Opinion: Ringing in the New Year

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Well, it’s finally happened people. I’ve officially entered the 21st Century with the acquisition of a smart phone. Hallelujah, right? Actually I think my kids are more excited than I am. No longer will I be embarrassing them with a flip phone that sort of takes pictures and kind of allows texting. No longer will they fight to take road trips in my husband’s car because he has a Wi-Fi hotspot. No longer will I be farther behind in technology then their grandparents, all of whom have had iPhones for years.

Now you may recall a previous article about my commitment to the basic flip. I was tired of family answering emails during dinner, frustrated with coworkers who played Angry Birds during meetings, and concerned for friends who would rather tweet than talk face to face. In short, I didn’t want to become like them … rude, insensitive and constantly “plugged in.” Cell phones were for emergency communication only, damn it!

Then why the change of heart? Frankly, I got jealous. And bored. I started paying attention to the number of times I wished for internet access … in airports, while waiting for dance rehearsal to finish, or lost on my way to a soccer game in rural Indiana. I became envious of those who could take “selfies” at the NCAA basketball championships and then immediately upload to Facebook for bragging rights. I would kick myself for forgetting the camera when my son finally swam a 50-meter breaststroke without being disqualified. And I grew tired of showing up on the wrong day or time because my entire life was lying on a paper calendar back home.

But I had an image to uphold; an old-school chip on my shoulder that I felt obligated to carry. And so I watched as my teenager took my upgrade, twice, and pretended like I was proud to still own a cheap, crappy device. Of course, then I’d drop the stupid thing in a glass of chocolate milk moments after jumping into a pool with it still in my pocket, and be thankful I didn’t own a $200 phone. Plus, not having the data plan was incredibly cost effective. But those redemption moments were too few and far between.

Luckily for me and my “too cool for school” attitude, Doo and the holidays came to the rescue. Best Buy offered some great deals, my husband purchased a new one for himself, and I inherited a slightly scratched iPhone 4. So next week I will not only proclaim, “Welcome 2014!” but also “Hello, 21st Century!” Peace out.


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