I have a cell phone that I really like. It is by Verizon and fits compactly in the palm of my hand. When I bought it two years ago, I was quite impressed with how small it was. I was stupid back then: my phone is giant.
My friends whip out their microscopic phones the size of a very thin credit card or perhaps a business card, and I am immediately overcome with Phone Envy. Then they start pressing buttons, and magnificent things happen, things like GPS-ing and Googling and photographing and perhaps airline-booking.
These things do not happen with my phone. My phone is very boring. My phone only … calls people.
Oh, sure, I thought calling people was a good feature to have on my phone: I was wrong. The best feature to have in a phone is obviously that it is teeny tiny, perhaps like a ladybug. In fact, I’ll bet there is some phone manufacturer sitting in his teeny tiny office somewhere designing a ladybug phone as I write this. The Ladybug Phone is red with black polka-dots. It is targeted at women, women who want the latest greatest technology, and they want it to all fit in their pocket or possibly lipstick case.
Since the whole ladybug idea might not be as appealing to macho guys, their phone can be the Grasshopper. It will be green, and it will have green features, such as the outer case being made from 100% recycled materials like old tires and aluminum foil. The ad for the Grasshopper will feature a real Grasshopper literally jumping across the globe, illustrating how fast communication is with this new phone-ito. The Grasshopper will also be as light as a grasshopper.
I tell The Husband about the exciting Ladybug and Grasshopper concepts. As is typical when I tell him my revolutionary ideas, he laughs.
“The Grasshopper? The Ladybug? Where do you come up with this stuff? You know what, I think both of those phone ideas are still too big. I’ll bet new phones are the size of the little black dots on the side of a ladybug!”
He has completely obliterated my fabulous idea about the latest phone-ito.
I don’t want a phone the size of a polka-dot. How would I ever find it? What if I accidentally ate it (I would never do that intentionally, as it probably cost $800; but what if I mistook it for a poppy seed or a speck of chocolate? What then?)? My new polka-dot phone would be lodged in between my teeth and no one would even tell me. (I wouldn't find out until it started ringing.)
And anyway, let’s say I am lucky enough not to eat my phone, how exactly would I dial such a thing? My fingers are a bit big and clunky, and I sometimes struggle to make a simple button work (think button on a coat, not button on a phone); how the heck am I going to press the keys on the polka-dot?
Is there a point of diminishing returns (literally)?
(“Mom’s Old Verizon”)
****readers, what do you think? Has technology gone too far? For a phone, how small and light is enough?