Friday, January 25, 2013

Columnist and Wife Divided Over Cell Phone

This column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Friday, January 25, 2013


By Bill Gouveia

My wife and I have become a split family. It happens to the best of us, but in this case I blame her. She just won’t listen to reason.

You see, I have an iPhone. My wife has a Droid. It’s amazing we are even able to live in the same house. This clash of technology is resulting in what the legal world would call “irreconcilable differences”.

For reasons relating to my job, we are on different cell phone plans with different providers. My wife thus has the choice of going with any phone and any wireless company she wishes. She has chosen to use one of the Droid phones and a different provider, despite the fact I have an iPhone and we share an iPad. I am having trouble understanding the logic behind this.

Of course, looking for logic may be my first mistake. Not that my Beloved doesn’t have what she considers to be some sound reasoning for staying away from the popular iPhone. But logic is often in the eye of the beholder, and over the last four decades we have learned we have very different definitions of the term.

My wife says she likes the features on the Droid. I’m not sure how this can be, since she uses so few of them. There is no doubt the phone has amazing capabilities and is better than the iPhone if you are a geek doing complicated things in cyberspace. But my better half is far from geeky, and her trips into cyberspace are more like John Glenn’s orbiting the earth than Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon.

The iPhone is easy, and gives us non-geeks limited geek potential. It allows you to perform a myriad of complicated tasks with relative simplicity of operation. In other words – it’s great for the “older generation” like myself who want things to happen, and aren’t overly interested in exactly why or how they happen. Touch the button, do what it says, and reap the rewards. It’s my kind of phone.

And since my youngest son has an iPhone and an iPad, we are able to “Facetime” with our beautiful granddaughter with a minimal amount of difficulty. No logging in to Skype and fretting because we can’t remember our password and don’t want to store it (because there are no doubt evil villains in the world desperately seeking to gain advantage through illegally obtaining our Skype password). When you live a good distance from those you love, it is a great tool.

And utilizing “The Cloud” is terrific also. Taking a picture on my phone and having it show up on our iPad is amazing, and sharing photo albums in that manner with family is also a wonderful thing. My wife loves the iPad and uses it fairly regularly, although in truth my nearly five-year-old grandson (did I mention his name is William?) is better with it than either one of us.

But she will not join the iPhone family, for reasons which again are crystal clear to her but a bit murky to most of the rest of us. Of course, I have my own theory about why she will not come over to the “I” side. And it has absolutely nothing to do with technology, cost, or ease of operation.

I think she just doesn’t want to have the same phone I have.

In the faraway world she seems to reside in so much of the time, this would be a bad thing. It would be the equivalent of admitting defeat and moving over to the dark side. It would be surrendering a portion of her individuality, and almost admitting I might be right. That – trust me here – is simply not going to happen.

So we argue about it. I tell her the iPhone would enable her to communicate more directly with her son and his family in Baltimore. She tells me the Droid has a windshield wiper that comes across her screen when it is raining out. I have no good reply to that point.

So we have agreed to separate in this regard. We are still sharing custody of the iPad, but I get it on the weekends.

Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and can be emailed at and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.

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