Monday, February 22, 2010

What It Takes to Learn a New Phone

New phone.

Two words, two syllables--so simple.

Or so it would seem.

But I am old.

I'm not stupid, just old.

In fact, I even went to college, but I was busy learning how to roll my stockings, wave a pennant and have my hair bobbed like the Flappers instead of learning that silly technology stuff that I would never need.

So my personal learning curve for anything technologically new is ... indescribably slow. Think about what the polar opposite of warp speed might look like, and there you have an image of me learning a new gadgety thing. Continents move faster.

So my 23 year-old daughter has been helping me every painful step of the way to get set up and prettied up on the new phone.

She has about three hairs left in her head from stress-pulling.

Here's the short list of my problems and complaints with which she has had to deal after I tried first and then burst into paroxysms of pseudo-swearing:

Fumbling hands that hit the side buttons all the time, causing the phone to speak out loud. I hate this. I do not want a talking phone--there is no need for a phone to speak up under any circumstances. "Shut UP, phone."

Font that is too dark/too small.

Having to remember to press the red function key before it will do half of the things on the keyboard.

Having to re-do all of my contacts because they wouldn't transfer from my old phone.

Putting contacts into groups only to discover I'm allowed a mere 10 friends or relatives in any group. Is this some kind of rule, that a person can't have more than 10 people in any group in life? There's no way the Waltons could have used the "family" group on this phone, let alone the Duggers.

Switching from vertical to horizontal keypad.

Sliding the front of the phone back to reveal the keyboard only to hit various buttons that change things I don't want changed.

Figuring out a ring tone for each family member, as if I'm going to be able to remember who is attached to which tone.

Finally, some real fun: getting LOST wallpaper and ring tone installed.

I'm serious--getting me set up on this phone took an entire Saturday that my daughter can never recapture!

But it's all put together now, and my phone--she's a "beaut." It's racy flamenco red, small, lightweight--nothing like that gray brick I inherited from a family member about 7 years ago. I would take that old one out of my purse and people would stare at it and then at me as if I had taken a banana out of my purse and tried to text on it.

But now, when my spicy little phone rings, I hold it up high, loud and proud, like that dancer in the picture up there, not ashamed for anyone to see!

OK, well, I'm at least current now, and I do enjoy hearing the LOST theme.

Next step: Complete Ipod mastery!

So let's be honest here: How do you deal with learning new things?


Anonymous said...

Let's see...I'm almost 40 (no, seriously, that's really my age). I LOVE technology!! In fact, going to Office Depot is the highlight of my day!

Once, I went shopping for new cell phones. Lesson to Salespeople: Never assume that a person over the age of 30 is shopping for cell phones for other people.

The guy starts showing me the basic phones, explaining in very s-l-o-w language the inner workings of the phones.

I pointed to the most savvy phone, asked him to pull it out from behind the glass, and proceeded to ask questions about how big a micro SD card it would take, the rate of download...etc.

The guy had to pick his jaw off the counter.

So then he made the mistake of assuming it would be for my child...until I told him to wrap up for my son and one for me.

Oh...sorry...I digressed. This is YOUR blog...heehee.

Learning new things...Google and YouTube. There's a video for anything! That's how I fixed the carburetor on my lawn mower, installed a new doorbell in my house, and fixed my oven's heating element. I keep the guys at Home Depot guessing every time I visit. LOL

Enjoy your new phone!

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out my new phone and I've had it since August! I'm with you on so many things on your list!
I've had to ask my 18yo to teach me how to deal with my phone (and he'd rather just do it himself quickly than teach me all day long). My 14yo knows tricks to the computer that amaze me and he figured them out for himself! I have to keep asking him, "How do I make that happen?" or "What key do I use for ____?"

Joyce said...

I'm with you on the side buttons. I'm forever 'taking a picture' when all I wanted was to answer the phone. I make my kids crazy. Husband too when it comes to technology. I muddle thru but I'm pretty much molasses. Happy Monday!

Anonymous said...

I will be 52 this year - but my husband calls me the "Techno-Gadget Queen." A week ago, I got an iPhone. It took me most of last Saturday when I got it to learn how to use more than the basic phone functions, but I absolutely love it.

One function that I was particularly anticipating using was the messaging, since I knew I was going to spend Friday in a waiting room as my mom was going through some pretty serious surgery and an ICU stay. I figured it was going to be a good way to keep my kids informed.

So they take my mom in, and I get my phone to let everyone know...and no service. Not in the surgery waiting room or the ICU waiting room. I had to take a trek down the hall to a bank of windows, hold my phone right up to a window and pray for a few bars.

Felt as if it were the dark ages of phone service.

Another Suburban Mom said...

When it comes to technology, I just wait for Hubman to figure it out and show me.

Jeanie said...

This is all exactly why I haven't graduated from a basic phone. I have been shopping for a new one, but it would take me at least twice as long as it took you, no matter how much help I got.

SouthLakesMom said...

It's not that I'm not technologically capable, I'm just not that interested. I don't need all the bells and whistles. I don't text, and while I have a camera on my phone, I can count on one hand the times I've used it.

I guess that means my life is very uninteresting, but it is relatively happy, so I guess it's okay.

