Time for a New Phone Again
Two years ago, I renewed my contract with Vodafone and upgraded my mobile handset to a Samsung Galaxy S6. It has served me well over the last twenty-four months but the battery has been playing up of late and the phone barely survived a day on a full charge. Luckily, I became eligible for a new handset last week, so I decided upon the Samsung Galaxy S8. Now technophiles and phone aficionados have all informed me (AKA bored me) that there’s a newer Samsung handset being released in spring 2018. But my relationship with gadgets and the like has radically changed and I am no longer compelled to be at the cutting edge of technology. The S8 is more than adequate for my needs and is a tried and tested model. It arrived today and mercifully migrating all my personal data was an easy process, thanks to cloud based backups.
Annoyingly, the tariff that I’ve enjoyed for the last two years has now been retired and I was forced to move to another, which has resulted in a £6 a month increase. Subsequently, I now have a larger data allowance, not that it’s required, as I have a plethora of wireless networks saved on my phone. Whenever I visit someone these days, one of the first questions I ask is “what are your Wi-Fi details?” or something similar. Such is modern life. Frankly, the entire manner in which I use my phone has changed in recent years. Where it used to be a work tool, it is now mainly an administrative platform for my parent’s needs. I have multiple taxi apps, as well as others designed to re-order medication and book hospital and clinic visits. My calendar is a litany of appointments for others rather than myself.
My phone is currently the primary means for me to listen to podcasts. I travel a lot locally and this presents a lot of “dead time” that is ideal for catching up with my favourite shows. I also like to carry a selection of my own music, as my esoteric tastes don’t always align with streaming services. Luckily the S8 has a Micro SD card slot so I can bring what I like with me. WhatsApp is also an invaluable way to stay in touch with my wider family. Samsung phones have also had quality cameras for several years now and I do find myself taking more photos these days. Furthermore, it’s not all pictures of the grandchildren. We live in such an absurd world I often take a snap of anything that I find odd or quirky. Despite its flaws, I also still enjoy twitter and will often tweet while out and about, pointing out the strange foibles of life. Having a robust and quality phone allows me to do all these things easily.
I recent months I have made a concerted effort to separate myself from my phone in specific social and domestic situations. I still find the contemporary social etiquette regarding phone use a little discombobulating. I won’t dismiss out of hand the addictive nature of phones as I recently took time out to monitor how much I used mine and I do find myself checking it more and more. Hence I’m trying to show a degree of restraint. However, putting aside the issue of manners, I am of the opinion that phones are for better or for worse, essential tools nowadays. As a carer, managing the logistics of my parent’s lives would be far more difficult without the convenience of a phone. I recently went to a wedding in Hampshire and my phone was an invaluable navigational aid. I even paid in a shop recently for some miscellaneous crap using my Samsung Pay. So, while some folk may look to their flashy new phone for bragging rights, I see mine as an extension of my desktop computer. Either way, I wouldn’t be without it.