Your cellphone says a lot about you. So if you’re toting a 5-year-old phone, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. There are multitudes of cellphones on the market. Knowing which to choose can be daunting.
In a recent story in USA Today, columnist Kim Komando showcases a series of cellphones for photography, gaming, email–pretty much any task but talking on the phone.
During one of my undergraduate sociology classes, I read “The McDonaldization of Society,” tracing author George Ritzer’s parallels between the fast-food phenomenon of McDonald’s and how its nouveau concepts have transformed globalization. The book is so popular among sociologists that a fifth edition will be released this month.
I bring up the book because I remember early versions of Motorola cellphones that were hard-wired into cars. Back then, cellphones (or car phones as they were called) did not feature digital cameras, slide-out keyboards, or headphone jacks. Heck, the phones couldn’t even fit in someone’s pocket. Like the concept of drive-through windows that forever changed McDonald’s restaurant managers’ perceptions of customers walking through doors to order food, technology ultimately progressed into fast speeds, small sizes, and feature-packed bundles.
I bought my first cellphone in 1999, during my first post-college job. It was a thick red-faceplated Nokia phone and I thought it was the coolest thing. I could call friends (back before they, too, bought into the cellphone craze) and make plans on the fly. My, how times have changed. But while I’m currently with my fourth or fifth cellular incarnation since that red Nokia, I never bought into the optional features.
If I want to take a picture, I have a camera. If I want to surf the web, I have a computer. If I want to play music, I have CDs and an iPod. If I want to talk on the phone, I have a cellphone.
Why do I bring this up? My LG manufactured cellphone is dying. The battery needs to be charged more and more, the exterior shell shows wear and tear, and today I noticed the plastic screen protecting the LED diodes cracked. It’s time to buy a new phone.
Luckily, my Verizon Wireless contract stipulates every two years, I can buy a new phone at or under $100–for free. This past April marked two years, and while the Verizon website showed pictures of dozens of phones under the $100 mark which I can upgrade, it also showed me other higher-priced phones, because it seems if I buy a phone online, I get an additional $50 off. So, I could upgrade to a $150 phone, and pay nada but shipping costs.
I prefer the personal touch, though, so tomorrow I’ll walk into a physical store, touch different phones to see how they feel in my hand and whether my fingers can depress the tiny buttons, and then I’ll return to the online site and order the right phone–with Bluetooth technology.