Your best mate gets a fancy new mobile phone. You salivate over its sleek exterior, high-tech touch screen and huge range of abilities. They say the phone has the ability to get emails, have apps, they can social network and even make the odd phone call. You look at your own ‘so last year’ phone and decide that it is socially unacceptable to use it any longer. You realise that they are very expensive and your current model is, after all, only 12 months old. What you need is a strategy to justify to your nearest and the dearest why you absolutely, positively have to have the best mother flippin phone in the room!
You start to casually mention how clunky your old phone is, how it never gets reception, how little time the battery stays charged and how expensive batteries are to replace. You show them the scratches (helped by the way you have taken to throwing it on the table/desk/ floor lately). You point out that it does not have the latest apps so you were unable to compare the price of pork scratchings in the local pubs before you went and so had to go into every one to make sure you got the best deal. You start to buy gadget magazines and casually leave them lying around open with the object of your desire circled and highlighted.
And then you wait.
You birthday comes and goes and no one buys you one. As Christmas approaches you increase your efforts which includes sitting on your old phone so that the screen cracks and ignoring your partners text to say they were stuck in the rain with a flat tyre – blaming bad reception. Christmas passes and there is no phone – frankly you were lucky to get that jumper after the whole flat tyre incident.
Then finally you resort to desperate measures – you accidentally drown your phone in a freak sailing accident the same week as your January bonus comes through and the sales start. By lucky happenstance you just happened to have backed up all your numbers the day before.
Finally your day has arrived. You try the first mobile phone shop and they only have it in pink, same story in the next one, you start to panic. At the next shop they have sold out and at the next one they will only supply it with the £3,000 per month contract. Suddenly you have an epiphany – going outside to actual physical shops is so 20th Century you should be seated or reclined indoors moving only your right and left hands from the elbow down. You go home and buy it online, remembering to uncheck the box that says do you want to buy mobile phone insurance.
Your new phone arrives through the post. It is in a box roughly the size of a small fridge – you start to panic. Maybe they sent you the wrong model and you have something from the 80’s that comes with its own trolley and a wind up handle! You open the box and there at the top is a tiny beautiful black and silver device – you start to drool. After fondling your new phone for about an hour and wiping up the drool you finally investigate what the hell else is in the box. Ah – the manual.
You flick though the first 300 pages and are dismayed to realise that it is not the multiple language version. You start from page one – battery, safety, charging, zzzzzz. You wake up 30 minutes later and peel the instruction manual off your face and wipe up more drool. You decide that manuals are for girls put the phone in your pocket and go to the pub to show off to your mates. You wait so you are fashionably late and everyone else is there and then you walk in with your phone held high in triumph. They all laugh and point.
You flee to the loo to deal with your devastation in private. While there you realise they are not laughing at the phone but at you as you have pages 6&7 of your phone manual printed across your face. You use your drool to wipe it off – finally it comes in handy!
Your love affair with your phone lasts precisely for 18h 23mins. You spend the next 2 weeks swearing in and around the vicinity of your phone. The **?/## touch screen does not work with your sausage fingers, there are **?/## stupid symbols all over the home page which you can not work out how to get rid of, you cannot use any of your apps mainly because you cannot work out how to get to them. You can use the camera and have taken some great photos and even some video but you have absolutely no idea whatsoever how to remove said items from your phone and get them onto a computer.
You cannot set up email. Extensive research on the internet and amongst your social circle reveals that no one has ever managed to set up their email on their phone and you start to suspect a huge conspiracy in the mobile phone industry.
You studiously ignore the dark looks your partner shoots you ever time you swear at your phone. They start to mutter things which sound a bit like ‘waste of money’ and ‘read the manual’. However these comments have no impact as you what so ever as you are already practiced at selectively tuning out anything your partner says. For example “do the dishes” and “put your stinking dirty pants in the wash basket” are all effectively tuned out but ”are you ready for the pub” or “I am felling a bit frisky tonight” actually get amplified.
After several weeks you realise that all you use your phone for is making & receiving calls, telling the time and setting the alarm. You realise that that is all you have used each and every one of your phones for and are momentarily confused as to what you spent all that money on a new one when your old one did that perfectly adequately. You take the phone out of your pocket lay on the taxi seat as you contemplate its worth. You are so deep in thought that you exit the taxi, walk up the steps and let yourself in the flat before you realise that your mobile phone is no longer on your person and is now probably being boxed up for the Taxi drivers wife’s next birthday.
You realise that you have not backed up your address book, you did not buy insurance with the phone and you have precisely 48 minutes to come up with a really good excuse before your partner gets home.