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Clayton Rye

By Staff | Feb 24, 2012

Over the weekend, I upgraded my cell phone. What made it necessary was that I had been doing more texting of messages, a job I try to avoid. I was texting my wife’s progress on her knee replacement of last week to family and friends.

By texting I could send one message to the 10 to 12 people who wanted to be informed without making 10 to 12 separate phone calls or no calls at all.

I had this phone for almost two years. The main reason I got it was because my wife and I decided to upgrade, and she got one with access to the Internet.

Our original plan had lapsed and we could upgrade at no charge. I chose the phone that was free.

I carry a cell phone out of necessity and convenience. I just wanted a phone to make and take calls, not an entertainment center.

My phone was a very reliable and capable phone until I had to text a message. Then I had to use the old-fashioned method of a keyboard where to get to the letter C, I had to go past A and B. Then on to the next letter which was typically the last choice of three letters. It was tedious.

I needed a QWERTY keyboard, nothing more.

I found a suitable phone at my provider that did what I needed while remaining cheap.

As I waited for the information from my old phone to be transferred to my new one, I looked at a wall in the sales room.

Rather than leave the wall blank, they had put words on the wall of what a cell phone could do.

I wrote down the verbs appearing on the wall. They were, “jam,” “talk,” “watch,” “listen,” “play” and “connect.”

I thought, “Where was the word “work?”

However, in looking around at the other people who were probably there for the same reason as I was to upgrade their phones, it looked to me like they were going to use their phones as a tool for getting things done, in addition to whatever sources of pleasure they had in mind.

Not that many years ago, we had cell phones, and we had computers. Today the line between the two is not as distinct as we have a device that we carry in our pocket. We talk to anyone we want to and then go to the Web to look up something.

I am resisting the one device that does all. I still say, “It is just a telephone, and that is all I want.”

My wife’s phone has the ability to connect to the Internet, and there is nothing so important that I can not wait for her to look it up on her phone and tell me what she read.

It also lets us pay for one monthly plan for Internet access instead of two, which is fine with me.

I did splurge on a cover for my new phone. I wanted a red one, and orange was as close as they could get.

I stopped at a hardware store on the way home, and a can of red spray paint will solve that problem.

That was more important than Internet access. After all, it’s just a phone, isn’t it?

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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