Phone vs Fearse

Today the 18-month War of the Phones has finally ended. Those of you that have been following our story may recall my frustrations at dealing with my 2.5 year old phone at the beginning of our BNN year. I have since learned that the average life span of a smartphone is believed to be somewhere between 18 and 21 months. I guess can feel some sense of achievement that my Galaxy S lasted me 44 months, which is at least double the average phone. I haven’t used it less than other people, or treated it better, or protected it more from dirt and damage. I’ve just been persistent and I have never once coveted a newer model.

In order to use my phone in any usual way I had to be willing to research fixes and curious back door pathways. To phone someone required me to have the phone plugged in at all times. To text took an average of 5 – 10 minutes. Sometimes it took my phone up to 30 seconds to register a word when I typed or swyped it into a text. It would take an unseemly amount of time to open any apps and if I clicked on something more than once (think it hadn’t registered it the first time) my phone would often jam and shut down. I couldn’t use my camera (it took so long to take the photo that the subject was almost always gone by the time the shutter snapped). If I did manage to photograph a stationary object I definitely could not upload said photo to social media. What I could do is play solitaire. For about three minutes before my battery shut down. I could receive texts, and notification of missed phone calls (often the phone hadn’t even rung).

I’m not saying I’m some kind of technological saint, but I was more persistent than most people would be. Today, after trying to call me for three hours and being transferred straight to message bank, BP told me he was putting his foot down.

“I’m taking you to the *insert generic phone company name here* shop and you are getting a new phone.”

But…I’ll end up paying more.

But…I have no service at home anyway!

But…I’ll have less data.

But…I don’t want to get locked into a contract.

But…I don’t want a new phone.

“Mama! Enough. You are getting a new phone.”

I actually felt physically sick on the drive to the shop. I was certain I was going to get sucked into some deal I couldn’t get out of, that didn’t really suit my needs. I knew that I was going to have to get a new phone. I’ve been researching reconditioned and second hand phones and I haven’t found any that were affordable or that I could confidently spend hundreds of dollars on. I know that some of those phones may have been barely used and were only being passed on because the previous owner had upgraded, but how was I to know which ones these were? I had long ago accepted that this is something I’d need to buy / obtain new. My old phone will be destined to the Melbourne Zoo to help raise money for gorilla protection.

On the way into the store I grabbed a pamphlet and was stunned to learn that I could get a new phone (two models up from my current phone and two models down from the most recent model) with the data and calls I’d need for $15 less a month than I was currently paying. Yeah, I took a data cut and I have also made a commitment for another 24 months. I think it’s worth it for, in this case, the convenience of having a phone that actually functions and also paying a lot less than I have been. Although we had a squirming, exhausted toddler, and the whole process took a lot longer than predicted (mainly due to my old phone being an arsehat) it was surprisingly painless.

Ultimately, although I hate to admit it,  I think this shitty bit of expensive, overrated technology is actually going to make my life simpler.

Due to a new job which will require decent phone and internet access BP has also upgraded to his first ever smartphone. I think he is partially mourning the buttons on his old phone and partially revelling in joining the rest of the pack in their general swipe-ish behaviours.

We walked out of the store with two new phones and no exchange of money. It was a strange experience and I could see how easy it is for people to be sucked into upgrading, upgrading, upgrading all the time.

I’m torn between the feeling that I have cheated on my ideals (the phones won) and the feeling that we have done well to hold out so long (Fearses won). We may never definitively know who won this war, but either way, it is over (until next time…)

Mama xo

 

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Purge

For a long time I have been a “collector”, from basketball cards when I was a kid, to music and film on basically every kind of media you can imagine. I took pride In my collection and some weird way it gave me a sense of accomplishment. During this month we have been getting rid of the same amount of “things” as the day in the date. Today on the 23rd of April, I have purged and am not seeing the sense in the collection anymore. The first thing that took a shellacking was the DVD pile.

In this day and age, EVERYTHING is basically available on free or paid streaming, as well as the other means that one may obtain content from the good old internets. Instead of having a wall of DVDs I have a small black box that holds thousands of hours of music, film, tv and every other thing I could ever want that sits on a shelf next to the TV. Our TV aerial hadn’t been plugged in since the end of football season last September and was only plugged in recently for the very same reason, to watch one game of football a week. We don’t watch broadcast television and therefore are not advertised to or watch any of the lobotomy style programming the major networks in Australia pass off as entertainment or news.

