) is. But, as you might have guessed from what I have written above, I do not have the first clue about phones. So what’s what? Are there any particular good phones that I should go for? Any dodgy things I should know about?
I don’t want anything too swish — after all, that would make me look like a poserish iPod owner / Porsche driver. But I am looking for something that will allow me to check my email, Google Reader, maybe Facebook mobile and the odd news story. And I suppose I should join that mob of happy slappers and get a camera as well (although I don’t imagine you can actually buy a phone without a camera these days).
Of course, I could do the research myself, but I have actually tried and I really don’t know what’s what. Most of it goes straight over my head. So I would be grateful for any suggestions, should anyone be so kind as to pop into the comments.
Update: (Working my way through all the blog posts that I missed during the week) Blood & Treasure: i am a lonely node