I have finally emerged, blinking, into the dawn of a brave new age of technological endeavour.
For the past (insert any number between 5 and 7) years I have been the owner of a very, VERY basic mobile phone.
No camera, no Internet, no games, no touch screen. It just did phone calls and texts, which is what I ever needed*.
*Note the use of the past tense....
It was also supremely durable. I read in a magazine article that the exact same basic phone was standard issue for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan as it was less destructible than they were. The same article attested that the phone could be dropped out of a high building and not break. Similarly if you dropped it down the toilet (which apparently is the fate of many phones) you could put it in the airing cupboard to dry out and it would be in perfect working order within a few hours. Of course you might not subsequently want to place it against your face but that's wouldn't be the phone's fault.
My old Nokia and I lived a simple but companionable life, just texting and making or receiving the occasional phone call. A £10 top-up lasted me about 6 months.
Not that I'm Billy No-Mates or anything. I just don't do the whole compulsive text/phone/play thing with phones.
DIDN'T do the whole.......
Because for my birthday a few weeks ago, I got a shiny new Smart Phone.
Touch screen IN COLOUR!!!, wi-fi, Internets, apps.... the works. A whole new world was suddenly revealed to me, and just as suddenly revealed what a doofus I was, technologically speaking.
I am most certainly NOT an 'early adopter'. You know the sort, like Stephen Fry, who immediately rushes out to buy the latest, newest, shiniest, most expensive bit of kit to be unleashed on the unsuspecting masses.
This may not make me 'hip and happening' but it does avoid me making expensive mistakes and amalgamating a horde of defunct electronic equipment.
I'll just say one word..... Betamax. And rest my case.
However, the joy of the late adopter is just as sweet. For the past few years I have watched the 'smart' generation plugged into their ipods and their iphones and their ipads and felt vaguely superior in an actually not very superior way. Now that I have joined their ranks I feel a quiet rosy glow of satisfaction, knowing that I have not been gulled into the 'got to have it NOW' condition of conspicuous consumption.
I have waited.
I have watched.
I have not followed the crowd.
However, now that I finally have a Smart Phone, it has cruelly highlighted the fact that my phone is considerably smarter than I am and that it will take me some time to come to grips with its multifarious functions.
It came pre-loaded with a plethora of apps and widgets, a few of which I now know what they do but most are a mystery. I have tentatively downloaded a battery saver app, following the discovery that it EATS battery power. My old trusty Nokia could go for up to 10 days without requiring a charge but this new usurper is constantly ravenous and needs to be fed every other day. I've also downloaded a cutting edge app version of Solitaire, which I suspect might not be the zenith of app gaming but I make no apologies for being a traditionalist.
The wealth of available apps available is mind-boggling. I could, if I had a mind to, check, minute-by-minute the catastrophic meltdown in the Eurozone. I can see what the weather is like here (other than by looking out of the window) or indeed any location in the whole world. I can search the Internet in seconds. Send blog posts direct to Blogger from my phone, as well as keep up with my favourite blogs online. I can check the arrival/departure time of the next bus/train/plane and see if it is running on time. I could point my phone at a plane in the sky and instantly know what airline it is, where it came from and where it's going........
I have the entire knowledge of the world at my fingertips ON MY PHONE.
What I did I download the other night and spend a full half hour completely immersed in....?
Smart Phone, dumb owner.....