Friday night, Jen and I walked out of the Cingular store in the Columbia mall with two shiny new cellphones. To give you a brief recap: My phone, a five-year-old Motorola, had about fifteen minutes of talk time left on its $25 crap-ass batteries, which meant I had to carry the power cord with me wherever I went. Friday morning, I was in the middle of an important call on my way to work. As I pulled off the exit near my office, the annoying BEEP of the “batteries are dying” alert started punctuating the conversation at one-minute intervals. I found myself running through the parking lot, up three flights of stairs, and to my desk to plug the damn thing in just as the signal was fading….luckily, I made it. This phone features a useless black LED screen, a UI one step above DOS, and a busted earphone jack (don’t ask me…I don’t know). Jen’s phone, the standard free Nokia they offered four years ago, was several steps above my phone, but she was averaging about twenty minutes of talk time before it died, which meant we had to use our phones strategically.
After about five minutes of browsing the various models, we decided on the 551, as it had Bluetooth for the cheapest price. The guy behind the counter rang us out, and we returned home to spend the rest of Friday evening drinking beer and playing with our phones (oh, how romantic.) We sent pictures to each other. We called each other. We programmed ourselves in as Rockstar One and Rockstar Two. We quickly learned that the phones have a vibrate function, a personal voice note function, a speakerphone, and about seventy-five other things we haven’t gotten to yet. Apparently, with the media plan Cingular offers, you can browse the internets and send AIM messages on the teeny keypad to your other geek friends. Me, I’ll just be happy when my Powerbook talks to my phone automatically to update my contact list, and I don’t have to run the Boston Marathon to make it to the next electrical outlet.
I still have to figure out how to turn off the hateful, irritating default ringtone, though.