Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My history with cell phones

Photo of Maria Denaro

For readers not employed with the NJIT Library the young lady in the photo is Maria Denaro of the circulation staff. Back in the late 90s when cell phones became popular Maria and I were resistant to getting a cell phone.  Every day we would make jokes about people who did silly things on the phone like talking in movie theaters and talking about personal issues in public places.  I showed her a carton with two guys walking out of a rock conert saying "It was so loud in there, I couldn't use my cell phone."  I distinctively heard Maria say "I hate cell phones!" I remember Maria would aggressively confront students who used their phones in the library.

I think it was in 2002 when Maria came in to work with her new cell phone.  At that point I just had to buy one.  My thought was "If you can't beat them, join them."  I bought my Nokia phone and plan from AT&T.  It was a local plan with just 150 minutes.  The monthly rate was $29.99 plus fees.

In 2005 I upgraded to a different Nokia phone with a national plan with 450 anytime minutes with 5000 night and weekend minutes.  With the fees and taxes this costs me about $50/month.  We only use a fraction of the allowed minutes.

Over times cell phones have gotten more sophisticated with more features.  For months I have contemplated getting an internet capable phone.  I have seen phone from Palm, and Blackberry that would be of interest.  I really don't need the camera, or music capabilities of an Iphone.  I would be interested in surfing the web, sending e-mail, and using the GPS system.  I found out that a data plan from AT&T would cost $30/month more.  This would really be a luxury that a really don't need.  I will stay with my current phone until it dies.  However, to this day, whenver I use my cell phone, I think of Maria.

I still see people text messaging in movie theaters when the light from the phone disturbs others.  I regularly see Maria sneaking behind the Circulation desk to make and recieve cell phone calls when years ago she yelled at students for doing the same.  Technology also creates problems.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bucknell University held its commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 18th--as the skies opened up.
See a photo of the rain-soaked ceremony here:

It was announced that due to thunder/lightning, there was a long rain delay, as  ceremonies were moved indoors. Once inside, with ceremonies still a 1/2 hour away from continuing, virtually everyone was on cellphones--especially those with free weekend minutes! Sometimes the cellphone users were 6 or 7 in a row.
(The lone exception: young children holding hand-held computer games)

No doubt there was a lone phone booth somewhere on campus--with little or no money in its coinbank.

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