My current phone is a two-year-old HTC One M8. I actually take pretty good care of it, which is a significant improvement over my college days when the two smartphones I had back then endured a litany of abuses at the hand of my usually drunken self. Throughout my ownership of this current phone, I have managed to avoid dropping it into a toilet, having it run over by a car, and other calamities that would otherwise shorten or outright end its useful life. It’s embarrassing how proud I am of this fact, but I keep telling myself that it’s all part of growing up.
Like most smartphones, mine is not without its problems despite how well I take care of it. The latest issue with it involves the charging port wearing out to the point that the phone is unable to detect when a charger is plugged into it. This prevents the battery from charging, which in turn prevents me from using the phone at all. As you can imagine, this presents a slight problem.
Luckily, I have a reliable backup that I keep waiting in the wings: a flip phone. It was the first cell phone I ever had, and ever since upgrading to various different smartphones I’ve always kept it around in case of an emergency. Any time my primary phone goes bunk or I do something stupid to put it out of commission, I give a call to the cellular bullpen to bring out the flipper and it always comes through in the clutch.
While today’s smartphones are delicate fragilities that need to be encased in a suit of armor to protect them from making slight contact with any surface, flip phones at built like brick shithouses. Mine has suffered similar water damage and drops that my previous smartphones have and it’s still kickin’. Hell, one time I kicked my flip phone across a room to prove how durable it was. Despite all that it’s still chugging along and showing no signs of major wear and tear.
I’ve also never had problems with the flip phone’s functionality, mostly because it only has two functions: calling and texting. This thing is so primitive that I don’t even have Snake on it. This is especially convenient for battery power preservation because you only have to charge it for like an hour to reach full power and it lasts approximately a week. Also, every time I use it I am pleasantly reminded of the beautiful art of T9 texting. Not to brag, but I can still T9 text flawlessly with my eyes closed. That takes skill and builds character. You won’t get from using a QWERTY keyboard on your touchscreen with predictive text activated like these soft millennials do nowadays.
There’s also the look that comes with using one. Whipping out a flip phone certainly draws eyes to me because I’m probably the only person most people have seen use one in almost a decade. I like to think it gives me an air of importance because the only people who have flip phones these days were likely issued them by their work. There is also nothing more badass than flipping the phone open and closed in a smooth one-handed motion, especially for an incoming call. Instead of awkwardly looking for a button to push or swipe on a smartphone screen like some kind of goober, you just flip that bad boy open, immediately begin the conversation, and end it with a quick flip down without saying good-bye. If people see that you have that motion down pat, they’ll know that you’re closing deals. Welcome to Closer City, population: me.
None of this is to say that I’m some sort of hipster waxing nostalgic for flip phones. To quote the band Say Anything, I will not be “diving face-forward into an antiquated past” to embrace this inferior technology and use it full-time. In fact, I eagerly await my smartphone getting fixed so I can get back to using it for important things like sending pictures of the number 69 on Snapchat and burying my face in my Twitter feed to avoid socializing with my friends. But it’s oddly comforting to know that I’ll always have a reliable backup phone that’ll probably last as long as Hostess Twinkies do. Sometimes you have to flip back to the past to really appreciate what we have today. .