So I’m eligible ladies and gents… for a phone upgrade, and this has got me thinking. What do I want? Do I want to go Android? Stick with Apple? Should I get the iPhone 5S, the 6? It’s an almost daunting decision, especially if you are going to have to pay hundreds of dollars to buy a new phone. When I went to the AT&T store today and looked at all the shiny new phones, my mind started to drift back on to an old and reliable friend, the Nokia “Brick”.
Cell phones are a vital part of life these days, and for something as vital as a phone, it’s strange that phone companies aren’t as concerned with durability as they used to be. A not-small percentage of smartphones have a fair share of cracks and shattered screens. Smartphones feel ridiculously delicate, and because of this, we are being charged hand over fist for insane cases or for sightly more “rugged” versions of phones people already have. Often a single drop can ruin a phone, as I have experienced first-hand, and while I love how useful smartphones are, I find myself missing the simplicity of older phones. I find myself missing my trusty Nokia.
Anyone who was born in the late eighties saw the cell phone become a part of every day life for the vast majority of the population, and it was certainly a revolutionary experience. The idea that a phone could be carried in your pocket along with games (like a Game Boy!) and could make calls blew my mind as a kid. When my mom got the classic Nokia 3310, she had to rip it out of my hands because I was playing Snake so much. It wasn’t until I received my first Nokia as a teenager that I realized what the cell phone had become in society: a social necessity. My first Nokia was the 6010, which sadly didn’t have Snake. What it did have however, was a COLOR SCREEN and BOWLING. Besides being everything a teenage boy could dream of, it was virtually indestructible, as old Nokia’s have legendarily become known for. My Nokia fell off the roof of my mom’s car onto asphalt at 50 mph, and it survived without a scratch and STILL works like a charm. I used that phone for the entire summer of 2010 while working at an outdoor adventure camp, and it endured rain, drops, a tumble down a rocky hill while hiking, and hours of endless abuse while only needing a charge once a week. And guess what? It still works. Why can’t they make phones like that any more? I’ve seen Nokia’s fall off 3-story balconies onto tile, get run over by cars, get washed in washing machines, or even get left in the back of a truck for 4 days of rain and survive to fight, call, and text another day. Can the modern-day smartphone do this? Maybe, if you spend an extra $150 on a case made out of Unobtainium and unicorn dreams, and even then there are no guarantees.
I think what I miss the most about my brick is what it represents: simplicity. There’s no Facebook updates, Snapchats, fantasy football scores, emails, or tweets (even though you can tweet via text, which I did when I first got a Twitter). There are days where I’ve thought about going back to it and giving my iPhone a break. Why? I guess I feel the need to disconnect sometimes, to scale things back and actually call people instead of just texting or tweeting. I miss how reliable the Nokia was, and still is. I don’t always like how attached I’ve become to my phone. Granted, my iPhone can replace carrying around a iPod, calendar, camera, notebook, Bible, all your books, photos, videos, laptop, and more, but at what cost? Sometimes I think I get too sucked in to being connected to everyone at all times. Maybe I need to scale back some, to relax and just call people more.
I have a feeling that my Nokia will prove itself anew one day. iPhone’s are fickle and sometimes delicate beasts, and if the worst should happen, or I find myself poor and unable to afford data plans, I know my Nokia will emerge from it’s slumber in my desk drawer and roar to life like Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino. It may be old, and it may be simple, but it’s always ready to get the job done, and that’s why it will always have a special place in my heart. So here’s to you, Nokia Brick. I (kinda) hope I never have to use you again, but if I do, I know you won’t let me down.