My daughter got a smartphone for Christmas last year. I never thought I would be one of those parents who gave my middle schooler a phone. I got my first cell phone when I was twenty years old. And not to date myself but the phone was referred to as a “bag phone.” As in, the receiver of the phone was attached to a bag, which sat on my car console.
Well, most of the time it sat on my console. Except for the times when I took corners like I was on rails and the bag phone flew into the floorboard, on the opposite side of the car. I didn’t actually dare call anyone on my phone back then because it was WAY too expensive. The carriers charged you by the minute and since I was the one who had purchased the phone and was responsible for the bill, I mostly just rode around with my bag phone sitting on my console. Or on the floorboard.
I got my daughter a phone anyway. I liked the idea of being able to communicate with her when she wasn’t with me. Also the carrier was going to give me the brand new phone for free. And by free I mean they were going to double my monthly bill and hook me into a second contract. Sure. Free phone.
Naturally she loved her shiny, new LG G4.
They became inseparable. Cut to yesterday. I heard her say that her phone had self-rebooted. No biggie. I’ve had Androids for years. Then it rebooted again. Then a third time. Then the screen just faded to black. It was quite possibly one of the scariest moments of her young life.
I took the phone and tried the only tricks that I knew. I pulled the battery, then reinstalled it to see if that would work. No dice. Black screen. It was time to call Verizon. I spent the next hour of my life troubleshooting the phone with two different levels of technical support. I find it interesting that even though I had pulled the battery twice before I even called them, they had me perform that test three more times. But okay, whatever gets the phone working.
Except nothing got the phone working.
Finally a diagnosis. The phone was finished. Evidently, LG’s first group of G4s had a manufacturer’s defect which caused the phones to stop working. I would give you the exact technical details but I am pretty sure the guy was speaking Greek when explaining them to me. The good news was LG had admitted that there was a problem with the first batch of G4 phones and Verizon could send me a replacement at no charge, as long as we were still in the twelve month warranty window.
Funny thing though. I had bought the phone THIRTEEN MONTHS TO THE DAY that it stopped working. Out of warranty. Sorry. You can pay us $150 to replace it or you will have to deal with LG. And since I was not giving Verizon one more dime, I got LG’s number. Long story short, I requested a replacement phone because clearly they gave me a defective one. I have mailed the phone back to LG for analysis. They will give me an answer in seven to ten business days. So we wait.
Actually, my daughter was waiting way harder than me. She had grown accustomed to her smartphone. I am not sure where she got her love of technology.
I actually began to pity her. Then I remembered that I had an old phone stuck in a drawer, for emergency situations and this was clearly an emergency. I told her all was not lost.
I pulled it out. And not just out of the drawer, but rather straight out of 2011. Which doesn’t seem that long ago but in smartphone terms, it was a lifetime ago.
It was a purple Motorola Droid Razr. It was still everything that I had remembered. Which was significantly less than the smartphones of today. Not only was this phone going to save the day but I would get much enjoyment out of
screwing with educating my daughter.
Now mind you, this wasn’t a flip phone. It was actually a smartphone. Just not as snazzy as the current generations of smartphones. But boy did I love her back in the day. She was my first smartphone.
I turned on the phone and somehow it still had a 5% battery life. I was able to find an old cord, plug it in and started setting it up for my daughter. That took probably another 45 minutes of my life but I did it. Truth be told, I called Verizon back for help because the device was passcode protected and there was no way I was getting into that phone.
Did I mention that Verizon customer service is really amazing? They were very helpful and they hid how annoyed they must have been with me. Consummate professionals. Finally the phone was operational and somewhat charged. I handed it to my daughter. Momma had saved the day.
She began to scroll through the phone, I noticed her puzzled expression. Of course this phone was smaller and slower. Things looked a little different from what she was used to seeing. Then a look of horror came across her face.
There are no emojis! How am I supposed to effectively relay my emotions to people, without emojis?
I am sure she couldn’t understand why I was laughing. It wasn’t her fault that she missed out on the inception and progression of cellular phones. She didn’t even know that we used to call them CELLULAR phones, for goodness sake.
Ah, sometime being a parent is fun. Let’s just hope that LG does the right thing and replaces the defective phone, even though it is one month out of warranty. Otherwise, my daughter will have to learn how to maneuver through life, expressing her emotions without the help of emojis.