Flipping from the smartphone, the conversion

Switching from a smartphone to an old flip phone is the technological equivalent of jumping into an icy lake: you know that it’s probably a dumb idea but there’s a (small) part of you that wants to see how it plays out. And yes, surprise, the metaphorical water is even colder than you expect; at least on day one.

It’s all part of the phone switching process that has become so much easier in recent years. The hundreds of contacts that we have collected now follow us from OS to OS thanks in part to the strong connection to our email systems, not to mention that cloud thing to which we all connect. Simply enter your basic Outlook details and lo and behold, your contacts start flooding into your new smartphone. Not so with an old Motorola RAZR where I need to enter the contacts one at a time.

But I’m taking a positive approach to this process, considering it a much-needed de-thatching of my accumulated contacts. It’s amazing how many are duplicates or out of date. The process has also made me prioritize which contacts I really do need on my phone: without email functionality, I can limit the list to those people I’m likely to call (or be called by) or text with. So far I’m about around 20 (family, team, the boss and a few close friends and windsurfing buddies just in case we get a warm and windy day). Of course, the limit to 20 or so is also determined by my lack of persistence: entering contact details on a numeric keypad is a pain in the rear after many years of a touchscreen keyboard. 

The touch screen is not the only technology that has changed significantly. I vaguely recalled that the RAZR supports web access, and in that my memory has somewhat let me down. Do you recall that three letter curse: WAP? It was the web, Jim, but not as we (now) know it. Considering that the world has moved on so rapidly from those days, it’s probably not worth my time to trek through the archaic OS to add the correct WAP settings. I strongly doubt that there’s much content out there still in WAP format.

So much for the conversion process. Once complete, day one went pretty smoothly in terms of use. I didn’t touch my phone once during the lunch break as there is no email support. Walking away from my desk meant stepping away from work for a real break (I lasted 45 minutes of email separation). On the morning of Day Two, I grabbed my phone from the charging area, but hardly glanced at it on my way to grab a bite to eat. The email wasn’t there to process and I knew it could all wait 30 minutes until the kids were on their way to school.

And talking of the kids, I finally have a phone that is safe from them. Typically, they want to grab the smartphone occasionally to play games. But as my nine year-old daughter commented when she realized that it wasn’t a touchscreen: “Ewww”.