In Korean households, New Year's day is a time for family. We spend the first of the year together, eating a traditional soup called Duk Kuk, a rice cake dish with savory broth. (It's sort of like Thanksgiving turkey here in the States.) We gather to wish each other good luck and fortune, and to delight in our loved ones. But from the moment the countdown zeroed out on Wednesday night throughout the next day, my cell was deluged with messages from well wishers. My family complained that I spent more time texting far-off friends than enjoying the company of those in the room with me. It was apropos, I said. Why wouldn't I spend the first minutes of the new year the same way I spent most of the last? But I relented, promising to stay off the phone during the rest of my visit, except for emergencies.
And so it was that I stepped into a voluntary cellular dead zone, playing card games and helping to prepare home-cooked meals for the dinner table. Although enjoyable, it was a rough couple of days being separated from my phone like that. But the experience did give me some insights into my attachment with my mobile device. The experience also inspired the following list of? hmmm ? I hate the phrase ?New Year's Resolutions.? I guess I?ll just invoke the great diva Patti LaBelle and call it some new attitudes.
- I won't lust after 8MP camera phones (anymore). With all due respect to Samsung's Innov8, I will never need to print a poster of an image snapped by my cell phone. To date, I've never even done it from my actual 10MP digital camera. (Rest assured, when news breaks on camera phone behemoths, we?ll cover it. I?m just saying that I?ll stop taping images of them to my wall like beefcake pictures.)
- I will stop lecturing friends on why their devices are evil or subpar. Yes, I heart my iPhone. Anyone who's read my posts here knows that. But that doesn't mean my friends? BlackBerries, Nokias or ? so help me ? even WAP-enabled phones are inferior. While this doesn't mean I?ll suddenly fall in love with the Storm (there's very little that could make me love that thing, except for maybe tequila), I will stay open and objective about other devices.
- I will embrace WinMo. Okay, maybe embrace is a strong word. But even though it's a top mobile computing platform, I've been no fan of this OS (neither mobile nor desktop versions). So starting now, I am an open-minded end user, a cellular agnostic who won't throw a shoe at someone for even implying that it's better than Android or the Apple OS.
- I will no longer feel victimized by a lack of features. As much as I love my phone, I bemoaned the absence of a strap holder from the beginning. I bought a case for it right away, but even so, I was constantly nervous about dropping it. I blamed the manufacturer for this failure of design. I blamed the carrier, who was surely scheming so that I'd break it and then have to buy a new one. I blamed my mother, whose clumsiness I inherited. Finally, I just stopped complaining and rigged my own strap by looping it through the hard case. It may not be pretty, but it keeps my cell intact. And it reminds me that my phone-lovin? fate is in my own hands. Instead of wasting time blaming others for its shortcomings, I can get a new phone or look at ways to make up the difference between what I want and what I have.
For example, video recording capability is on the wish list, which my cell lacks. Jailbreakers however have had it for awhile ? like Goshone, the self-described IT nerd/hip hop rapper who released 'the world's first music video shot on an iPhone? last month. He used Cycorder via Cydia to shoot and After Effects to edit. (See below for vid.) I?m not suggesting that people should jailbreak or do anything unauthorized to their handsets. I just think it's cool to know what's possible.
Which is the perfect spirit with which to start 2009, with the three O's: optimism, open-mindedness? and odd-ball vids that somehow make me look forward to the new year. Cheers, everyone.