On Saying Yes

December 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

If you ask me to do something, I will say yes without blinking nine times out of ten. There are two ways to approach this response. The negative point of view would say that I am a people pleaser, which would not be all together incorrect. But, to put a positive spin on it, one might say I am an opportunist. Eager for new experiences. Excitable. And it’s true that I am all these things, good and bad.

For months, seven to be exact, I have been engaged in the smart versus dumb phone debate. I accepted a position at a web development company and I didn’t own a smartphone. In fact, I still don’t. I think I might be one of two persons in a company of 50+ that has not upgraded to the glass-plated finger-manipulated pocket-sized personal computer. Ahem, the smartphone.

Some call it the short bus phone, the dumb phone, the feature phone. Up until seven months ago, I called it my cell phone. When I didn’t want to take myself too seriously, I called it my cellular. My mobile. (I know, I should go on the road with this stuff.) A couple months after starting my new job, I hopped in the car with my boss to get lunch downtown. She couldn’t remember the exact location of her friend’s food stand, and said, “Hey, Ruth, will you look up the address?” I paused, looked at my lap and said, “Well, I could text google.” “What, you don’t have a smartphone, Rosengren? We didn’t ask you that in the interview process?” We laughed, sure, but there is truth in jest.

Verizon recently notified me that I am due for an upgrade. I can purchase a iPhone 4 for $69, or an iPhone 4s for $169. And then I’d have to upgrade my monthly talk/text/data plan from $54.99 to $89.99. And I am left with the question: is it worth it? Sure thirtysome odd dollars a month isn’t going to break the bank, but that’s not the point. Do I need it?

Ugh. Need is an ugly word indeed, because after studying Emerson’s essay On Nature, I know what I need. And it’s warmth, shelter and food. And then love.

I am in front of a computer for 10 hours a day, if not more. I have wireless internet connection at work and at home. When I’m away from my computer, I have learned a handful of SMS texts to retrieve (or deliver) information. Text 466453 (GOOGLE) for the weather, for a definition, an address, almost anything and get a response. Text 48368 (GVENT) and add an event to your Google calendar. Text 32665 to update your Facebook status. Text 40404 to tweet. Text 368266 (DOTCOM) to checkin to Foursquare.

Yes, there are limitations. Yes, I nearly squeal when I think about getting an iPhone and all of the apps I would use. I’m not a luddite and I’m not saying I won’t end up purchasing a talking phone after my rant, but this article has given me pause.

While I say yes rather quickly, I do continue to think about it. Do I want an iPhone? Of course. But will this tool address a need by amplifying my capabilities? I don’t know.


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