By Gary Wamsley
I decided this week to change my cell phone service. I had been with Sprint for several years and I hated the phone I was using and the coverage did not extend even as far as Greeley and Eaton. My phone was useless when I visited my daughter or went to Nebraska. I don’t know why I put up with it this long, but the time had come.
At first, I tried to make the purchase on the Internet. That proved to be a frustrating experience. It is difficult to tell how a phone operates by looking at the pictures on a computer screen and I had trouble with the checkout process. I finally decided to go to the phone store. Verizon Wireless seemed to be a good choice. They have a coverage area which includes Interstate 80 through Nebraska and I found a store location nearby on the south side of Highway 34 near Centerra Mall.
It was a Sunday but the place was abuzz with activity. I had to take a number and wait for my turn. During the 45-minute wait, I browsed the phones on display. There was a bewildering array of choices, but being able to look at them and ask questions helped narrow the field. The younger crowd was looking at a different set of phones than I was and it was pretty obvious there was a technological, or sociological, gap between us.
When I finally got my turn with the sales clerk, I had pretty well determined the features I wanted and those I did not need. I decided on a phone with a camera. Last time I purposely avoided that option since I nearly always have my camera with me. Still, there have been a couple of times when I found myself sans camera and a backup would be good. I wanted a flip phone and did not want a QWERTY key pad since I did not plan on doing any text messaging. Most of the other customers were picking phones with key pads and those phones came in several varieties. Some had the keypads on the outside, others were hidden until you slid the top up or they opened like a lunch box. You can even have your email delivered to your phone, for a price, of course.
I took the phone the clerk recommended. It is easier to use and has a much brighter more useful display than the old phone. I even got the Bluetooth earpiece so I can talk without opening the phone. I have always though it odd to see people walking around apparently talking to themselves. Now I can do that.
Though I consider myself technologically savvy, I am amazed at how this technology has matured. Most of the customers at the store cannot remember a time without cell phones. I remember a time not so long ago that “car phones” and the Motorola “brick” were state of the art.
I’ll see you around town, and if I seem to be talking to myself, it’s the Bluetooth.