Pushing Buttons

This model served me well for over 6 years

This shall be my first ever blog post from my “smart phone.” Ergo, please excuse any spelling and grammatical errors I’ve let slide as a result of my phone’s spellcheck-less-ness. Wait, is there and app for that?

I recently upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy after being a proud owner of a Nokia whatchamacallit for over 6 years. Seriously, I’m not really sure my old model even had a name. It was just your basic, run of the mill mobile phone. It could make phone calls, it could send and receive texts, and it even had a pretty decent camera (a feature I would have appreciated more if the phone’s memory were half as decent). It was adequate, durable, and it served me well. It once went missing in Toronto, ended up being found in Ottawa, and still made it back to me. If that isn’t loyalty, I don’t know what is.

I always said I would keep my nifty Nokia until the day it failed me and that’s exactly what I did. Up until recent days, the device had been everything I needed but with the rise of “smart phone” ownership, the little phone that could, just couldn’t anymore. I was increasingly losing the ends of texts, and the battery had started to die every time I made a call. As archaic as it sounds, I do enjoy a good chat on the phone over a tizzy of texts every now and again.

With the retirement of my little camera phone came an open door for me to change service providers and start anew. So far, the switch has been refreshing. I’m paying less for more, there are countless apps that have come in handy – particularly those that act as a crutch for a directionally challenged lass like me, and it’s nice to have the option to look information up at any time if I need to. I like to refrain from doing this when sitting down for a meal mind you, but therein lies another rant!

No longer do I have to call 411 when the paper I wrote the address of my destination on goes missing in my bottomless purse, no longer must I send a multimedia message or multiple texts if I have more than 160 characters worth of information to relay, and no longer is the vibrate setting on my cell phone louder than the ring tone!

Yes, I’m happy to have upgraded but there is one thing about my little Nokia that I miss dearly – buttons! In fact, it’s one of the reasons why I strongly considered going for a Blackberry or Blackberry knockoff rather than a touch screen. I figured that if and when my phone falls, I could at least cope for a while because buttons would still allow for phone calls. A bad screen break on a touch phone will render it useless and in need of immediate replacement.  Being that I’m a natural-born klutz, this could be problematic and expensive for me.

Buttons really are underrated. There are so many advantages to having something tangible to press rather than a screen to stroke. The first thing I realized I missed about my number pad was that I could no longer text and walk at the same time without bumping into people and things. I used to compose messages in my pocket, no seeing required. With T9, I had figured out what all the combinations of keys spelled and I could send my thoughts in a matter of seconds. Now it takes all of my attention to write quick messages to people and I’m constantly hitting the wrong letters on my QWERTY keyboard.

The other good thing about my keypad was that my phone never froze in locked position. Two buttons and it was unlocked, no matter what. It hasn’t happened much, but my new device sometimes freezes and it takes a few minutes before I can do anything with it.

In an emergency situation, such freezing could be dangerous. With phones that have keypads, 911 calls can be made even when the phone is locked. And isn’t that why cell phones became so widespread in the first place? Years ago people purchased them not to surf the net everywhere they went or to constantly be tuned in to their best friends’ lives, people bought cell phones to have on hand in case of emergencies.

As touch screen phones becomes sleeker and sexier, bulky phones with traditional keypads wane in popularity. It’s time to embrace the new wave of technology that is seemingly here to stay so forgive me for being nostalgic. As an homage to the buttons that most of us grew to love ages before the iphone changed the way we communicate, enjoy this song performed on an old school keypad.

 

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