And Lid -- it's a conspiracy to a) make people over 40 feel inept and b) make people under 40 feel they MUST be dissatisfied with what was current YESTERDAY

Don't surrender it! Be content!

Anonymous said...

I am techy. I love that stuff. It is like play time when I get a new phone, computer, whatever. My hubby knows that we will order pizza for dinner, and I will play all night long. I'm glad you have a phone guide to walk you through all of this!

Mocha with Linda said...

I feel your pain. I still haven't figured out some of my iPhone. Occasionally, I'll accidentally do something and discover an amazing feature I never knew was on there.

I usually like to use the user guides. Except it drives me crazy how they are just online now and not printed.

And when I got this nifty case for my phone, I couldn't figure out how to open it (the case, not the package!) It actually DID include directions. . . which were INSIDE the case I couldn't figure out how to open. It did make me feel better to know that the people who packaged the case/directions were denser than I am!!

Oh, and my 16-year-old son helped me finally get it open.

Jill said...

I struggle along for a while using very basic functions until I feel incredibly guilty for having something so far technologically advanced that it seems a sin not to be using it to the fullness of its capability. Then I learn one thing and my guilt subsides for a few weeks. Then I learn something else. I'm viciously manipulated by the technology in my life.

I think I need therapy.

Susanne said...

I hate learning new techno stuff. I'm okay once I learn it but I hate to "play". And I'm like you. Hate the buttons on the side.

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

I have a love-hate relationship with all technology. I am dragged kicking and screaming into the latest and then end up liking it...after my kids or husband show me how to use it, or figure it out for me. That being said, only 5 of my pre-sets are set on the radio in my new biggerredtruck because the Girl only did one band...there are 2 additional available FM bands, plus the AM...yes, I like talk radio, plus they have the best traffic reporting. Sigh...

beckyjomama said...

Honestly, to me, a new phone is like chocolate. I love to explore and learn and make it mine. My hubbs on the other hand - an electronic guru by day - cannot find his way around a new phone to save himself. It cracks me up!

As we speak, his phone only works about half the time - work, as in the ability to recieve and transmit the human voice - and he REFUSES to even THINK about a new one. His is 5 years old, Babe ... it is TIME!

Melissa said...

Lots of people are like that. My mom has had her free upgrade ready for a long time now and won't use it. She doesn't want a new phone even if it is free because she doesn't want to go through what you just did. lol

Would LOVE to see pictures of the banana phone and the new one. :)

Deven said...

I am 30 and married to a technogeek who keeps me fairly updated on all things technological. My tried and true method for learning anything, though, especially if I want to learn some of the cooler features, is to read the manual. Love it.

Dawn said...

I hand the new electronics over to my 17 yo son, let him learn it (you know, in about 10 mins) and then insist that he hold a tutorial for the old people in the house. Thank the Lord I've mastered texting so I can send him messages throughout the day on how to operate other electronics in the home while he's away. Ha!

Dawn said...

As a teenager I love technology, I actually brought my grandfather to a Radio Shack and gave him a lesson on cell phones, mp3s, digital camera, and video camera. My mom on the other hand is alright, but when it comes to cell phones (mom I love you and if you get to read the response on your email I really do love you) she's not the best.

~Dear Daughter ♥

Tabi said...

I LOVE learning new phones when I get them but watching my mom learn how to use a touchscreen phone for the first time was a great amusment for me!! The constant yelling, "I didn't touch that letter!" was greatness!

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

I try not to.

As for techno, I let Hubs fix it and then tell me about it later.

Stacey said...

See we all share in the fun with you! I always seem to call the people instead of sending the text message, drives my son-in-law crazy when he hears the phone at 6:00 am...always followed by the text, sorry, wrong key...
I am going to have fun following you. Come on over to my site and see how crazy I am!

Betty said...

I love new phone and technology, but I´m a hard learner too. It´s all the more fun... :)
But I do hate that talking phone thing too!! So unnecessary!

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

I'm with you - I hate trying to figure out new tech stuff although I usually like it once son or son-in-law have explained it to me a couple of times over. I do love having different ringtones for different people - everyone who knows me knows when hubby is calling as the theme song from "Rocky" starts playing!

Cathy said...

I'm pretty slow. In fact, I still haven't got my phone totally figured out and I've had it since last July. I know the necessary stuff, but the rest I just have to fumble through or get my kids to help me. And don't even talk about the TV and DVD Player. lol

Kim said...

I'm sorry to say it's not pretty. It probably isn't possible to be any grouchier than I am when learning something new -- ESPECIALLY if it is of a technological nature.

Laura said...

How do I deal with learning new things? The same way I dealt with "learning" math as a kid...with a flood of tears!

LynnMarie said...

I LOVE GADGETS! I love getting a new phone (too Bad AT&T service is not great where I live or I'd have a an I Phone). I love my I pad Touch! and carry it everywhere. I'm almost 56 and I love the new gadgets! I also like the phone to talk to me...sorry.

40winkzzz said...

hubz got us new "texting" phones so we can text with our y.a. kids, who do not realize that phones are actually for TALKING. i hate the new phone. it may be great for texting (which i rarely do), but it's horrid for speed-dialing, and i have a whole list of other complaints as well. i actually chucked it in the trash the other day, but only for show. i hate it, hate it, hate it... but i'm sure that once i get used to it, i'll love it. that's how it usually goes.