Recently I was at my parents' house texting in T9-word on my Verizon LG Accolade when my 64-year old mother, with disgust and laughter in her voice, said, "I can't believe you still have a flip phone."
"Mom, you have a flip phone," I shot back.
"I know," she said, "But I'm 64."
This little exchange was the last straw in what had become a years-long public shaming I'd suffered over not having an iPhone. Feeling as though I could take no more, when the opportunity to upgrade came a few months early, I ventured to the Apple dark side and am now the owner of an iPhone.
"I feel dirty," I told Funeral Guy when I ordered the phone last week.
"Why do you feel dirty?" he said. I could almost hear him laughing and see him rolling his eyes and shaking his head at my dramatics.
"Because," I wrote back, "Now I'm just like everyone else."
For a while, the flip phone was a choice I made for me. I have a Blackberry for work, so paying extra to have two smart phones seemed a bit excessive. Plus the flip phone was comfortable and familiar. And tiny. And hanging up on someone could be done so in dramatic style, by clapping the sides of the phone together.
When people teased me about it, I laughed along with them, still feeling confident in my reasons for keeping the old phone around. I am my own person. I do not do what everyone else is doing just because it's popular. Electronics are not my thing. I prefer to spend my money on trips. And jeans.
But just like those who find their identity in always having the latest and greatest gadgets, it started becoming clear that I'd established part of my identity in resisting what seemingly everyone in my life had happily and enthusiastically adopted.
I was holding on to the flip phone for all the wrong reasons - to be different and to spite everyone else.
I started to notice that having an archaic phone had become to some people, the most hilarious thing about me. And I'd like to think I'm funnier than a flip phone.
At around 10:15pm last night, I bid my flip phone a fond farewell, and became an "iPhone person" - whatever that means.
Some of those same iPhone owners who have relentlessly made fun of me for not having one are the same people who can't have a normal conversation without also letting everyone know via Twitter or Facebook that it happened. I sincerely hope that owning an iPhone won't automatically turn me into one of those people, but I have had it for less than 12 hours and I'm already having fun playing on it and figuring out all that it does.
As God is my witness, though, I will never ridicule those without smart phones the way others have ridiculed me.
Contrary to popular iPhoners' beliefs, I do know what popular apps like Instagram and Words with Friends are. I even know how to use them! I'm "stephgalls" on both, so please connect with me. But I am in need of help when it comes to other apps, so if there are any that you love, please share them with me.
And friends, call or text me because most of my contacts didn't transfer.
Happy iPhoning! Or flip phoning! Or non-phoning!