A Trip Down the (Cellphone) Memory Lane

4:30:00 AM

I just scanned a listicle entitled "Reasons Why the Nokia 3310 Was Man's Greatest Invention" and it got me thinking about the good old days when it was not yet a necessity to have smartphones, AND we were totally okay with it. Then, it led me to the sad realization that the first time I had a cellphone was already 14 years ago! (Holy. How is it even possible that I'm already this old? I don't feel old!)

So I thought, why not recount the cellphone models I have used throughout these years. Instead of using the actual years, I'll just use the Academic/Work years so it won't look that bad. K?

1.) Grade 5-Grade 6: The Nokia 5110


When one classmate got a cellular phone, many of us wanted to have one as well. How can you not want one? You can send text messages and play ringtones. Naturally, everyone else got their own phones, for the fear of missing out on having a Snake Top Score. That's semi-private school in an island province for you. (Previous statement is not meant to generalize but this is the case I argued as a child to my parents during Polly Pocket, Tamagochi, Vtech days. Although in fairness to my good parents, they did not always let me have what I wanted. It did, however, paved way for me to be good at rationalizing and presenting my arguments, so counting that as a win!). I remember the prepaid card then costing around Php 500 at minimum. Hindi pa uso ang auto-load noon.


2.) 1st Year-2nd Year High School: The Nokia 3210 and The Nokia 3310


I'm putting both on the same timeline because I was simultaneously using both. I switched into a public Science High School and for some reason, I have successfully argued to my parents that I "needed" to have not one, but two cellphones. (I do my presentation of arguments during dunner, when we are all seated, usually with visual aids or other props. The same goes for when I'm asking for an allowance increase.) Such a brat, I was.

3.) Last quarter of 3rd Year High School: The Nokia 8310

Remember that really hip Nokia commercial where they first introduced a phone having a radio? I still remember it but I couldn't find a Youtube video. This commercial first came out a week before my birthday. As another proof that I was a spoiled brat, I talked my father into buying me this phone EVEN THOUGH I'M ALREADY USING TWO PHONES AT THE SAME TIME. God, I was such an insufferable brat. I currently want to slap my 15-year old self in the face. Then, to make it all worse for my ultra nice parents, while I was onstage during a folk dance competition, SOMEONE STOLE SAID PHONE FROM MY BAG. Realizing how bad the situation was, I was crying while telling my mother, who is a Chemistry teacher in my high school, by the way. This did not stop her from giving me an earful in front of all my teachers, which I fully deserved.

4.) 4th Year High School: The Nokia 2100

As punishment, my parents wanted to teach me a lesson by giving me a relatively low tech phone to the Nokia 8310. It was a very basic phone and with nothing really notable to write about. During these times, I was active in church ministries, which eventually led to me seeing my bratty ways. This phone's simplicity bode really well with my then improved personality.

5.) 1st Year College in Metro Manila: The Sony Ericsson K608i

Since I was a good girl and for doing well in my acads and exra-curriculars, my parents decided I was ready for an upgrade so they bought me a camera phone. It was perfect since entering college in a different environment from my safe haven, Palawan, is totally beyond my comfort level. But because of this phone, I felt secure in knowing that I can keep the memories of the challenges I face. This is the phone that captured my first photo wearing a 2-pc bikini (As shallow as this seems, it was memorable opinion-changer for me. I was a lot insecure about not having boobs back then so I bought a pair and tried them on. This is when I first figured I still looked okay even though my body's not perfect.) This is also the phone that first captured my jumphots/scorpion poses on the beach, in timer mode. Let's just say this phone was pivotal in having my now 9-yr collection of jumpshots.

Note: I was using this phone simultaneously with my Nokia 2100. This time I actually needed two phones because my parents back in the province were on a different cellular network than I was. Having two phones was actually cheaper. Eventually, the Nokia 2100 got pickpocketed from my backpack in SM North EDSA during that one fateful Sunday when I came from Quiapo not feeling well. I remember someone bumped onto me when I was in the escalator, and voila!

