Sunday, December 2, 2012

Modern communication

Wife recently switched all of our "communication channels" (my term, for lack of better words) -- phone, cable and Internet -- to one provider.

Wife handles all of these matters because I am woefully inefficient at doing so, and also lacking the patience required to maneuver through all of it. Where once talking on the telephone and having one installed in one's home was a relatively simple process, it now involves "bundling" and other such nonsense.  A phone wired into in one's home is now called a "land line" and more and more, folks are opting not to have one and making their cell phone their primary point of contact.

I can remember an antenna on top of my parents' house that enabled us to watch three channels of network television, before we advanced to "cable-vision" which gave us the same thing plus Public Television, and a much clearer picture. When Wife and I married we used "rabbit ears" until we got cable when our first child was born. We needed something to do in the middle of the night when we were up with him and reception was too sketchy. Now of course there are hundreds of channels available via either a "dish" or "cable," although there is very little of any quality on any of those channels.

Last but not least, the Internet comes into our home via mostly wireless devices now, whereas once various wires and cords were necessary. 

Of course this is a gold mine for the companies that provide these services.

Wife got tired of our cable and Internet provider overcharging us every month. It got to the point of being ridiculous. When she would call them they would always apologize and credit back the overcharged amount, then assure her they would fix the problem. Only the problem never got fixed.

She talked to our telephone provider and they gave her a sweet deal that included everything, at a substantial savings. We made the change about a month ago and it's been fairly smooth sailing ever since. Of course our old cable and Internet provider did everything but offer to come cook Thanksgiving dinner if we would stay with them, but Wife stuck to her guns. Since she is a kind and merciful person, she became very sad during the parting conversation, but let's face it: they caused it. If the new guys start the same shenanigans, we'll look at going back.

Here's the big news involving our new service: it includes a new "smart phone" for yours truly. I now am the owner of an iPhone 4S.  A couple of years ago I wrote a piece here about all the modern services in which I did not take part. I have now succumbed to this one.

So far I like it. It's much easier to use than I thought it would be.

But please do me a favor. If you see me walking down the street looking at that silly phone and ignoring everything and everyone around me, stop and yank it out of my hand.  Thank you.


Kelly said...

I'm so proud of you, Bob!

You know...I have no memory of cable until I came back after college. Of course now it's 5000 channels and rarely anything worth watching!

Hal Johnson said...

Smart phones can be great tools, and they can be horrendous time wasters. But gosh, if I lost mine, I'd probably pay full retail for another. It's my secretary, my notepad, my calendar, and yep, my multi-function communication device. On work days, I use it to check the weather before I even get out of bed.

But Bob, after years of reading how you resist jumping on the tech bandwagon, it worries me that you've finally joined the smartphone nation. It could indicate that those Mayans were right. :)

Debby said...

LOL. No Hal. Debby is far more of a Luddite than Bob could ever hope to be mostly because her vision stinks and she can never find her glasses in a rush, and so needs to stick to devices that she is well acquainted with.

If you ever see Debby with a smart phone, it might be that Mayan stuff...or she might just be on her way to the nearest Lost and Found.

Steve H. said...

Bob, you were my last hope. I've been toying with giving up my cheap throw away cell to go for an iphone but I didn't want to become "that guy".

I may have to now

Bob said...

Steve, it's not so bad. Come on over to the dark side.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Bob, I will only say that after a bit you will wonder why you resisted for so long. As Hal says, yes they can be tremendous time-wasters. Yes. But they can do SO MUCH STUFF! They're amazing. Holy cow, I can't imagine being without my smartphone now - and I've only had one for a little over a year!

So welcome to the modern world! You're definitely part of the in-crowd now! Your offspring will be so proud ;)

quid said...

Well... I'm on the precipice of a really smart 4G device. You may have pushed me over.

Isn't it great to be a trend setter?