New phone sparks old memories

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I hate switching cellphones because it’s a hassle to load everything into the new one, I told a friend recently.

A few days later, my cellphone stopped charging. I don’t know why. I went on the Internet machine to try to find a solution, but none of the suggestions worked.

I kept changing the batteries out for a while because I really like the phone. I got it over two years ago, and I know where all the buttons are.

I like new gadgets, but when it comes to cellphones, I just want to use it and not re-learn it every time I get a new one. It takes too much time, I told the friend. I’ll stick with what I have.

Except, it would not charge the battery.

We have become very spoiled by cellphones. Some of us younger ones (not me) don’t even remember life without cellphones. I have a hard time thinking back that far.

But, there was a time without cellphones, when we relied on land lines and beepers. Many people carried beepers on their belts. The rest of us just made calls or received them whenever we were at our phones.

And many of us who could not stand the thought of missing a call connected our land lines to very expensive telephone answering machines. They played a cassette recording of our outgoing messages, and another cassette recorded the messages left by callers.

I could access mine remotely with an awkward-looking beeper that played back messages.

I had that machine for years before I was able to switch to voice mail for a few more dollars each month. It was a lot more convenient.

The only problem I encountered with this gadget was that because its function was work- related, it kept breaking on Friday afternoons.

I encountered the same problem with the first cellphone I had, the Motorola brick phone. No telling how many X-rays went through my head using that contraption.

That phone was really boring. It was just a phone. There was no screen, only a digital read-out of the number calling or dialed.

There was no texting, calendar, camera. data access, games, music, video. But, it was better than looking for a payphone.

Thinking back, I don’t know how we survived those days.

And, since that Motorola cellphone was used for work-related matters also, it kept malfunctioning on Friday afternoons. Must have been a software glitch.

Those were the good old days, when things were simple. Changing phones was no big deal.
If I could get this phone to charge its battery, that would take care of it. No need to buy another. But it will not charge.

I walked into the store and looked at the fancy new phones. I knew which one to buy, but I was a reluctant customer because I don’t want to fool with all that switch-over mess.

The clerk was great. I am tech-savvy, and this guy knew his stuff. He also knew something that I missed.

With a Google account, everything is synchronized on Google Drive. I use it to save important data, but I didn’t know that it also knew which apps I use.

Within minutes the new phone was like the old phone, nothing missing. Wow. What will they think of next?

Postscript: The old phone started charging again.