I have spent far too much time this week thinking about cell phone plans. I thought it might be easier; after all, we already knew the carrier we needed, the only one that gives reliable coverage at one of the camps to which my husband travels periodically.
I didn't anticipate how complicated it might be to choose a phone.
Wait, let me be more specific. I didn't anticipate how expensive it might all be. At first I thought I might be able to get the phone I wanted for free and a plan of $45 a month. But then it was looking like $60 a month. Hmm. Then I went back to the website and wondered if it might not be $80 a month.
When I talked to the nice lady on the phone, I didn't want to make a sudden decision, plus my spouse would be travelling, and I didn't want the cruddy cell phone to go dead.
This morning, I looked at pre-paid plans. Maybe I don't want to get locked into a 2 year contract--especially if it's going to be $60-$80 a month. I multiplied that times 12--that's a huge annual cost.
People tell me that I will wonder how I ever lived without the wonderphone. I am doubtful.
I already spend a lot of time staring at screens. Now I'm going to add an additional screen? A very small screen?
I could buy the phone I thought I wanted (hundreds of $) and go with the $45 a month prepaid plan. Will I save money that way?
Am I really going to download a lot of apps? I know myself enough to know that I am unlikely to upload a lot of music to the phone. I still haven't uploaded much of it to the computer.
Lots of people tell me that I will need more than 1GB monthly. But I think I'll start there and see. I am unlikely to be using the phone to watch TV or movies.
Why do I want a smartphone again?
I would like to take pictures. I would like to upload/send them instantly. There are times it would be nice to have a device that would let me check e-mails or look up an Internet something or . . . wait, again I ask, why do I want this smartphone?
But lest you think I'm anti-technology (I'm not--I once thought I didn't want a laptop, and now I love my laptop), let me call your attention to some inspirations I've found this week. I wouldn't have found them without them existing online and without the Facebook recommendations that led me to them.
This wonderful interview with Jane Hirshfield, where she reminds us that "technology helps keep poetry alive. Technology’s a stamp, not a rival letter. One line I wrote has been tweeted all over the world, mostly it seems by young people, and it just keeps going. It’s a line I’d never have guessed would have a life of its own, 'How fragile we are between the few good moments.' I’ve tried to imagine what note it strikes. I think it allows space for a person to acknowledge the harder patches of a life. If one person admits they feel fragile, others can feel less solitary in their own fears or grief. Even in happiness, poems keep us company; knowing you aren’t alone in itself helps people. It tells us our fates and blows are shared by all."
Technology is the stamp!
This idea from Hirshfield will stay with me a long time: "The most powerful moments of our lives cry out for the deepening and acknowledgment that hard-to-find words can bring them. Poems let you enter those moments more fully, and they also stop them from fading. They set the colors of your inner life the way fixatives set a dye, and they enlarge the range of what you can see and feel."
Poems as dye-fixative!
I also liked this essay by Molly Crabapple; this idea has stayed with me for several days: "I've never had a big break. I've just had tiny cracks in this wall of indifference until finally the wall wasn't there any more."
This Year's Summer Reading List: Take a Look!
2 months ago