American Culture Shock # 334587: Smart Phones

I’m going to be popping out a series of these post, as an expat returning to America for the first time in a long time. It’s been 15 months since I stepped on America soil. And it’s been far too long.

Observation: Smart Phones are the rage now.

No, I’m not surprised. Logically, I knew the release of the iPhone was going to open up the market. But considering that the US lagged way behind many industrialised and even many developing nations in mobile phone markets because the sorry dinosaurs of cell providers came with so many restrictions.

The reality hit me hard, though, when I find myself trying schedule dinners with friends. It’s like the good ol’ phone tag and SMS-ing is obsolete. No one calls or texts to follow up or to confirm with plans. They just email. They got so used to people having smart phones that they assume I had email access on the go.

And here I am, dragging my ol’ (not really old, FYI) laptop from hot spot to hot spot, trying squeeze time between work, meetings, and errands to sit down at a wifi access spot to log on and check my email. I have a cheap pre-paid cell plan that charges for web browsing and a strangely rare sighting of a flip phone.

Yes, I can get Internet at the hotel. I refuse to out of principle- Internet access should not be charged at the exorbitant rates in large hotels like mine. Yes, I can pay for the data plan, even if it’s on a day-by-day charge. Why spend the money just to look for email?

So people who used to limit their Internet access to the office when they decided not to expend on a home DSL line now have 24/7 access to email. The metro is now surprisingly devoid of loud talkers as everyone silently checks their email on their phones.

I knew I was living a different life overseas. Yet, to completely miss out a trend, especially as an engineer, is somewhat disconcerting. So, friends, just pick up the damn phone and hit the dial button when coordinating with me, please!

postscript: This is post # 300 in this blog!!!

One thought on “American Culture Shock # 334587: Smart Phones

  1. Pingback: All Aboard! Manifest Destiny by Rail | Without Strings Tied

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