What piqued your interest in cell phones?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: December 22, 2012

As a reader on this website, I can only assume you are here because you are genuinely interested in cell phones, or in the very least; technology. I suppose I could be wrong and you’re passive aggressively here because you hate cell phones and are silently awaiting their downfall, but that’s a topic for another time. As a writer for this website, I’m here because I love cell phones. Smartphones, flip phones, messaging phones; all phones, really. But what made us interested in our precious phones? There’s a story behind every one of us.

For me it started when I was about 14 and I got my first boyfriend. After two weeks of “dating” (really, it was just a title thing) he moved to another state, and we decided to try that “long distance thing” that we’ve heard about. We mostly talked on AOL Instant Messenger, but after a while it was hard to be on at the same times he was due to our conflicting schedules, doing whatever it is teenagers did. I begged my parents for a cell phone, something which neither of them had for themselves, to which they responded that if I wanted a cell phone I had to get a job and earn the money for it myself.

Being 14 it was (and still is) pretty hard to find a job anywhere around here. Fortunately summer was quickly approaching and the only place in my area that hires at such a young age, the local amusement park, just opened up for applications. Not really wanting to work, but really wanting a cell phone, I begrudgingly submitted my application. It wasn’t long before I got hired, got paid, and got my first prepaid cell phone.

It was just a basic flip phone from Verizon Wireless. It actually cost a lot of money to keep up with at the time. There weren’t any unlimited plans for a reasonable price – the plan I had didn’t even include text messages. I could use the money I purchased towards minutes to send text messages if I wanted at a hefty fee: 25 cents per text. So at the time, I refused to text anybody. But as more friends were added to my contacts list, the number of people who insisted on texting grew as well.

Time went on and eventually my current plan wasn’t cutting it for me. Net10 had a much better price plan for me. I had to downgrade my device, but it was worth it so I would be able to finally start texting my friends. Instead of 25 cents, it became 5 cents a text. I thought I was getting quite the riveting deal, and I was much happier with this new plan. It didn’t take long for my habits to start picking up, though, and soon enough my new prepaid plan wasn’t doing enough for me anymore.

My texts became more frequent and my actual phone calls started becoming far and few in between. After a few months of this trend I realized I was wasting a lot more money on prepaid cards, and I needed to do my research and find a different plan. This was also about the time I discovered Google, so luckily for me it didn’t take long to find a company that worked in my favor. A new company called Cricket was just starting up a new wireless service in some major cities, and Kansas City happened to be one of them. I decided to give them a try. One of their more basic flip phones, the Kyocera K132, cost me about $70 – but the $40 unlimited calling and texting plan was worth it to me. The phone itself was terribly laggy and didn’t even have an outer screen, so if somebody was calling it was always a surprise. That phone didn’t last long before I moved on to something a little bit better, plus upped my plan to include data.

Including data in my plan was a huge step, as this allowed me to access Facebook right from my phone. I started to have a leg up on my peers when it came to phone technology as I was one of the only few in my group of friends to have a phone plan that allowed me to do this. I believe this is the point where my interest in cell phones really started picking up, because at this point people expected me to know the answers to a lot of questions regarding cell phones; how to do this, how to set up that. There was no turning back – I was the cellphone overlord now.

I only had my new phone from Cricket for a couple of months before it started bugging out on me. My best friend’s mom worked for Sprint and offered to put me on her Advantage Plan seeing as I still had my own job to support my own phone bill (I believe my parents made the right choice in encouraging me to work for the things I wanted) so I agreed and that’s when I got my beloved Katana II. If that phone hadn’t started messing up, I probably would have never gotten rid of it. That phone was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I miss it sometimes.

I’m not going to continue on in detail, because this is the part where the story picks up rapidly and I changed phones and providers every two weeks. Deciding which phone I wanted became easier once I came across PhoneDog’s review videos on YouTube, and consequently led me to the website. Here we have a full circle ending, and that’s how my story will end for now.

So readers, what started your interest in cell phones? Was it a friend or family member, the desire to talk with your friends wherever you went, or something else? Let me know how you ended up at PhoneDog in the comments!