Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Downsides of Upgrading Phones

Sooner or later, you will need to make friends with Disappointment. ~Dr. SunWolf

For many years I had a prepay flip phone. I had a plan that is no longer offered, but as long as I paid it the balance so that it was $100 once a year I was grandfathered in to pay 10 cents a minute for calls and 10 cents per text. I did not text and the most I ever paid in one year was around $50, most years between $20-$30. We still had a home land line and I did most of my chats on that. My cell phone was for meeting up with people at the right place and time and emergencies. The phone number was switched over to me from an old work phone number my husband had.

Now I am not particularly sentimental about phones, but phone numbers...well, that is another story. We have tried to keep the first number my daughter memorized when she was turning four years old. My husband was offered to go to the tech conference at Disney World that year. In preparation, my daughter and I began taking long walks to build her stamina and while we walked we worked on her memorizing her address and her daddy's phone number, because even though I could not imagine her getting separated from us by anything, I wanted to be sure that she knew our address, our full names, and how to contact us by phone.

So, we had that number ported to my prepay flip phone, which was no small feat that that time. I used the same phone with the same number for several years.

About three years ago, we decided to let go of the landline and go cellular only. So I got a smart phone, Samsung Galaxy S5, that I loved! The Princess got the prepay flip phone. She was not allowed to text or just chat on it, but it was to be used for meeting up with us at the right place and time.

We replaced the $20 flip phone I previously had for several years because it fell out of her pocket as she was riding her bike and a car ran over it. I keep thinking that one was a replacement of another that got ruined or lost, but she does not remember. Anyway, the last time we needed to replace it, there were no prepay flip phones, instead there was a $30 small touch screen phone that had wi-fi capability and very little storage by today's standards; I think it qualifies as the cheapest "smart phone" possible. She cracked the screen in the first six months, and she could have replaced it with her allowance or gift money, but she decided to just live with it.

A few years ago, my husband and I never had it in our minds that she would be allowed to have a smart phone as a teenager, but that is when we had a land line. Things have changed, tech has changed, and our plans had to change also.

My husband just bought a phone earlier this year to be his personal phone, as he felt his work phone was coming the company way of keeping surveillance on their employees. He is definitely an iPhone guy, but I like Android. He tried to convinced me to get a new phone then also. Now I was still quite happy with my Galaxy s5 except for one thing: not enough internal storage. I use my phone to help me stay on track with my life and chores, save money, and monitor and limit the Princess' online activity so it has several shopping apps, Instagram, a bill pay app (very necessary with all the additional stuff from the Queen Mother), and a few games that give me something to do when I am waiting with nothing to do. The 16 gig internal space was just not enough anymore and what apps I could move to the external card would move back to internal with every update. At least once a week to daily, I was moving over pictures and apps to the external card so all my apps would work...so that my phone would work...so that my life would work.

You may recall that we also had found a senior friendly flip phone for the Queen Mother and she was added to our service plan. That made three on the plan.

I was ready to give in and the prepay was coming due the first week of July, so I decided to just do it. The Princess would get my Galaxy s5 and I would get the Galaxy s8, which has 64 gig internal storage with the ability to add an external card, but I was not as thrilled about it because of the curved edges being harder to protect  You see, I do not go for the pretty phone cases but for ones that will really protect the phone. My s5 did not even have a scratch!

So we added the Princess to unlimited phone and texting.... Hold that thought.

Actually, the guy at the store made an error in the phone number we were trying to have port over from the prepay service...the number we have passed along in the family for over a decade. None of us caught it, so she really could not use the phone. It took some time to track down what went wrong and go back to the store to have it corrected, but since Thursday morning it has been up and running.

Back to that thought....I have access to all of her accounts email, Instagram, and Google Hangouts, so I can see everything, but there are three things that I would not see: texting, calls going in and out, and the actual conversation. However, I found a free app that leashes her phone to mine so I see all her text conversations and who is calling her. That is about the best I can do.

Oh, and I cannot tell you how much I really hated getting the Galaxy s8. I would have preferred getting another s5 with more internal storage. I ordered a cover like the one I had for on my s5, but I did not realize it would take three weeks to get it. (I am assuming it is coming from China.) So, I have tried to be careful with the phone, but for whatever reason, Galaxy made the entire phone with a glass skin. Had I looked more at the reviews I would have probably thought hard about going with an iPhone. The glass at the back of the s8 cracks very easily and the entire phone is quite slippery, but I thought all would be well once I got the case. Well, I still do not have a case and tonight I dropped it on a brick walkway and it hit a corner. The front screen is fine, but the back has one crack from the corner to the fingerprint pad. Not terribly bad and the case will cover most of the damage, but it does make the phone less water resistant. As I wrote, my s5 did not even have a scratch after three years, so I am a bit bummed that I did this after having the new phone for only eight days.

I miss my s5! Yes, I do!



My Lord, help me keep my expectations in perspective, one small crack in a phone should not have so much power over my feelings! I have spent too much thought on something I cannot change. Thank you for making heaven a place that does not have such concerns.  

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.