The difficulty of a new phone

“Did daddy get a new phone?” asked my daughter as she looked at the new mobile phone sitting next to me on the kitchen breakfast bar. “It looks pretty snazzy.”

“My old phone died,” I said, trying to justify the purchase.

The first problem with my new phone was my concern that the children might think I purchased it to keep up with the current technology. My wife and I try to set the example that we purchase things when it is necessary. “This phone might send the wrong message,” I thought.

“Looks fancy,” she said. “How much did it cost?”

My first thought was to say, “None of your business,” but here was an opportunity for another lesson. “It was about $60,” I said.

“That’s a lot less than I spent on my phone,” she said with a little less excitement. “Where’s the front camera?”

“It doesn’t have one,” I said.

Some might say that is a second problem with the phone. However, I find it a benefit of this model. There is no “selfie cam.” I have no desire to take selfies. I have a low tech solution to see what I look like. It’s called a mirror.

“I like my phone better,” she said before strolling off to her room.

I felt a sense of relief. My phone was “snazzy” for an old guy, but not “fancy” enough to qualify for a cool purchase. The example of practical purchasing was intact.

The second problem with my new phone was trying to figure out how to set the settings. The navigation feature was the first challenge. The default setting alerts the driver when the driver exceeds the speed limit. The moment I hit 26 miles per hour an alarm sounded.

“What’s that?” asked my son from the back seat.

I guess there is an alarm to tell me I was speeding. All the way to our destination, every time the stupid phone beeped, my son would call out, “Dad’s speeding again,” and then laugh.

As soon as we parked, I reset that setting to alert me only when I exceeded the speed limit by more than four miles per hour. Yes, I am that guy who drives right around the speed limit on I-90. I also stay in the right lane except when passing.

The next default setting I discovered was the weather alert. I had turned it on, thinking it would be good to know if a tornado was coming. That night, as my wife and I were settling into bed an alarm sounded and the screen lit up the room.

“What’s that?” my wife asked.

“It’s a weather alert,” I said. “I thought the severe weather season was over.”

I picked up the phone and looked at the alert. “Expect occasional showers after 2:45 a.m.” Sleep deprivation would be more of a risk than tornados with this phone. I turned off weather alerts.

“I wish my old phone had not died,” I thought as I drifted off to sleep.

RJ Johnson

I have been a priest for 16 years.  I spent the first four years in Minnesota and Wisconsin, six years on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, before becoming the pastor at Advent Episcopal Church in Westlake in 2010.  If anyone would find it interesting I have a son and daughter, which I refer to as a matched set, a wife, a dog, and a cat.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:08 AM, 11.03.2015