A cell phone for each stage of my life


In the summer of 2007, me and my cell phone were thrown into a Spanish swimming pool. We managed to reach the shore, but my cell phone died a few hours later from the damages it had suffered to some of its vital number keys. I was generously provided with exactly the same type of cell phone shortly after, which wasn’t a particularly modern device even back then. By now, it comes across as medieval. But it works. I’m not sure when I’ll purchase a new smart phone, but before I do, I’ll quickly remember some of its predecessors in this post.

A phone for shy boys

I must have been in my early teens when my dad took me and my sister to a slightly dodgy cell phone store in our hometown Bad Oldesloe. She was and still is almost 2 years younger than me but younger sisters always get everything the older brother gets. So we both got an Alcatel phone with a pay-as-you-go contract.

It had two rows of black and white display, each row with room for about 10 characters or so. I really wonder what my first text message was and who I sent it to. I just remember that texting changed everything. Before texting, I used to look up telephone numbers in the phone book, dial the number, and ask my friends’ parents if I could speak to their son or daughter. Texting allowed us to bypass having to speak to people personally. Very convenient for shy boys in their early teens when they first make a move at the ladies.

Not a phone for mountain-biking

I think I then moved on to my first Nokia phone. I don’t remember the model number. Nokia model numbers were a bit of a status symbol for a while. “Which one do you have?” – “I got the 3260” – “Oh really? Cause I got the 5420”.

We went to Austria for summer holidays that year and I took my cell phone on a mountain biking trip. Just to be safe, I put it at the bottom of my rucksack where surely it wouldn’t be damaged. I then got terribly frustrated with a steep, never-ending incline, causing me to throw this rucksack to the ground. That was the end of my Nokia cell phone. We might have told the insurance company that my grandpa had thrown it off the kitchen table or something.

There were other phones before that medieval Nokia drowned in that Spanish swimming pool, only to replaced by exactly the same medieval Nokia model. But I don’t remember very much about those other phones, although I must have sent a few hundred messages and made a few dozen life-changing calls with each of them. They’ve done a good job but they failed to leave a permanent impression.

Not called a phone anymore

Still, it seems that there was a cell phone for each stage of my young life. They came and went, as I grew up. At the moment, I’m emotionally attached to my Nokia because I remember everything it passed on or received for me. Any yet, I think it’s time to move on and upgrade. I will probably end up with some smart phone, although I was recently told that phones will no longer be called phones because phoning is just one of the many functions it will be able to handle for you. Let’s see.

If anyone finds the time, he or she should write a theory of innovation and technology adoption that is primarily based on going through adolescence and other equally disruptive life stages.

One response to “A cell phone for each stage of my life

  1. Indeed … I shall get right onto it 😉

    Aside from the theorizing, I might add that yes, I also still maintain my beloved 6230 for the occasional private call. Primary reason being, however, not so much my soft spot for antiques but the employer-provided smartphone on the side.

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