Looking at my DVD stack, I realised I have most of the stuff digitally now and have pulled half of them out, to never be put back again. We maybe watch an actual DVD twice a year, all they are  doing is filling the space in our TV cabinet they could be better utilized. Out with the old in with the none.

I have even offered up three of my pairs of sneakers to the cause of a less cluttered life. More on that soon.

 

BPF

 

News from the phone bedazzling stall.

For those wondering, I have not been captured by militant consumers and chained to a phone bedazzling stall inside a cavernous shopping centre, nor has Mama Fearse hobbled me just enough for me to be able to change nappies and ignite the barbeque yet not type. I have been, in all honesty, lazy and unconcerned with writing as of late. Hopefully this post will change the tide of words to the more succinct and entertaining.

Our first buy nothing new year has had an enormous effect on me. I no longer desire sneakers, at all. I said starting 2014 I was going to purchase a new pair to replace the couple of tired pairs that I have been wearing since the late 90s. As the clock struck ’14 though, I realised these old pairs had served me so well thus far and besides being a little worn out on the insides they still serve their purpose. I really like the idea of having a pair of new kicks to strut about the court in, but I don’t need them.

Also late last year I broke the screen on my laptop. I looked into having it repaired and found it would be cheaper to replace the computer outright. I had the money to replace it, but never did. 2014 rolled around and as I type this from said broken laptop attached via HDMI to our TV, I have decided to purchase a used monitor** and connect the laptop to it essentially turning this laptop into a desktop. It showed me that really thinking through and examining all options and avenues will often lead to a more sensible emotional and financial decision. I have got used to using my laptop in this unorthodox manner and truthfully having it at school with me was more of a distraction than a convenience so I think this will work out best for me and having the computer stuck in one place will also mean I won’t be spending as much time in front of it and more time will be spent chasing Lil Fearse around the house.

So there are my newest revelations readers, I will be sure to check in with you all more often from now on.

BPF

** Post writing but prior posting I managed to acquire an old monitor from Freecycle that, with the addition of an HDMI adaptor, should do the trick.

Recharge.

I have promised BP (That’s what I’m calling him from now on. Deal with it.) I won’t complain about my phone any more. To him. I’ll just have to get it all out to you guys. I have an original Samsung Galaxy, so it’s about two and a half years old. Around about the time the most recent Galaxy came out my screen started to turn itself off periodically. Annoyingly I have to remove the cover and pull out the battery to give it a shake before the bloody thing will turn on again.

I shouldn’t really complain, it’s been worked hard over the last two and half years. My first mobile phone lasted for about 6 years. I wanted this one to last that long, too. It REALLY bugs me that things are only designed to last as long as the model is current. I still use an iPod I received in 2006. They have released NINETEEN new models since then, and my iPod still (surprisingly) works a charm. I love it. It’s huge and chunky and no one will ever steal it because it is really not sexy. BP’s iPod, purchased less than two years ago, has already malfunctioned and cannot be repaired. (Fun fact: the headphone jack had stopped working, so we passed it on to our nephews to play in their dock as a Christmas gift. Perfect!)

BP and I have had the phone discussion. Replacing the phone with a new two year contract is not “technically” buying something new, it’s buying the service, on contract, for two years. And they give you a free phone! Except, they don’t. You pay way too much for the phone and the service over two years. Anyway…the end result is that if I sign up with a new contract I will end up with one phone too many lying around the house (again), contributing further to my footprint on Earth. I know I can recycle it through charities and the like, but I still feel quite strongly that it wouldn’t be honouring our BNN deal.  So what can I do?

I remember back in the ‘old’ days (you know, about five years ago) when everyone had the Nokia 6210 you used to be able to replace the battery fairly cheaply. Those phones lasted for such a long time. I know they weren’t “smart” and they used a lot less technology (and therefore we used them less, too). Can you buy new batteries for smart phones for a cost that is reasonable? Actually, forget new batteries, can you buy refurbished batteries for smart phones? Is that an option?

Maybe I should try going without a phone for a while.

HA HA HA HA HA.

Meanwhile, when searching for batteries on Ebay I accidentally bid on something. I had a sudden urge to buysomethinganything. Fortunately I bid on something quite practical – a waterproof mattress protector for Little Fearse’s cot. We need one. I could have bid on a new one, but I didn’t, I bid on a second hand one. It’s not a deal breaker, but geee…it was close.

Happy days,

Mama xo