From Smart Phones to Carrier Pigeons (when more tech is the last thing you need!)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17
– at the Verizon store

Today has been another one of those busy busy busy days – all details and logistics, stuff to iron out, problems to solve, no time for any writing. Rebekah’s big trip to Manama may have been front and center, but it was a “simple” phone that took most of my attention.

I may well be reformation-oriented progressive in a lot of my thinking, but once in a while Paul’s excitement about “the old has gone, the new is here” can be tempting to respond to with, “enough already!”

First – and I know I’m going to sound like one of those grumpy old men who sit on their front porch and yell, “get off my grass!” – I have to say the following: “Why keep changing stuff so old people can’t use it any more?!”

And, no, I am not talking about me!

– now it’s the phone!

Over the past few years “progress” has effectively kicked my parents off the computer, almost left them unable to use their television, and now made the telephone – the one life-line they could pretty much count on – almost too difficult to use.

Mum and dad’s “home” phone is really a cellphone, has been since before they left Florida. It sits in a stand like a real phone, has an extension like a real phone, and has simple to use numbers like a real phone too. The only difference is the base unit is plugged into a small wifi hub they never see, under a pile of debris on dad’s desk.

– box of tech from AT&T

A couple of months back their carrier – AT&T – sent a big box of scary looking technical stuff with a long letter explaining they were going “5-G” and the old set up wouldn’t work anymore. In addition, the lengthy instructions said, my parents would have to buy new phones that would work with the new stuff in the box.

This is what you send two elderly people with a combined age of 184, expecting them to stay in contact with the world???

So I read through the jargon and went to the AT&T store to get what they needed. But after the usual waiting around, AT&T sent me to Target to get some new phones they say would work, and two hours of frustration (with a bunch of new stuff that even I couldn’t figure out) led me to decide we would dump AT&T and simply add a third phone to my Verizon account and give it to my parents.

Flip Phone!

Hence the new flip phone. After, of course, a long wait. Then – even though the new phone was “simple” to set up – me pushing buttons and tearing my hair out for an hour or more before finally getting it ready for their house.

Yes, flip phones really do still exist! Thanks, Verizon, it turned out to be the simplest and most straightforward solution. But Oh. My. Goodness. Do I ever wish the tech companies would just leave well enough alone sometimes!

Seriously, I’m thinking maybe I will just get them a few carrier pigeons… and run a string with a bell on one end from their house to mine.

That’s actually not a bad idea……


  1. I can relate, I just had to get Connie a new phone since her old one would not work with 5G. She only uses it to call me when she is leaving work so I know when she will be home. It stays off the rest of the time. At least ours are cheap through AARP. I know the frustration. With my phone I can’t respond to my Friday morning Bible study group text because my phone will only do groups of 10 or less.

    Liked by 1 person

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