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I’ve held my own against the smartphone/iPhone tide. I’ve clung to my little flip-phone (aka burner phone) for eight years. Then this happened:

A few weeks ago, I went to an event alone and saw one of kid #3’s friends. Friend of #3 had colored her hair the most amazing shade of blue in honor of an anime character from Persona 4 whom they both like. I said, “I love your hair! #3 will be sorry she wasn’t here to see it!”

Friend of #3: (laughing) “Just take a picture with your phone.” (Poses.)

Me: “Ummm, I don’t think my phone has a camera.” (Check to be sure.) “Nope, no camera.”

Friend of #3: (Look of horrified teenage pity shot my way.)

And last week we (#1, #3, and I) went to the mall, an awful enough experience on its own, right? #3 wanted to go to a huge candy store while #1 and I went to JCPenney. No problem, we agreed to meet her at the benches right outside the sweet shop in 30 minutes.

You know what happened, of course. What always happens when you violate the first rule of suburban survival (never split up at the mall).  She wasn’t there. This was partly due to the fact that there were a total of three cashiers in the entirety of Penney’s 20,000 square foot store and we ran late. But still.

I tried calling #3 on her phone. Got voice mail. Waited five minutes. Got the brilliant idea to text her. On my flip-phone without a Qwerty keyboard.  Oh heavenly days, it took me almost 10 minutes to tap out the following:

were at candy store where r u

It was almost physically painful to hit send. I couldn’t find the cap button, much less any punctuation whatsoever. And by the end of that missive, I completely understood why it’s acceptable to use “r” for “are” and “u” for “you.” I was exhausted.

We reunited eventually and I ordered a refurbished iPhone 4 as soon as we got home. Apparently, I do have some actual use for a phone that does more than make and receive voice calls.

So I’ll be joining the iCrowd as soon as it ships and I figure out how to work the damn thing.

For the record, in her first month as a smartphone owner, kid #3 sent and received 2,237 text messages. I have no idea how she communicated before.