Sunday 11 January 2015

Not So Smart.

In an era when more people of the age of 16 have a smart phone than have a father living with them; and getting on for 70% of the general UK population also have one, I thought that it was time that gave way to modernity and joined them.

In truth, I had not intended to buy a smart phone, but I had been talking about them with my son and was aware of just how pricey they could be. He did however, interest me by saying just how useful they were, quite apart from being used as a phone. It was New Year and I was in town to buy a litre of milk. The sales were on and out of idle interest I just checked how much a phone similar to my son's would cost. Fatal mistake. I discovered that I could save £210 on the prices quoted the day before, if I bought the last remaining phone of this model in the shop today. It actually proved to be a genuinely remarkable price and with this flimsy justification I went ahead with the purchase.

Now most people will not need for me to say anything about the functions of smart phones. They have had them for ever and would be seriously ill if forced to part with them, being unsure how to continue their everyday lives. But in my case, as a person who only spent 20p on mobile telephone calls in the whole of last year, the whole range of apps. and what they could achieve, came as an eye opener and a shock. The shock emanated from a realisation of just how much these functions would cost, if being used in a mainstream fashion.

After getting used to the device and living with it for two weeks, I have come to the conclusion that I am one of those people who really do not need such a phone. I can see that they are interesting and can do many things that must be useful to the majority of people leading busy lives. But that is just the point. I am retired. I am not a communicator and only my wife and son have my mobile number. I have nothing to do with Facebook, Tweets, Chats or anything of that nature. I don't carry a phone round with me and when I go out driving, I take my old basic mobile phone in case I need the roadside assistance provided by the RAC, (and in case I lose the new phone.)

With the smart phone I am a pay-as-you go customer, but connecting to the internet is cheaper when using my computer, as are most things that I require, all of which can be done from home. Meanwhile this new phone has already cost me £9.99 for a case and protective film for the screen, that equates to 49.95 years of usage at my previous usage rate!  I thought I could be modern, but it turns out I am not a suitable candidate for so much connectivity. No one will miss me.