Friday, September 7, 2012

My Dinosaur Era Mobile Phone

The other day I attended a company meeting and watched a laptop presentation projected on a large white screen at the front of the room. When discussion turned to a video about the product, a video that was hosted on YouTube, we tried to access the Internet via the company’s wireless setup. Unfortunately, the connection was very slow and we all sat for several minutes while the content buffered on the screen.

“Wait, I have it on my phone,” the person next to me stated, and indeed, the video was being broadcast faster on his smartphone than it was through the wireless connection.

Other meeting participants pulled out their iPhone originals or clones, and instinctively I followed suit with my own phone. It was embarrassing to see that I was the only one in the room with a dinosaur-era mobile phone.

My phone serves its original purpose = I use it to make and receive phone calls. Oh, but that is so yesterday. Today phones are so much more than oral communication devices.

One of the talents mastered by the smartphone generation is texting, something that exercises the thumbs and the mind simultaneously. I read in Time Magazine that a 17-year-old boy was crowned the fastest texter in America; he received a $50,000 prize for his “incredibly fast thumbs.”

I’m lucky if I can find room on my phone’s small screen to read a message that is eight words long. The keys are so small that I need to use the edge of my fingernails to hit a letter, and sometimes this must be done repeatedly until what I intended appears in view.

Smartphone smarts

This week my wife traded in her rarely used, company-provided BlackBerry to receive an iPhone instead. Before she handed in the BlackBerry, my wife checked if there were any photographs worth saving on its memory card.

My old mobile phone has a camera, but the number of pixels it can save is so minimal that only the grainiest of images can be recorded. And then there’s the problem of a missing cable which prevents me from downloading anything from my phone to a computer. And how can you take a photo anyway with a screen so small?

A television news report stated that the digital camera industry was suffering tremendously by the advanced photography features of modern phones. New add-on devices provide advanced capabilities, making every phone a professional image recorder.

Let’s not even get started on music, as my phone’s memory is so small that it can barely contain the ringtone that I hear when someone calls.

It’s clear that I have been left far behind with the advance of mobile phone technology. If I wanted to catch up I could triple my monthly phone bill and splurge on the latest smartphone. I hear that in addition to Internet surfing, Facebook posting, text messaging, photography, music, movies, news, reading, weather reports, games, video, GPS, email, and all other forms of entertainment, smartphones can also be used to make and receive phone calls.

The idea of having a smartphone has a definite ring to it.

The image of at Triceratops Fossil from the Royal Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller, Alberta, Canada was posted by user MathKnight and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


  1. My mobile telephone is virtually made of black Bakelite. It is also "pay as you go" and I put about £20 a year on it at most... If folk want to get in touch with me desperately they can always send a runner to my cave.

    My camera? Now there is a work of Nikon art, even if it won't make or receive calls.

  2. I do not use or have this new communication modality.
    So... I am before the dinosaur times.
    I am more primitive!

  3. Mine is a five-year old LG. It can grab email from the internet but that's about it. I don't use it for that though. I call, text, and take bad pictures with it. Previously I'd resisted getting a phone. I like to learn about tech things though. I have to wonder if there wasn't a way to hook one phone to the projection system and have everyone watch from one phone. I've seen it done with laptops.