Welcome to the 21st century
The Way I See It
by DON WEST
I received a congratulatory letter from my stepdaughter recently because I finally established a “Facebook” account. It said something like “welcome to the 21st century.” Now that I have one, I am not sure what to do with it. I seem to have lots of friends and I now know just about everything I wanted (or didn’t want) to know about each and every one of them. For example, “today is a somber day”; or “my dog doesn’t like this weather”; or “I don’t know what to wear to the grocery store.” From time to time, I get an e-mail that says someone wants to be “friends” with you, so I click on the link, open the page, click on the “confirm” then I close the page and that pretty much is my activity with “Facebook”. So far, all these “friends” have failed to take me out to lunch, offer me a glass of wine, or visited. I already had lots of “friends” like that and am not sure I needed hundreds more, but I am now “bff” (best friends forever) with so many and I am not sure who half of them are.
So it is with the technologically challenged generation. The kids of this generation keep inventing new and better ways to totally confuse those of us who just want to make a phone call and receive one. We rarely text, tweet, IM, or twitter, but Bobbye says that I sometime “toot”. I had to say all of this because I am once again eligible for a “free” upgrade to my cell phone. That means that my contract has expired and my carrier has many new plans and schemes to extract my precious dollars from me while offering me a “free” upgrade. I abhor the prospect of going to the phone store to swap our phones for new ones that I will hate even more than the ones we have had for the past two years. First of all, I don’t “app.” The only “app” I would be interested in is applying for a new phone that I can see, that my fat fingers can punch without covering 4 keys that I didn’t intend to punch, one that I can hear and truly one that is “free”. I see things on my phone that I have right now – things like YP mobile, Navigator, Social Net, E-mail, Bluetooth, and others that I have no use for, don’t know what they are for and certainly have not used any of them for the two years that I have been hating this phone. Now I have to go to the store and listen to the sales pitches from some technology wizard who will convince me that I can get a phone that just makes calls and receives calls and I can send an occasional text message to someone whom I cannot reach by voice at the time I need to reach them. That’s what the guy told me a couple of years ago when we got these “simple” phones that I hate. Did I mention that I hate this phone? Maybe they have a phone with a rotary dial on it, but that could make “texting” an adventure. I wonder if they have one with an operator who I can say to, “get me Ethel down at the grocery store”.
I received a letter from my phone carrier telling me that I was eligible for a “free” upgrade, so I went on the WWW to look at some possibilities, and now I am totally confused. Not only are there about 150,000 different phones, but calling plans, data plans, family plans, individual plans, and I think there may be some wedding plans and house plans, but I don’t think I need those. That might be what those “apps” are about. People tell me that many of the “apps” are “free”, just like my “free” upgrade, but the “free” upgrade comes with hookup fees, drop fees, universal fees, one-time fees, ring tone fees, local and long distance fees, texting fees, and data fees. However, the upgrade is “free”. If the cell plans are not confusing enough, you can also intertwine your home phone, internet, television, medical care, and grocery shopping all in one simple “free upgrade”. You just have to pay one monthly fee that will eat up your entire Social Security check, but that’s before Obama puts a hold on that – its his way of throwing a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get his way with Congress. Hey, wait a minute, didn’t I read somewhere that Obama will give me a “free” phone?
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