6.) 3rd Year College: The iPhone 1st Gen aka The iPhone 2G

I went to Bangkok for vacation deciding whether I want a Sony Ericsson P990 (?) or an iPhone. When I saw the iPhone at the gadget center of a mall in Bangkok, that's when I realized I was in love. This phone was the game changer. You see, back when I was still a brat, I always wanted a new phone, something that's updated. But when I got the iPhone, it changed the way I looked at phones. I used this phone for more than 3 years. It is still alive until now, but it's not with me, which reminds me that I need to get it from the borrower ASAP. (Update: Got it back! It's still working and ithere with me in Singapore) I could babble for some more but the bottom line is that I loved having this phone. I loved telling people how much I loved this phone until they either get sick of hearing me or they'd actually also buy one for them since they got convinced.

7.) 2nd Year Working - Current: The iPhone 4

Due to the fast innovation of technology, my iPhone seemed to have slowed down over time. But around that time, I was already receiving my own salary. (I stopped receiving money from my parents from the first month I received my first salary as a working young professional. It's their way of teaching me to be independent, and I love them for it.) Since I, alone, was responsible for budgeting my money, I cannot afford to upgrade my phone without dying of starvation. This is when my then boyfriend offered to get me the iPhone 4. Of course, I said yes! We just got back together and this was kinda his peace offering. There was peace alright!

I still haven't upgraded this phone because similar to during my first iPhone, I do not have the funds to buy a new phone. Let's just say I picked a 10-day vacation abroad over a new iPhone, and I do not regret a single thing. (Update: This phone got lost Christmas Eve of 2014. I was really bummed out about it because it contained a recent out of the country photos and videos. It was also very good in taking photos.)

8) 6th Year Working: The iPhone 5c


For a while after my iPhone 4 got lost, I was using my iPhone 2G (see #6) for a couple of months. It was only in February when I decided I really needed a new one. Because traveling was taking a toll on my monthly budget, the iPhone 5c was the cheapest iPhone I can afford. And before you say why not choose another brand. It really had to be an iPhone. I tried using my father's spare Samsung smartphone during the last week of 2014 in Palawan but I really couldn't figure it out.

This phone served me really well, until it got destroyed when I fell from the top bunk bed in a Cebu guesthouse during Sinulog. Ang kulay ng buhay pls!

I can maybe have it checked in the shops here but if it's too expensive, then maybe I could just let this one go.

9.) 7th Year Working: The iPhone 6 (current)


Dammit I should have used years (e.g., 2014, 2015, 2016) because "7th Year Working" sounds really, idk, old. Again, I don't feel old. Yet. Going back...

I moved here in Singapore and one of my first big purchases was this phone. I had a good amount of backpay received from my previous employment and I needed a postpaid line so I could open a bank account here. And again, it wasn't really a choice. Among all the phone brands and models in this postpaid tier, it's only the iPhone 6 I could justify paying a huge amount of cash out.

The phone is working great. Among all the iPhones I had, it has, understandably, the best camera. It has a huge storage space at 64GB, which was a big leap from my 8GB and 16GB previous iPhones. All in all, I love the phone. I even joke that it's not possible for me to date someone who's not an iPhone user because it just won't make any sense. It's a joke but I really love this brand. I don't see my opinion on it changing in the near future.

...

Aside from reminiscing the last 16 years of my life thru my mobile devices, there's another great takeaway from doing this.

This list showed me that no matter how many choices are there, when I find the brand I can really commit myself to, I'll straight up stick to that one. (Until it breaks down on me or gets lost) No, this is not a hugot line, but just a loyal iPhone customer here.

It is also a story of how an only child learned how to be independent and be a LOT less spoiled. See how I, arguably, became more mature when it came to material things? Right now, if I'm going to choose from having the most updated gadgets and life-changing experiences, it will always be the experiences I'd opt for, every single time. You see, gadgets come and go but these memories will always be mine.

What's your cellphone story?

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