Last week’s news raised the question: How hip can a smart phone be if your grandfather owns one?
For the first time a majority of Americans own smart phones, according to a new study by The Pew Internet and American Life Project.
A Washington Post story suggested that the devices have become commonplace, “meaning that for every technophile side loading apps onto an unlocked smartphone, there’s probably a middle-aged office worker peering over a pair of bifocals at a touchscreen.”
“Now that it’s in the hands of everybody, maybe it loses its cool,” said Ramon Llamas, a mobile trends analyst at International Data Corp.
Wouldn’t you know that I just got my first smart phone? And I don’t wear bifocals. Okay, I do use progressives, but only because the print in newspapers keeps getting smaller.
However, to justify this new extravagance, I went where many of my fellow Baby Boomers have yet dared to go. I gave up my landline. This was the same phone number I had kept since the days when you called people by sticking your index finger into the clear rotary dial and spinning it.
A few friends and family members couldn’t hide their surprise. How will you get Internet service? one asked. The ambulance will never find you if you need to dial 9-1-1, another suggested. Let’s hope those cell towers never go down in the Big One, a third said.
Wow, I never knew I was so adventurous. Wait until I tell my daughters, who had to teach me how to send text messages and who still occasionally laugh gently at their parents when we’re having trouble using Skype. As you might guess, none of them have a landline. But all of them, like me, do have home Internet service.
In these days of email, video chat and Facebook, my landline mainly was getting calls from toll free numbers that I studiously avoided answering. Now I don’t get those calls. And I don’t pay each month to ignore them.
Okay, so maybe the smart phone isn’t that cool anymore. But even for us oldER folks, it’s still a lot of fun.