I hate cell phones. Nothing is more irritating to me than to invite someone out for lunch and have it interrupted 3 or 4 times by calls on their cell phone – calls that are just too important to wait for another few minutes while we finish our coffee.
Well, maybe there is one thing more irritating than the case I described above. That would be inviting a teenager to lunch and hear them text messaging away under their side of the table while you are trying to carry on a conversation with them.
Having said that, I will admit that a cell phone may have its place in our society, but I still think they should be off limits during funerals, weddings, church services, and lunches with me.
Not long ago, a friend of ours developed severe heart problems that required fluid to be drained from his lungs now and then, and pace maker adjustments; both events serious enough to need immediate treatment, but not serious enough to require an ambulance. The man, whose wife does not drive, asked my husband if he would mind kind of being on call for quick trips such as these.
My husband was often away from home, so he decided to get a cell phone just for calls from this friend.
A trip to some of the major providers of cell phones quickly showed us that we would be paying a huge chunk of money monthly for something we didn’t plan to use except in the case of an emergency, which might never even happen.
Thanks to Dr. Laura, I heard a radio ad about Tracfone. It seems you could buy a phone for under $20 and pay only about $10 a month for all the minutes we would ever use. Frankly, it sounded too good to be true, but we headed for the Target store at our local mall and left with our first cell phone; cost $14.95 plus $19.95 for 60 minutes of airtime. The airtime was good for 3 months so that made it less than $7 a month. What a bargain.
All we really wanted in our cell phone was for our friend to be able to reach us if he needed help, but the phone offers much, much more.
1. For example, you can store the names and phone numbers of 500 people. (Does anyone have that many friends?)
2. The battery lasts a little over 6 hours of talk time and 18 days of standby time.
3. It has an alarm clock, stop watch, and calculator. (I might learn to use the alarm and the calculator, but can’t see a lot of use for a stop watch, yet.)
4. You can buy additional airtime online and keep any leftover minutes. I understand that leftover minutes are usually lost with other companies, so that is a feature I really like.
5. You can transfer your airtime to a new phone if you decided to upgrade. We did just this because my husband decided he wanted a flip phone instead of an exposed face phone. Every minute, plus our old phone number was transferred smoothly to the new phone in just a few minutes.
6. You could choose from a number of tunes for a ring tone. So far, we have used the vibration more than a ring tone as we don’t like the idea of being surprised, along with the rest of the congregation, by our cell phone’s ring tone in church some Sunday morning.
7. You could buy a Tracfone with a camera if you like. We decided not to since we already have a good camera.
8. The Tracfone can be set up for voice messages, and even text messaging if that is something that intrigues you. The text messaging allows 3 messages per airtime minute.
9. Best of all, in my opinion, is that there is no contract. You can stop using your Tracfone whenever you like and no bills will ever come.
By now, you are probably thinking that I became so enamored with our Tracfone that I learned to use all its features, and have even started text messaging under the table along with my granddaughter when the conversation above the table gets too boring, but I haven’t. Not yet, at least.
I will say, that the Tracfone is a great little phone for almost everyone, even a teen who is a bit short of cash during these belt tightening times.
But, if you’re like me, and just want a phone you can make or take simple phone calls on, the Tracfone may just be the perfect choice for you, too.