December 24, 2010

The Phone May Be the Only Smart Thing in The Room

"Let's go over there, get one of those guys in a headlock, and punch him until he tells us the truth!"

The most stressful part of this holiday season has been trying to obtain new cell phones. Our family plan expired, which means we can all get new phones for free, just so long as you understand "free" to mean "in exchange for some money, your sanity, and maybe your soul."

I am ready to firebomb AT&T. The thing is, these phones, they're all very complex. They have a jillion features, most of which I don't care about. All of them are either super-chunky because they have full qwerty keypads tucked inside them, or they are pieces of lightweight plastic junk that I couldn't differentiate from Mattel toys. I suspect most of them are devised solely to make me feel like a loser for not having friends to simultaneously text, email, and im. No wonder people get iphones. It's so easy. I want that popular thingy! I can have apps instead of friends! I will shoot angry birds instead of sending texts! And I don't have to compare features! I'm just getting an iphone because iphones are cool!

I can't even consider an iphone. I just bought an ipod touch, and having both would make me look idiotic.

Unbelievably, the phones are the easiest part of the process. The plans are the real killer. I am an adult. Should I get my own plan, or should I stay on the cheeper family plan and pay my dad each month? How much cheeper is it? When it says $30 data plan, is that per phone or per plan? Is the $25 fee for a smartphone per phone or per plan? Is that fee on top of the data package fee? How much is 2GB in terms of actual usage? Do I need more? Less? What does 3G mean? What is the difference between the 3G network and the internet? What happens internationally? Can I use my phone? Will I get charged a billion dollars because it connects to the internet? If I leave the country for an extended period of time, can I put my plan on hold? Can I cancel the data plan? Is the data plan required if I get a 3G phone? And what exactly does 3G mean again? What if I don't sign up for a data plan but then accidentally access the internet? How much just to hit someone here in the face?

Every time we ask any of these questions, we get different answers. Every. Single. Time. That's what led to my dad yelling the quote at the top of this entry. We've been to AT&T twice, Radio Shack twice, the AT&T website a dozen times, and we've watched countless youtube and cnet videos reviewing phones. At this point, we're almost guaranteed to hate whatever we get. But we're all still very excited. Next to the phones we've been looking at, the four-year-old phones we have look like shiny rocks.

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