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Use of smart phone not as clean as the dumb one I washed
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I killed my cell phone (it was a dumb phone) by washing it in the washing machine. It was in my pants pocket, and I forgot. The bad thing is this is the second time that I have done that.

I had to email relatives and friends to tell them what had happened and ask them for their cell numbers so that I could enter them into my new phone as apparently if your old phone won’t turn on, nothing can be gotten from the old phone.

One person, who was nice about it, asked how I managed to wash a cell phone in the washing machine. When I explained, he said he was always diligent about emptying his pockets before he surrenders his pants to the washing machine. My husband does too. It is a man thing I think. But ladies are not so vigilant as we carry pocket books and our important stuff is not in our pant pockets (unless you forget as I did).

I was talked into going to a big box store and getting an iPhone for less than a dollar. Of course, I had to upgrade my cell phone service for data so it really was not much of a bargain. But who can resist the urge to get something for nothing? Not me apparently. I had planned on just going to my cell carrier and getting another dumb phone, but even my husband, who can’t even scroll on the computer and has a dumb phone himself, urged me to get a smart phone.

But I am beginning to have buyer’s remorse.

I have had the same ring tone on my phone for as long as I have had a phone. I want the same ring tone back. But apparently that is not an easy request to fill.

The iPhone doesn’t accept my carrier’s ring tones and only uses ring tones from iTunes. I think. I might be getting confused here. Anyway, the ring tone I have always had is not available from iTunes, again I think.

I e-chatted with a representative from my cell phone company who after 20 or so minutes told to me to go to iTunes. I e-chatted with someone there for another 20 or 30 minutes over one simple question. How can I get this tune as my ring tone. Apparently, according to the representative I can’t.

I asked to e-chat with his manager who left me waiting for 10 minutes while he reviewed my e-chat. He then said he understood that I wanted to download a certain song for my ring tone. He told me how to do it.

I followed his instructions and did download the song, but it is just on my phone for me to play whenever I want. It is not my ring tone.

I went back to e-chat with yet another iTunes representative for another 30 minutes or so. I began this odyssey at about 5:30 p.m. and didn’t finish until 10 p.m. This representative said it was possible to take that tune and make it a ring tone. She sent me to two web sites that were supposed to explain how. They made my head hurt.
I e-mailed a friend who lives and dies by the latest phones and asked her to solve my dilemma. She sent me an e-mail that listed, I think, 20 steps.

I e-mailed her back and told her I just laughed at the idea that I could do what she was talking about. There were  things in there like sync your phone with your computer. What?

If these smart phones are so wonderful that they should be able to do everything except slice bread, I do not understand why it is so difficult for me to get one song as my ring tone. My cell phone carrier offers it as a ring tone. But iTunes doesn’t. Then, as I explained in one of my e-chats, if you don’t offer it, why can’t I have it from my carrier?

Also, on my dumb phone I had one song for all my calls except my husband and another song for him. I don’t think my smart phone can do that without more steps then I can manage. I don’t think my dumb phone was all that dumb.

I am struggling with all this and my husband asks if I have talked to Siri yet. Aaah.

Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be contacted at