Slices of Life: New phone, old phone - part 2 of 2

This column isn’t about what to do with an old phone, it’s about what to do when you have an attachment to an old phone. That is my problem.

Jill Pertler
Jill Pertler
We are part of The Trust Project.

I like my phone. I rely on my phone. I truly appreciate my phone (and you, too, Siri!) but beyond that, well, my phone is just a phone. She does for me what I ask her to do, when I ask her to do it and as long as that consistency in our relationship exists, I’m good. We’re good.

Slices of Life: Phone connections -- part 1 of 2

But when the consistency wavers, so do I.

Lately, my phone was wavering. As was my loyalty.

Her temper seemed to flare and she got heated up when I used her for long periods of time. Her memory had sudden and unpredictable lapses. Sometimes she didn’t want to wake after a long sleep. Other times, when things got to be too much for her, she simply shut down and quit communicating with me.

Her energy and battery depleted without warning — much faster than when she was a young tadpole. Her screen couldn’t compare to the size of the younger models. Her processor couldn’t keep up with the newest technology and she was becoming a weight at my side. I didn’t like it at all. But there was no denying the truth. She was no longer sprinting, but merely limping through her weak and waning battery life.


And, like with a beloved, albeit elderly and sickly pet, there came a day when I knew it was time.

Time for a new phone.

She arrived a couple of days ago. I’ve transferred all my old data, contacts and apps onto the new and shiny upgraded model. I even ordered a high tech phone case via one-day delivery in my favorite shade of turquoise. I am good to go, except for one thing.

Slices of Life: A letter to my husband

My old phone.

And it is an old phone. A very old phone.

When I bought my new used car a few months ago, the salesman even commented on it. When a used car salesman tells you your phone is old, you believe him. Who can you trust if not a used car salesman? (Mine was a very nice guy.)

I have a bright and shiny new phone, but I also still have my old phone, and even though she is quite ancient by phone standards and no longer able to run the most current and fastest apps and operating systems, she has been loyal and true to me for more than a handful of years (or maybe a decade, but who’s counting?). I am having a hard time giving up on her completely.

I keep her charged — just in case. Can anyone relate? I’m just not ready to let her fade to zero percent just yet. It’s such a dilemma. I know I need to move on, but it feels like cheating. Replacing her with a newer and shinier model — someone with a better memory and faster processor. They say screen size doesn’t matter, but maybe it does. Maybe we can measure worth in megapixels.


Still, it isn’t her fault, getting old. Setting her aside feels wrong, somehow. She’s currently sitting in the lovely box my new phone arrived in because it’s a really, really nice box. Much too nice to simply toss away. Can anyone relate?

To compound matters, I still keep my husband’s phone charged as well, even though he is no longer connected to service. The phone can still keep a charge and turning it off feels like turning him off.

So I rotate charging cables between three phones at this point even though I understand logically I only need one (or at most two.)

It’s a conundrum. I understand I can donate them, so please don’t contact me about that. This column isn’t about what to do with an old phone, it’s about what to do when you have an attachment to an old phone. That is my problem. And if you have a solution for that, please do contact me. I’m searching for answers.

Hello? You there?

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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