My New "Schmart" Phone

#7 from the Professional bucket list “Learn to text and tweet from a cell phone” seemed like the most challenging, given my sorry level of technical prowess. So I decided to tackle it right away.

The first step was to find a new phone. The one I was carrying was the freebie phone from when I moved to Boston in 2007. If I was capable of phone shame, I’d have had it. All that phone was good for was talking to someone.

Hey! Wait, isn’t that what a phone is supposed to do?

Maybe in the Dark Ages. A phone used to be able to get away with just sending and receiving calls, but now it needs to do everything but take out the trash. And there are so many different kinds of phones available–slides, blackberries, iphones–my head was pounding so hard, I thought it might just roll off my shoulders from the strain of trying to pick one. I finally decided to take the one that confused me the most–the Samsung Vibrant.

This thing comes pre-loaded with the movie Avatar (I kid you not! I can’t imagine what the flying sequences are going to look like on that little screen, which is HD, BTW!), an Amazon Kindle, Slacker Radio, a camera that shoots panoramic shots and videos, all the Droid apps I’ll ever want (Facebook, Twitter, a web browser, a GPS, TV shows, a dictionary and a Bible–you name it, this phone has it!)

I was scared to death of the thing.

While the salesperson was showing me all the features of my new phone (which meant he was swiping and punching at such lightning speed, I had no hope of learning what he was doing), the phone rang. He handed it back to me. After all he’d shown me this phone could do, I still had no idea how to accept a simple incoming call.

But like any new relationship that starts out a little rocky, I believed things would turn around once I got the phone home. After a couple hours of frustrated fiddling, I was ready to return it to the store. But my DH, ever the peacemaker, suggested I sleep on it before I make a decision.

He was right (something that happens with alarming frequency!) The next day, I figured out how to text my daughters. Amazingly enough, it was emfun!/em It felt good to learn something new. I was so encouraged by my success, I also learned to tweet from my phone. I sort of submitted my tweets twice, so it looks like I’m stuttering, but I’m getting there. (BTW, if you tweet, I’d love to follow you and vice-versa. http://twitter.com/Mia_Marlowe )

Emboldened by my success, I tried taking pictures with my camera. This is the view from the park in front of our building. I love watching the swans on the Mystic River. Still haven’t figured out the panoramic feature or how to do videos, but if I give in and read the manual, I expect it’ll become clear to me.

In the days to come, I’m sure I’ll learn more things this phone can do for me. Eventually, I’ll wonder how I ever did without it.

And I wonder how long it will be till I watch a two hour movie on it…

Anyway, I think I can mark #7 on the Professional list as “done.”

How about you? Have you learned a new technical skill lately? What was it? How has it made things easier for you? Or harder?

8 thoughts on “My New “Schmart” Phone

  1. Nynke says:

    Well, 18K is about twice as long as any of the others, and I’ll only have 5 of them in the end. Let’s see if I can rehash some material I’ve already got into the next, 5K, chapter, within a week. That would be good :).

    Mia – thriftiness just doesn’t sound like fun, does it? But luckily, it doesn’t have to stop us from having fun :).

    Saranna – I love the translator. I’ll let you read Chinese and Hindi and Finnish – it’s magic!

  2. Saranna DeWylde says:

    Nynke- Merci. *g* And I think I just fainted at your 18K.

    Mia- I understood the first sentence, but I had to use the translator for the rest. But you know, that was exciting! Merci.

  3. MiaMarlowe says:

    18K is a single chapter? Whew!

    Don’t apologize for being economical, Nynke. There’s a bit of Scot in my geneaology. We’re very thrifty people, too.

  4. Nynke says:

    Ooh, I just love these new phones, and their touch screens, and their internet, facebook and email features, and their easy ways to upload or email pictures. Especially that last bit has eliminated a pet peeve I had with my old phone – I took cool pictures every now and then, but didn’t know how to send them to anybody! (Or rather, I had heard picture messaging was really expensive, and I’m Dutch, so I’m economical ;) )

    But I must confess these phones are a lot easier to acquire and get used to because they’re my boyfriend’s hobby :).

    Oh and about bucket lists: I’m a step closer to completing my near-perennial PhD project – I turned in an 18,000-word thesis chapter last night! Yay!

    Saranna: bonne chance!

  5. MiaMarlowe says:

    Tres bien, mon amie! Je parle un peu français parce que j’ai étudié deux ans à l’école.

    In other words I know enough French to be a danger to myself and others. But I admire you for pursuing another language. What a wonderful goal!

    As for the Droid, I went for 3 years with the freebie phone, so I figured if I was going to upgrade, I should aim high.

  6. Saranna DeWylde says:

    That’s great! I love marking off the list!

    I signed up for a free email course in French from BBC. :)

    I, too, am frightened of the Droid, but I want it.

  7. MiaMarlowe says:

    Sounds like a good plan, Mary.

    I bet mine has a calendar on it somewhere . . .

  8. Mary says:

    My phone has freed up space in my bag — no calendar!

    I finally figured out the video thing and did a dance, let me tell you! I try to learn one thing at a time. It’s like a game for me.

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