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New Phone, Old Phone, iPhone, Flip-Phone

August 27, 2013

I got a new phone on Sunday. Okay, it’s really a new phone. It’s old. Not old “used” old, but old “1999” old. Okay, I’m pretty sure it’s not even “1999” old. It’s probably “2003” old. You get the point.

When I got my “new” phone, I sent all of my close friends a text message:

Yes, you can see a part of my head in the corner. I had to hold this phone up to my laptop camera so I can "screenshot" it. Yes, very 2003.

Yes, you can see a part of my head in the corner. I had to hold this phone up to my laptop camera so I can “screenshot” it. Yes, very 2003.

Let’s not forget that I went from typing long, eloquent text messages–with commas, semi-colons, dashes– to a text message with no punctuation at all. AZ pointed out that my message lacked periods. I told her, “Yes no commas either too much work now I write like gertrude stein LOL.” Seriously, I text like how Gertrude Stein writes. (Have you read Gertrude Stein “On Punctuation“? It is hilarious.)

Immediately after I sent that initial message, I received a flurry of replies.

“Can’t believe you switched back”

“No more whatsapp”

I told AL that I forgot that old phones don’t have message threads–that by the time I’ve finished typing up half of my message, I’ve forgotten what my original message said and have to go back to my Outbox folder to see what I had sent. He said, “Maybe you should have gotten a slide keyboard one at least. Pretty sure they have the threads.”

SY texted me and said, “CAN YOU PRACTICE TEXTING PLEASE?”

And the funniest of all: “God I wish you just had Facebook sometimes… lmaooo. REALLY.”

No, actually the funniest of all was “What kind of phone did you get? Is it a flip phone? Its [sic] 2013 remember.”

I even remember thinking that the word “bajillion” was so hard to text because of t9 that it was just easier to text SY, “I sent you a 100000000000 emails to that one!!”

I told MT yesterday that I’m seriously practising my spelling every single day because when I use t9, I have to be careful in selecting the right letters or it won’t work. Also, I noticed that I have to be very concise with my messages because it takes forever to text. Ha ha. So now, instead of long sentences, I will text four words. I love it. (But sometimes, I am worried that people think I am upset with them when I only send them back a “Yes,” which sounds more serious than a “Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”)

I had been wanting to get of my iPhone for some time and so that’s why I downgraded. I told my brother a couple of months ago that I would give my iPhone to him. He was overjoyed and started counting down the days until the end of summer. But as Sunday, August 25th, 2013, approached, I was hesitant about giving up the iPhone. The truth is, I hated that thing. I hated that I felt an urge to check my e-mail every morning right when I woke up. I hated that I checked my e-mail immediately whenever I heard the ping sound. I hated that about myself. I felt like I was cultivating this sense of urgency/need/dependence within myself that was not good at all. It reminded me of my high school years and how I was always checking Facebook to see if I had gotten any messages. What’s more, I felt that constantly checking my e-mail was causing me a lot of stress. I always wanted to be in the “know”– to see if anyone had replied to the long important e-mails I had sent them. I used to love e-mailing people and love receiving e-mails. Now the whole e-mailing thing was stressful. I knew I had to stop. Just like I knew that I had to get rid of my Facebook many years ago, I knew now that I had to get rid of my iPhone.

But the one thing that was holding me back was the camera feature on the iPhone. I just loved that thing. Whenever I was walking on the street and saw a pretty flower, I could just pull out my iPhone and take a picture of it.

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Or whenever I saw a beautiful tree, I would take a picture of it.

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Or when I was lying on my bed at night, and the moon was breathtaking from my window, I would simply pull out my phone and take a picture of it.

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If you look carefully, you can see the wooden frame of my window. Isn’t the moon magical? Sometimes, I would put on Josh Groban’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” to make me feel as though I were in a Kevin Sullivan movie. I know, I’m ridiculous.

So you can imagine how sad I was at the thought that I wouldn’t be taking pictures like those anymore, especially when my only other camera is one that uses Kodak film. But oh well, I said to myself. Perhaps we are not meant to capture every moment of life.

I had made my brother a promise, so I had to stick with it. I had to teach my brother that keeping promises is important. I had to give him my iPhone no matter what I was feeling.

My mother told me to get a Blackberry, but I knew I really just had to go back to the simplest phone. I was ambivalent about it, but I knew I could make it work. All of the workers at the Rogers store kept saying to me, “Are you sure? That’s an old phone…. It’s actually a phone for construction workers. It’s shock resistant, drop resistant, water resistant (etc.). You’re sort of going backwards….”

But as soon as I heard that the phone is “shock resistant, drop resistant, water resistant,” I knew it was the phone for me. Do you KNOW how many times I drop my phone? I once flushed the back of my phone down a school toilet by accident… and then taped the back of the phone to prevent the battery from falling out. This is a true story.

I LOVE my “new” phone despite my ambivalent feelings at the beginning. The last day-and-a-half have been liberating. Seriously. I’m not “constantly” in touch with people via text messaging. I can’t check my e-mail. I can’t even play brick breaker because the phone doesn’t even have any basic games. But the great thing is that it has an internal COMPASS! I guess that’s why there are pictures of camping tents and mountains on the front of the box that the phone came in….

Photo on 13-08-27 at 11.01 AM

A couple of days ago, I drew a picture of a throbbing brain in my illustrated diary with the caption, “The world just needs to be quiet for a moment.”

And with my “new” phone now, the world has quieted down indeed. And I love it.

Tina, you are the ultimate hipster. You know like there are hipsters, and they like to dress a certain way, and they go out of their way to find those clothes. But you. You are beyond that. You are the “original” hipster. They have iPhones with their filters. You have a flip-phone.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

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