Just before the dawn of 2016 I made the big switch from the flip phone life to being a smart phone user. I could call myself a complete millennial, but even my middle aged mother had a smartphone before I did. As a 22-year-old I broke stereotypes every time I snapped my flip phone open. I would find kinship with older students in need of assistance at my colleges computer lab, where I work. They would take out their outdated models, and I would quickly show them mine. They were always happy to find out that they weren’t alone in this smart phone world.
My last “dumb phone,” as nonusers call them, had been a present from my Mom during either my junior or senior year of high school, and I had once shared it with my twin sister. Later on she purchased her own flip phone, and I was allowed to keep the shared one. Before that we had also shared another flip phone, adorned with a small stub, known as an antenna. We had started on minute plan, but when I took over the bill I switched to an unlimited plan. Prior to that ancient device we had shared an AT&T Go Phone. It was a small rectangle, but I remember ninth grade me (and my sister) being so happy to finally have a cell phone.
As a current Journalism major I realized that switching was inevitable. If anything I should have done this a few years ago. Not being able to take clear pictures was getting in the way of assignments, and I kept having to borrow my Mom’s phone during a summer/fall freelance job at an online newspaper. Eventually I couldn’t even use my flip phone for Facebook posts that well, as Verizon didn’t allow outdated phones to send photos to an online album. I would have to text someone my photos, and email them from that person’s phone. It was a first world struggle. Mad annoying and whatnot.
Friends at my college had also encouraged me to switch, and I was planning to by graduation, but I needed to find the right phone. Which meant a cheap one offering a low cost phone plan. A slightly unfortunate event would lead me in the right direction.
My laptop had broken just before Christmas at one of the hinges used to close the screen. Everything still worked, but I couldn’t properly close my laptop, a hassle for a college student moving between a dorm room, classes, the library, a computer lab, and so on. Being a college student on a budget, I hadn’t purchased a warrantee. I know I made a mistake, but all colleges students do at some point. No warranty meant it would be very expensive to fix the problem, so I had to purchase my post-graduation laptop a semester early. Trying to be positive, I decided to think of it as getting a head start on the “real world.” Draining my savings three days after Christmas in order to do so.
After ordering the laptop I wanted, as Best Buy had just sold the last one in the store, I strolled through the phone section. A prepaid smartphone was on sale for $40. After I went home and looked up some YouTube reviews of the product, and most importantly the camera, I decided I would again dip into my savings.
During the pickup trip two days later for my laptop, I allowed the Verizon Transpyre 4G LG prepaid phone to fully enter my life. My flip phone was dropped to a junk pile, and my smartphone was activated. I am now addicted to emoji texts and taking pictures, although I don’t plan on getting a snapchat, and I wouldn’t have things any other way.
I’m like a one woman show now. All alone, with my flip phone.