Cell phone manufacturers seem to think that everyone is 21 years old and wants to spend their time snapping pictures, writing text messages, listening to music, and watching videos or TV. My response to this is “hogwash!” There are millions of us “seniors” out here who not only don't need these features, but would be hard pressed to figure out how to use them if we did (think about all those VCRs who sat there for years blinking 12:00 over and over).
I have a very cheap, plastic cell phone that I carry mostly for emergencies. It cost just $39.95. While it won't take pictures, I think it will do text messaging. It also has an alarm clock, calendar, calculator, count-down timer, stop watch, voice navigation, a voice memo capability and goodness knows what else.
These features all sound great, except I don't care because I don't use any of them.
How about a cell phone with a few helpful features and a simple, easy-to-use menu?
What I would like is a simple, easy-to-use phone with a few nice features. For example, I like voice dialing. I just holler “call home” and my phone does the rest. I also think this is a much safer way to dial when driving around in traffic then pressing “Contacts, ” and “Search, ” scrolling down to find a contact name and then pressing “Dial. ” This, of course, assumes I remember which buttons to push in what order – and good luck on that.
I don't need glasses when driving but do have a problem with tiny type. So, hey, call phone manufacturers, how about a display with larger numbers and letters for us “vision challenged?
Now, you might say it's okay to have all those features I never use because, hey, the phone cost only $39.95. The problem is that all those features mean more menus and more buttons. I don't want more. It's just too much. What I want is less. I want less options, less menus, less buttons, fewer choices and less stuff to have to remember. Is it too much to ask for less?
How about it cell phone manufacturers? How about a phone for those of us who just want to make phone calls? It doesn't need to be a cheap phone. In fact, I would gladly pay $75 or more for a phone that's simple, straightforward and doesn't require more programming than my old VCR. You could even call it your “Senior Special. ” I wouldn't care. I do know I'm a senior.
For those of you out there who agree with me, take action today. Email your cell phone providers right this minute. Tell them that we don't want more. We demand less!
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Douglas Hanna is a retired marketing executive and the author of numerous articles on HD radio, old time radio and family finances.