Why I’ve finally succumbed and bought a smartphone

Marianne Gibbs has finally succumbed to buying a smartphone. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

Marianne Gibbs has finally succumbed to buying a smartphone. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. - Credit: PA

Last week I bought something I didn't want, said I would never have, don't like, and am not likely to use much. In addition to all that it was expensive.

You may well ask, 'What on earth is it?' along with 'what possessed you?' Well, it's a smart-phone.

I was persuaded (bullied?), into buying it by my son, who thought it was about time I got up to date with modern technology. Never mind that I hardly ever used the mobile phone I already had.

Please don't think I'm wimp that can be pushed into some thing by pester power. I always pull rank if need be; but three things happened in a very short space of time, to make me change my mind.

First, I wanted to take a photograph one day when I didn't have my camera with me. Fortunately, there was somebody I knew close by, so I asked her if she would take the pic on her smart-phone - then email it to me.

All seemed well until it landed in my inbox; then it became a cause of massive frustration; because the pic as sent from her phone was very small, and try as I might I couldn't make it bigger.

Eventually I did manage an edit, but it took a lot of my time, for a not very good result. Nothing to do with my friend's photo taking, more to do with the vagaries of incompatible software systems.

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The second thing to happen was that my lap top had a kind of nervous breakdown, the battery refused to charge, it was sluggish and slow, it stubbornly refused to boot up, unless I tried at least three times, and even then reluctantly.

The Computer Doctor was sent for. He said nothing could be done for it at my home; it would have to go back to his workshop (hospital), and would probably take 3–4 days to repair and return.

Meanwhile I would be without email. This was a major inconvenience but, said he, if you had a smart-phone, you could use that for your emails. Ugh!

Thirdly, a group I belong to had hired a hall in Wroxham for a meeting; I was the first to arrive. When I found the hall locked, I thought nothing of it, because I was at least 45 minutes early.

After a bit, other people started arriving, and we realised the person who had booked the hall was in London. With the key? We didn't know - he wasn't answering his phone.

The smart-phone owners immediately took charge. They Googled the hall, got the number of a caretaker, found out that the key was in a special box by the front door that could be opened by way of a code, and within minutes we were all inside, comfortably seated, with tea and biscuits to hand. Disaster averted thanks to modern technology.

All of the above is why I succumbed. I got taken to a shop in the centre of Norwich, on my birthday, and stayed silent while my son took charge. He and the salesman could have been speaking a Martian language for all I knew.

I couldn't ask questions because I had no idea what they were saying to each other. My son chose what he thought would be suitable for me; I just paid the bill at the end.

Now I have to go back to the shop for a 'tutorial'. This, I understand, will be 'geared towards the older person'.

On the other hand I could ask the paperboy to explain it all to me.