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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cell Hell

Is it just me or has the whole freakin' world been duped?  
First let's define the word duped.  
Duped: A person who functions as the tool of another person or power.
Oh well, in that case the answer is a big YES!
Which one was your first?
Throughout the 1900's, appliances in the home, particularly the television, radio and phone have seen the greatest increase in new users and technological advancements.  (This I mention with a negative-nod to the U.S. auto manufacturers who, just lately, have the electrical car in production, after 100 years of gas engines.  Chumps.  Innovation and forward thinking are not their strong suits.  Also, um, adding seat-belts is not inventive, it is reactionary.  Double chump!)

Time travel with me for a bit...  

Phone bills  
During the corporate downsizing and the increase cost of goods in the 90's, I started to look at ways to save money on my monthly budget.  

My power, water, garbage, cable, gas, and phone bills were in the spotlight. Somehow I needed to find ways to cut back.  So I started to recycle my garbage, drop down to basic cable, changed the spouts in showers and sinks to use less water, used a cold/cold cycle to wash clothes, attempted to car pool a few times a week, or bus.  


Hi-Tech home entertainment center includes: video (3 flat screens) , 
music, internet and phone interface, even a record player
Don't lie-  you  know you WANT this!
For the phone I was able to bring my phone bill down to $15 a month, by turning in my cell phone, getting a long distance pre-paid calling card and an answering machine.  Fifteen dollars a month!  

2013:  I just purchased my first smart phone. 

Cell Phone usage in the US has increased from 34 million to 203 million in the last ten years.  There is an estimated two billion cell phones world-wide, which means about 4.5 billion people go without.*

Apple Iphone
Up until the 90's, most homes had only ONE phone line.  I can imagine 10-20 years ago the phone companies, billions spent on laying down land lines, were in a panic!  I can hear them screaming, "No one wants our extra features, our Phone Line Insurance, or our Call Waiting!  We're loosing money. What shall we do?"  

Cell phone companies swooped in with what people didn't know they wanted: storage on their phones, texting, a camera, video recording, on-line access, all in the palm of their hand ...AND people were willing to pay for this!  I AM willing to pay for this.  I have been duped.  

Families across America have cut back on food, clothes and entertainment to make room for ever-higher phone bills. Now, carriers are betting that they can push that bill even higher, The Wall Street Journal reports: But as more people paid up for $200 smartphones and bills that run around $100 a month, the average household's annual spending on telephone services rose to $1,226 in 2011 from $1,110 in 2007, when Apple Inc.'s iPhone first appeared.
I am a proper "dupee".  The perfect sheep.  It took my phone carrier a over a year to present me with an upgrade package that I could afford.  I took the bait. I waited impatiently during the two days it took my phone to arrive. When it did I push people aside to get at it! The rest of the world can "suck it" as I thoughtfully enter my settings.  "Oh you are even sexier in person", I thought to myself, "Your features, your storage capacity... this is the beginning of something wonderful!"

In the morning, stepping out to catch a bus for work, I noticed a copy of the Yellow Pages, dropped off by a carrier a month ago, curled up and unwanted in the door-stoop of a neighbor.  



Why?  Again I ask, "Why?"


The past is painted yellow

WSJ Article Cellphones Are Eating the Family Budget

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