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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan
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A Finding With a New Cell Phone

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to get a new cell phone. Now, first I have to admit that I have been cell phone addicted since early in the 1980s. My first “portable” phone was housed in an aluminum briefcase and weighed several pounds. It was my start in the new technology.

In my old cell phone, I stored all my contacts and calendar. My cell phone also had email capabilities, along with Internet research. What caused me to think about a new cell phone was the size of the screen on my old phone. With a keyboard and screen all on top of the phone, it was not very large and Internet research was very difficult. At the same time, my cell phone was with me at all times. Even when I traveled overseas, the phone could operate.

After a great deal of research, I finally decided which phone I would buy. The face of my new phone had a full screen with a keyboard, which slides out from under the screen. I really felt good about the new cell phone. Then, I had disappointing news. It was not possible to transfer my contacts and calendar to the new phone.

My first reaction was to return the new phone, but I liked the details of the new phone so much, I made a decision to transfer all the information myself. It was quite an undertaking since I had a few hundred contacts stored, along with a detailed calendar. I was faced with quite a challenge.

While not a very efficient typist, I started the task. By the way, my emails were easy to install on the new phone, so I had no difficulty in using my email set up.

Now, for the new “finding” as I typed in my contact information. After going through 30 or 40 contacts, I realized that I rarely even used any of the phone contacts nor the addresses listed. The reason was quite simple. With most of my friends or business contacts, I was using emails and was not writing letters or even calling on the phone.

Whether it has been setting up a breakfast or luncheon, it was done by email. Picking up the phone is still a simple way to reach out to people, but the email is starting to overcome the use of phones.

All of this leads me back to a previous column where I wrote about the tremendous cutback in the delivery of mail. Again, email for personal and business communication is the wave of the future.

As for the landline phone, the statistics now show that almost 30 percent of homes in the United States only have wireless phones. Make no mistake. That is also the wave of the future.

It will be interesting to see what the next 25 years will bring to our communication systems. We certainly have come a long way from maritime signal flags and Morse code signal lamps.

Robert McMillan Website: www.bobmcmillan.net