• Sahar Abdulaziz

Officially Flipped-Off

I’ve Been Flipped OFF!

I finally did it.

I broke down under duress.

I’ve joined the ranks of the global communication world.

I have made the final resolution to give up my beloved and trusty flip phone for a smartphone, not because I didn’t totally dig the simplicity of my former gadget, but because this new world has placed demands on me that I can no longer afford to ignore or dismiss. But, in truth, I do this kicking and screaming. Why? Because I honestly liked my flip phone, darn it!

Three years ago, I used my upgrade to purchase -what you may ask? Another flip phone, of course, much to the chagrin and sheer amazement of the young man from the phone company. For over an hour, he tried not to laugh or crack jokes, while he foolishly attempted to convince me to use my upgrade for a free smartphone or anything besides another no frills phone. Needless to say, he failed at the time in his mission to convert me.

But why pray tell have I put up the good fight? Let’s be clear, up to now, I have had no issues about data usage to worry about. No concern about Wi-Fi capabilities, and indeed I could drop my reliable flip phone from here to Mars, and all I would have to do to make it right, was shove the battery back in, slide the cover into place, and push the ON button, and all was good again. Simple. No stress. No drama. No tears. No cracked screen to replace. Nada. Nothing. Zip.

I didn’t even have to worry about anyone trying to steal it. [I know- that shocks you.] Nobody ever gave me a second glance as I took my flip phone out of my pocket or bag to answer a call or a text message. I do admit to getting a few grimaces, a few chuckles… a couple of head nods here and there, and some flat-out hysterics, but in reality, in the whole scheme of life, who gives a crap?

Okay, fine, I admit, texting was a horror, although I have become rather skilled and speedy despite the tiny buttons and the autocorrect that made me look like a moron. And true, the tools the phone came with were a little archaic. And granted, the photo quality left a lot to be desired.

When friends, family or colleagues would whip out their super-duper dandy phones out for selfies, and group shots, my phone remained permanently lodged in my pocket, hidden and for the most part, useless. It was also not handy for visual chats or surfing the net. I couldn’t get the weather or traffic report and forget about directions. Yes, yes, I am still one of those who will print out directions before any trip, despite the fact that I was given a GPS as a gift years ago. Is it a crime because I want to have a backup? Is that so wrong? Apparently.

And fine, I admit it . . .when people sent me photos or witty memes on my flip phone, most of the time I couldn’t even open them. So for all of you who have sent me photos over the decades that I have replied, “Wow- cool,” to- I was probably lying. I have absolutely no clue what you sent. These are my confessions.

And since I am confessing, why don’t I go for broke?

Sadly, and up to now, I have never been able to use my flip phone to photograph my meals to share with the entire universe. I know, I have fallen down on my job. In the past, I would go to a restaurant and eat my food, selfishly, never thinking about all the people in the world waiting anxiously to see what I chose to chew. -Totally dismissing my obligation to take a memorable photo with just the right lighting of my plate and drink to post on the web.

I also never went into the bathroom stall, stared into the mirror all sultry like, puckering my lips like a duck or flexing my cellulite to take a selfie so you, John and Jane Public can make sure that what I’m wearing meets all of your standards. Nor have I sat in my vehicle taking a video of myself pretending as if I could sing. Guilty as charged, but I promise from this point moving forward, I will make sure to inundate you with an update about every single waking minute of my life via my smartphone, because I know that I have a lot of catching up to do.

So now I have to get ready to pick up my new phone and learn to use all of the nifty apps and whistles. I will need to purchase a phone case. A bulky monstrosity that for the record, will cost way more than my flip phone. However, I have already been strongly advised to ignore the cute cases with the bling and sparkle so in the event I drop my phone, –and I will, this phone contraption won’t supposedly crumble or crack into a thousand unrecognizable pieces. Theoretically with this case I can then be in the harshest of environments on Earth [Where am I going?], and my smartphone will remain smart . . . Except in water. The case I chose is not waterproof, so, anything but swimming, bathing, or jumping off waterfalls with my smartphone and I’ll be safe. Got it.

However, with this added convenience is the bill. The BIG bill, filled with data plans, minutes, insurance, the gigabytes versus megabytes versus the soon to become terabytes. Whoopi! I’m dizzy. Can you feel the energy in the room? Yeah. -Me neither.

So, life goes on. I promise to become a better clog in the global wheel. I will now be easier to reach [interrupt], I will get lost less [sure- right] and I will chat up a storm until I’m blue in the face. In fact, once I am ready to pass these last two gigantic kidney stones, I give you my pledge that I will make sure to video the entire sordid event, and share my pain with the rest of you. [Make sure to LIKE my video and share. Kiss-kiss-hug-hug.]

Are we having fun yet?

Must run. My 17-year-old teen is standing over me palpitating. Today he is also buying his first smartphone. Yes, I am in fact one of those parents. Up to now, since I was paying the bill, I’ve made him use a flip phone too. Needless to say, he hasn’t been a happy camper, but unlike me, he isn’t grumpy or upset about spending a senseless amount of money on a phone, all too ridiculously anxious to be a global sensation.

Goodbye, trusty flip phone. I have now been officially flipped-off, -See you on the other side.

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