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Michelle's column: Technologically savvy, one step at a time

I’m a little bit excited about my new phone. Now I just have to figure out how to use it.

Monday was my birthday. I worked a half day, then took the late afternoon off so The Beau and I could celebrate.

Well, honestly, “observe” may be more like it. “Celebrate” is a bit extreme for this point in my life. But that’s another topic for another day.

Anyway, I have long been accused, particularly by my coworkers who are all younger than I, of being a bit on the not-so-technologically-savvy side. Case in point: my cell phone. It was three years old. I could get text messages, I could read and post on Facebook. I could even read the status updates on my Twitter account.

But I really couldn’t do anything else. And I was really starting to feel personally outdated.

It’s a lot of identity to hang on a cell phone, I know. I get that. It’s a phone, it’s a device. I’ve got lots of family and friends who love me regardless of what kind of phone I have. I understand that.

On the other hand, I also have a 14-year-old niece who looked at my phone one day and said, in that snarky, sarcastic tone teenagers sometimes use, “Nice.”

I love her dearly. I know she was only looking out for my well-being. And frankly, after so long with that little, decrepit phone, I kind of thought the same thing. “Nice.” But not in a nice way.

The Beau’s phone was worse. Our little dog had eaten his about six weeks after he’d gotten his last one, so he spent the last two years using my dad’s outdated flip phone. The problem was, he was in a two-year contract, and couldn’t get another new phone without buying the phone outright.

Both contracts were up earlier this month, so, for my birthday present, we went to the Mall of America, so we could check out different service providers and do some comparisons. I’d had my eye on a Nokia 1020, because the commercials for the camera on this particular phone wooed me, but I was open to options. The Beau didn’t really care what he got. He just wanted something that wasn’t my dad’s old flip phone.

We weighed our options over a delicious dinner — he had steak, I had sushi — and decided on our new carrier. And what? Oh, I got to pick out my new Nokia 1020.

It was pretty quiet at our house afterward, but for the occasional, “What the …?” Neither of us had ever had smartphones before, so there was a lot of confusion going on in our living room.

Here’s the sad part, though: I woke up at 5:45 a.m. Tuesday, pulled out my new phone, and started putzing on it instead of going back to sleep. I was like a kid on Christmas day, wanting to play with my new toy.

I’m fairly comfortable with my new gadget. I’m not saying I’ve figured out exactly which button to push to make everything work, and I’m pretty sure there will be some more confusion before I figure everything out.

I’m still a far cry from being technologically savvy. My coworkers will attest to that, too. But at least I have a pretty phone that makes it look like I’m not so behind the times.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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