President Obama struggled to give up his Blackberry after he took office. I remember laughing when I heard that.
It's really no laughing matter.
It's been five days, 14 hours and 23 minutes since my cellphone was taken away. I left it in the pocket of my shorts last Friday while we were at the beach, fishing. It swims with the fishes. (I always wanted to write that in a column.)
I tried to give it CPR.
I tried to dry it off.
I even tried mouth to mouth.
We opted for soaking it in a bag of rice overnight, but it was too late. She was gone.
After a day and a half of wrangling online and over the phone with the carrier, a new phone was on the way — and I was a couple of Benjamins lighter.
So what did I learn from all this?
1. Keep the phone at the house or hotel unless you're expecting a call from a pregnant wife or about a dying loved one. Bring a real camera if you want to take pictures.
2. Get insurance for your smartphone.
3. I don't really need a smartphone.
Over the past year, I've become addicted. The phone is like a cigarette. I needed to know in my mind that one was there when and if I needed it.
I never left the house without it or a charger. I rarely could drive to work (or home even) without calling someone — a reporter, a family member, an old pal.
I loved my Bluetooth — for safety and convenience sakes.
I also became a texting fanatic. I was almost as bad as a high school girl. I was using emoticons, smiling and laughing as I texted. I got an unlimited plan, a family and friends plan, a five-faves plan and a wont-somebody-just-text-me-every-10-minutes plan. The phone was the last thing I looked at before I conked out and it was the first thing I looked at when I woke up.
I was sick. I didn't even recognize myself in the reflection of the 3 1/8-inch screen anymore.
Now don't get me wrong. Smartphones are amazing. In my opinion, they are the some of the best inventions of this technological age.
Cellphones in general are a journalist's best friend. You can call from the scene instead of searching for a pay phone. Reporters (and even crazy-eyed Tri-State editors) can send in photos and video from the scene that instantly can be put online.