Published Friday, October 26, 2012
My new cellphone arrived on Monday. New Cellphone Day is always eventful and has never failed to start out with being forced to stay at home all day because a signature is required.
On New Cellphone Day I decided the whole waiting-by-the-door to sign for a delivery was very much like the old days before cellphones and before cordless landlines, when one had to actually sit by the telephone to wait for a call. It is, no doubt, the cellular provider’s way of keeping us humble.
Waiting for the delivery guy, who has between “8 a.m. and the end of the week” to deliver, was grueling because knowing I could not leave the house meant I came up with a billion reasons I needed to get in the car and drive to town.
My old cellphone chimed with a text message early on the morning of New Cellphone Day. A friend wanted to meet for lunch. I replied that I could if my phone arrived in time. Little did I know not only would it not arrive in time for lunch, I would spend the rest of my day and into the late evening just trying to get the thing to come to life.
I heard the truck rumble up about 2 p.m. I always feel sorry for these guys who have to run up the front steps so I met him out at the sidewalk. I signed for the precious cargo, old phone in hand, and carried the package into the house. I’ve had deliveries like this before. It’s pretty straightforward; you just unpack the phone, turn it on, call a certain number and poof! You’re in business. Setting up this particular phone didn’t go quite that way.
First I had to back up all the data from my current phone. This would not have been a problem except there were many short videos of the grandbabes that needed to be uploaded to my laptop. The laptop memory was full so whole process came to a screeching halt. Ninja Man was in meetings at work all day so I called my son-in-law Ian. Ian is the next go-to guy when it comes to stuff like New Cellphone Day. Among the options he suggested was to obtain a portable hard drive and remove the big movie files from my computer.
I consider myself extremely capable when it comes to computers but I was on task for three frustrating hours when my friend stopped by to give me tips on how to move the files more efficiently. It was a good thing she did since I had a bazillion files to move.
The next issue was getting the portable device to work. Ninja Man was still in meetings so my friend’s husband was kind enough to stop by and get the thing working. During this time I was still using my old phone – my lifeline to the outer world.
Not only am I computer savvy, I am addicted to the technology in that little handheld device. I realized this when, at 10 p.m. on New Cellphone Day, with my old cellphone completely disabled, the new one – the one I’d spent the entire day waiting to be delivered so I could nurture it to life – refused to work. I would miss calls, text messages, emails and Words with Friends. How could I check Facebook to see if cute grandbaby pictures had been posted? What if the husband of a dear friend called with an update during her emergency hospital stay? I felt desperate; cast onto the Island of Incommunicado, a place where suddenly and without warning, was dark, scary and pretty much dreadful.
It was midnight when I did the math; I’d been at this for ten hours and still no service. I was ready to toss the thing in the trash.
The next morning I headed to the phone store. An hour later I left with the new phone chiming as it received text message after text message. The “ding, ding, ding” was music to my ears. I was connected once again.
With the drama over and fully wired once again, I realized I might need to plan a real break from my addiction to electronic devices.
And I’m going to do just that, as soon as I check e-mail.
Kathy Bohannon is a weekly contributor to the Newnan Times-Herald, and author of “Gardens of Savannah.” The columnist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org