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Dec 28, 2011

The Cell Phone Theory

So, following the coat-tails of a previous post (and a hat-tip should go to Princess Lea for inspiration), I was just struck by an interesting metaphor.

Does anyone remember the days when cell phones didn't have apps, bbm, sms, mms, gmail, gchat... and the rest of the alphabet soup? When a cell phone did just one thing: make calls (and didn't have to be super thin to be considered worthwhile).

People went to the store, picked one up that fit their style and went home happy.

Nowadays, every phone has so many details it's hard to keep track! How much memory? Does it have a micro-SD? How big is the screen? What is the resolution and the ratio? How bright are the colors? How responsive to touch and roll? 3G or 4G? How many megapixels is the camera? Is there a forward-facing camera to video-chat? Full browser and facebook and gmail and gchat and group-chat and a million apps, and, and, and...

The more people try to cram into a phone, the more we feel like we have to keep getting a new one, and that the one we get absolutely must have the best features. Because, after all, you take it everywhere you go and use it every day, right?

Here's the analogy. Since when did we begin to obsess about all the little details for a mate? No, seriously. It used to be like the phones of yore, just find one that fits your style and enjoy making calls. Pretty simple. But now it's super complicated because we're all trying to get the fanciest one out there (just the one for me, of course!) and we sit around hashing out all the minutiae, all the little apps and details we want customized... a veritable alphabet soup of features. Because of the expectations.

I recently got a new shnazzy phone. And I still remember the one I had almost ten years ago, that couldn't send or receive texts. Yeah, I can do a lot more on the one I have now, and it serves me very well. But also, my expectations for a phone far outweigh what they were before. Almost a decade ago, I was just happy to connect with another person, to talk. There was no need to have fourteen and a half ways of reaching them, just one. Simplicity and connection were the point.

In some ways, I realize that the more I learn about what the shnazzy phone can do, the more I've begun to expect it to do more than it's capable of; when it can't perform the exact way I expect, it's easy to get frustrated and say "but it should be able to do what I want!"

I'm not sure that's the way I want to think about dating and women, though. Somehow, I feel that it's easy to slip into that mentality. For the time being, I'm still in wonder over the amazing piece of technology inhabiting my phone. I hope to always have that youthful, curious, open and awed view when dating and in marriage.


  1. All I say is that one has to go out without calling in private detectives. I think when it comes down to meeting someone else, there are qualities that cannot be quite identified that draws two people together.

    Just go out. Then one has shown enough hishtadlus.