On the run up to the holidays I put off several time-consuming jobs. Yesterday we tackled the one that I was least looking forward to..... the dreaded 'new mobile phone' experience!
Basically I've had a phone on contract for years. It is a bit expensive - but the huge mileage we do, the odd hours I work and the sheer amount of time we spend away from home sort of justify the expenditure. When I first had a phone in 2001 I paid £35 per month (for a ridiculously small number of minutes and a small phone that made calls). Over the years the monthly fee has shrunk to about half the original, while the minutes have soared. The phones have become more sophisticated but I've still felt mostly in control of their functions.
Yesterday I went into a certain well known chain of mobile phone shops (fortunately I had Mark with me for back up......) I am now the owner of a mini-computer that just happens to make phone calls. The monthly fee is exactly the same as the last contract AND they are throwing in a 7" tablet computer for free! Technologically I feel a little bit like Alice must have done as she fell down the rabbit hole.... I have a phone that can store complete novels in one corner of it's huge memory. Last night I sat on the sofa and read the first few chapters of 'Pride and Prejudice' on my phone - just for the experience. I've never considered myself to be a luddite but I've got to say that this feels like a technological step too far!
In the end I spent of lot of time last night worrying that the phone was going to do something 'behind my back' and that I might end up with a huge additional bill because of it's functions. First thing this morning I got on the phone to the providers technological support. A lovely lady explained how I could control it's access to the internet and cut the connection if I wanted to.