A Generational Disappointment

There is a very important detail about my life that I felt obligated to share with all of you for my first post.

I currently own a $15.00 cell phone from Walmart.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my hidden treasure came fully equip with T9 capabilities and…. that’s about it.

I have owned and happily operated this phone for almost 18 months. The battery cover on the back of the phone slides up and down and consequently serves as an outlet for my nervous energy. It is a small navy blue flip phone that clicks when it opens … and I wouldn’t give up for anything.

I can feel my peers staring at my little phone when I send a last minute text before class starts or give my Mother her weekly update as I race through campus. Their glares do not phase me, however, because I am truly content with my little blue stallion. This week, I started noticing the typical, go-go-gadget phones that the rest of my peers seem to live by. The truth is, I wouldn’t know where to start with an iPhone or Blackberry if I had one.

As a psychology major, I started to wonder if there was a particular personality characteristic that attracted consumers to these types of phones, as opposed to a more generic navy blue flip phone. Or perhaps I could look at a particular attachment style that causes certain people to require constant Twitter updates or Facebook notifications while simultaneously texting their BFF and answering e-mails about a group project they’re planning via Blackboard… on their cell phone. Either way, it is clear to me that I inherently lack this mystery trait.

My first thought ran to extroversion; however, some theorists would say that introverts actually utilize social media more. Introverted people need to feel connected and social media has offered them a way to do just that while staying inside their comfort zone. I immediately moved on to a more sophisticated theory: ambivalent attachment. This theory stems from the ways in which we are “attached” to our parents as children. Ambivalently attached children can experience intimacy problems as adults and turn to social media for help.

More realistically, fancy phone behavior is due to a more complicated theory that I could not come up with.

But alas, I have decided that there is indeed one factor that all complicated phone users have in common. Yes, I am proposing that my best friend the social work major, musician ex-boyfriend and animal loving roommate have an underlying commonality that has subconsciously lured them to more socially accepted phones.

And what, you may ask, could this underlying commonality be? Our generation. And apparently, I am missing the “generation” gene. I am absolutely a fan of social media and what it has to offer but I would go crazy if my phone vibrated every ten minutes to update me on a day in the life of John Mayer.

Someday, my little blue flip phone will die. And through my mournful tears, I will most likely pick out a more sophisticated, up-to-date cell phone. And as I struggle to figure out what people actually use “apps” for and become addicted to checking my e-mail through my phone, I will always remember my little blue stallion as the perfect generational disappointment.

Tags: mobile
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1 comment about "A Generational Disappointment".
  1. Lisa from Ball State University , February 2, 2011 at 2:51 p.m.
    I had a small blue flip phone for far longer than the rest of my friends. It survived a trip into a large amount of water and continued to serve me well for years after. The only reason I switched phones was because I was given a new one by a family member. My new phone has a full keyboard and that's about it as far as fancy features go. All of my friends continue to get more advanced phones with internet access and what not, but I tell every single one of them, "I never want a phone with internet. It'd be bad news." Not having an up-to-date phone allows me to disconnect from media and technology long enough to focus on what I need to get done at any given time. I fully support that little phone of yours.