Time for an upgrade

I need a new phone.

I don’t want a new phone. I would be perfectly fine with my existing phone. But phone manufacturers are not fine with the status quo, and thus I am being ushered into new phone territory whether I like it or not.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not some anti-technology fuddy duddy who harrumphs kids today with their new fangled whiz-bang gadgets.

I love me some good tech. My iPhone is a remarkable achievement in technology. When I go through the list of phones I’ve had in my life – from the rotary wall mount to a flip phone to this bad boy – I am in awe and appreciation of the strides we have made. That old rotary wall mount? Not once did it give me play by play updates on a football game or show videos of people wrecking on skateboards.

But at some point, a phone for me reaches what I refer to as Babe level, as in Babe the movie pig: “That’ll do, phone. That’ll do.”

For the life of my, I cannot really think of anything my phone can do for me that would up the ante that much. I suppose it could add some sort of smell function, but that really seems like it would have far more downside that up. I don’t know that I want to smell my football highlights.

But my phone does not care how satisfied I am, as it has decided to chip away at two functional components which are kinda vital to a working device: memory and battery.

The memory is constantly full. While I do have plenty of photos and videos on my phone, the main way it keeps filling up is through my kids’ music downloads, which somehow end up on my phone. Now, before you inform me of the simple way I can stop that from happening, I’ve been there. As has an Apple tech, who informed me that it should not be doing that.

I found out that my storage is full periodically, usually when I have pulled out my phone to take a picture and it informs me, “Nah, no pictures until you delete some stuff. May I suggest the entire catalog of every Broadway song ever recorded that somehow appeared on your playlist overnight?” I am not sure if I delete these off of my phone if they also get deleted from my kids’ playlists, but I haven’t been contacted in a panic by either of them about missing music, so I am guessing not.

The battery is also on its last legs. I pretty much have to keep my phone plugged in at all times. It winds down quickly, and when it gets to 30 percent, it essentially turns into a timer. While this is normally not that big of a deal – I’m pretty habitual about plugging it in when I’m inside or in my car – this can present a problem when I am away from an outlet for a while. This can be especially problematic when I am at one sporting event while simultaneously trying to follow another sporting event on my phone. Just a reminder to how awesome technology is – that old rotary phone? Worthless in that capacity.

I contacted Apple support, and they ran a couple of tests for me and informed me that my battery is, in fact, hot garbage. I can replace it for about $30, or I can finally get the upgrade on my phone that I’ve been eligible for since about a year ago.

I could limp through with a new battery and keep trying to sidestep the memory issue. But in the end, it would probably make more sense to just get a new phone. I am sure it will have a handful of new functions that I will love that I didn’t even know I needed. I can almost smell them from here.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike or at


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