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I'm a Flying Apple*

I was going to call this, "How a new phone made me re-evaluate my life" but since this post is about both my new phone and my new iPad, I'll go with the more generic title.

First up is my new iPad. While it is definitely a cool, new shiny, I actually bought for two business reasons: so I can get and use SquareUp (the ability to accept credit cards) and for a much easier way to read PDFs away from my desk. My Kindle, while awesome in all other respects, failed at PDFs, and since I am often given PDFs to review, I needed something better.

Yes, I adore the new iPad. It's got everything I want. It is a consuming device. I don't plan to do a lot of writing on it but if I do need to use it for writing purposes, I have a keyboard and Dropbox. So, it works like that, too. Otherwise, it has some lovely apps for me to play with; everything from a dice roller to a Tesla fidget toy to the entire internet of procrastination.

Now, you may wonder why I didn't get an iPhone to go with SquareUp. One, the PDF aspect. Two, the husband works for Microsoft and Microsoft just did a huge push on their Windows Mobile phones. This pretty much required a switch in phone services, and to look at expenses. Microsoft also said they would give all their employees a Windows phone for free (employee buys, expenses). AT&T did their "buy one, get one free" sale. That means a free smart phone for me. In the end, no brainer.

Of course, dealing with the phone after I got it (and never having had a smart phone before) is another story. It's been "interesting" working with this phone. The more I get used to it, the easier it is and I like it. But, in the meantime, there is a lot of cursing and not understanding and handing the thing off to the husband to fix, show me or discover what's up with it.

Then there is the part that suddenly makes me look at my life. I imported all my old phone numbers and immediately knew I needed to get rid of a bunch of them. Unfortunately, the first number that I got to was "Alex Baker." This gave me pause. Alex died just over a year ago. He died but I still don't want to get rid of his phone number. But, he's dead. But… It wasn't a thing I expected to have to deal with.

Next up, all those old work numbers for people I haven't talked to in years. Should I get rid of them? Should I save them for "just in case"? What about ex-boyfriends? No, I don't want to talk to most of them. So, should I keep the number just in case they called and I wanted to avoid them?

This is not the sort of thing I wanted to worry about while playing with a new tech toy. I did not want to re-evaluate my life but nor do I want to be a digital packrat. Now, I don't know what to do.

*Windows=flying toasters. Apple=apple. Buying both a Windows device and an Apple device on the same shopping trip makes me a "flying apple."


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 28th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Admit it: You really got the iPad so you could play Plants vs. Zombies.
Dec. 28th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
I would but I have never, ever played that game. I don't even know what it looks like.

Do I have to turn in my geek card now?
Dec. 29th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Oh! You *must* try Plants Vs. Zombies. It's made of pure awesome.
Dec. 29th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
What group is he in? They moved me while I've been on leave to Speech. :)
Dec. 29th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
He's an MSN guy.
Dec. 29th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
If I hadn't changed phones a few months ago, I'd probably still have Alex's number on mine... As it is, one of these days I suppose I should get around to deleting all the old emails in my gmail acct...
Dec. 30th, 2010 09:01 am (UTC)
Wanting to keep Alex's number in the phone sounds completely reasonable to me. It is a digital memory holder. You see it and you think of him and you feel how you feel/felt about him. If you get rid of it, you lose that reminder that brings him back into your life every now and then. It doesn't matter that it is no longer "useful" it is emotional and that is ok.

But this also can get out of hand when everything holds a snapshot of memories and you can't get rid of anything. One of the reasons I hold so much stuff is because most of it holds pieces of me. Moderation in all things.

You may not be ready to let Alex go yet. In that case, keep the number for a little longer. Or turn removing it into a little bit of a ritual. Or just give yourself a hug knowing it is perfectly all right to want to hold onto something that rationally has no use and it is ok to get rid of it.

We are getting to the point that we need to do almost as much when we move electronically as we do when we move physically. Too bad you don't have an electronic "box" you can dump these unexpected things into to deal with later. An then ignore them like I have the left over boxes I have from the last three moves. :)

OOOO do what you normally do, write a horror story about it.
Dec. 31st, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
Just the facts, ma'am.
I treat my contacts list as a repository of facts. Nothing more, nothing less. Some time after my father passed away, I updated his entry (sadly, of course) to remove his phone number and address. Those are no longer correct facts: calling that number or going to that location will not reach him. But he's still a person who was, and there are still facts about him which are true. The date of his birth remains true, so that stays in the contacts list under his name. Same for his anniversary. These dates automatically appear in my calendar, which is useful. Those who have passed on no longer have phone numbers, so those go. These dates are still true facts, so they stay.

And for the exes, or old work numbers, or other random cruft? Well, I've got a 16GB phone here and no lack of storage space. The numbers or addresses which might conceivably still be correct stay. There's no good reason to remove them. If I that hear someone has moved but don't have their new address, then the old address is no longer a true fact, and it goes away. New job? Then I delete your old work number. No reason to do it otherwise.

There are 833 contacts in my list as of now. But it's not like the phone gets heavier for carrying around more names. It gets less useful if it is carrying around false information, but other than that, once you're in my phone book, your name (and whatever else I know to be true about you) will stay there forever. My address book is not an emotionally-charged record of my human relationships. It's just a collection of facts.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )