My best friend of the last two decades, Charlese, and I have three things in common: our shared birth month, our shared birth year, and our love of puzzles (dissectology). People who enjoy puzzles are called dissectologists.
My Fave Puzzles
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Technology and Gen Xers turning 50
On my recent birthday, I opened a gift from Charlese, a t-shirt that read “Hello Fifty!”. I wear this shirt a lot because it is my favorite color, purple and I love the sentiment.
Accepting this new t-shirt into my wardrobe rotation was easy. However, accepting new technology is harder for me. In the early 2000s, I had my first cell phone from Radio Shack ™. Does anyone remember Radio Shack?
It’s been a struggle upgrading from that dumb phone in 2003 to the feature-rich iPhone I use today. According to pewresearch.org, persons born between 1965 and 1980 are Generation X.
Gen Xers like Charlese and I saw our formative years shaped by the technology of AOL dial-up internet, MTV (Music Television), and blogs.
Apple ™ was in its seminal years of revolutionizing how we communicate and years away from the iPhone we know today.
In my childhood home, the phone was mounted on the wall in the kitchen. In the 1980s, phone companies offered basic local phone service and upgraded services including call waiting and caller ID with your monthly plan. Back then, we bought calling cards to make long-distance calls to family and friends out of state and internationally. The closest thing we had to the smartphone of the future were pagers.
For all the young people, pagers were an early version of a text message. Doctors and urban entrepreneurs used them. You would make a phone call to the pagers and type in a numeric message or number for the recipient to call. A pager had only one simple tone, unlike our iPhones which can play over 40 notification tones for when a new call or text is received. Since your pager was not also a phone, you had to use a landline in your home, office, or a pay phone that cost 25 cents to call the person back.
First Cell Phones
Technology advances run at the speed of light turning the telephone from a basic form of communication into a handheld computer. Gen Xers like me have had to make many mental shifts to use all the technology has to offer. At times, we struggle. Twenty years ago, I went from a basic cell phone with its simple keypad, a talk button, and an end button to basically having a computer in my pocket.
Over time, I slowly came to see my phone as an ally, not an adversary. With each new feature built into my smartphone, I shifted to relying on the device a little bit more. So, Hello iPhone!
I keep in contact with my loved ones and friends using my iPhone to call and text. I can order takeout and groceries on my phone, as well as shop on Amazon, work remotely using Google and specialty apps, and FaceTime with my daughter and grandson.
If you are a Gen Xer like me, or an earlier generation, your biggest struggle with technology might be learning how to use the new features constantly coming out on your phone. Especially as you periodically upgrade models, which Apple ™ takes care of periodically
forcing convincing us to do.
Tips for Gen X to keep up with new features
Here are some tips to help you keep up with your iPhone’s new features:
- Go to Settings > Notifications.
- Tap Tips below Notification Style, then turn on Allow Notifications.
Phone Apps for Gen Xers
Phone apps that allow Generation Xers to be tactile include:
- The app Night Sky ™ is an interactive guide to enjoying the stars.
- Portal ™ offers a host of nature soundscapes to enjoy.
Apps that put you in a good mood to explore on your iPhone are:
- 10% Happier ™
- Calm ™
- Shine: Calm Anxiety ™
Save Money When You Upgrade your iPhone for Gen Xers
When I upgrade my iPhones, I utilize Amazon’s ™ trade-in program to sell my old phone. I typically receive $40-$55 to trade in my old phones to Amazon. Here is how it works: You input the details of your phone:
- IMEI number
- Storage size (64gb, 128gb, etc.)
- the condition of the phone
Amazon generates an estimate for the trade-in value and you have the option of receiving the trade-in value once received or the option to have the phone returned to you if you don’t agree with the final trade-in amount.
iPhone Accessories for Gen Xers
Beyond the functionality built into your iPhone and the apps you can add on, there are amazing accessories to personalize your iPhone’s style and make it more enjoyable to use. I have put together a list of must-have iPhone accessories for the Gen Xer.
Amazon Wish List – ATLC Cell Phone for Self-Care
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