I can vouch that flip phone anxiety, a sense of self-consciousness about owning a woefully outdated piece of technology, is very real.
A few years ago, I somehow got a girl's number but was so self-conscious about my flip phone that I pulled out my work Blackberry -- yeah, sooo much cooler -- and put the digits in there. Then we got upgraded Blackberries that week at work, but I forgot to swap her number into my real phone first. My potential soulmate was lost forever because of smartphone envy (and because I am an insecure fool).
The flip phone struggle is even more pronounced in this golden age of the iPhone and Android. So what's a single person with a flip phone to do? One guy who is stuck with a retro device hit up Quora, the wiki-based Q&A advice site, to find out.
He asked, "How can I get girls' phone numbers and not feel like a loser when I have a flip phone?" The user is in his 20s and hanging onto the old-school cell because money's tight. But while the phone may help his bank account, it has sapped him of all confidence when it comes to courting women, he said.
The ensuing thread quickly grew to 93 responses (and counting), which illustrates the range of emotions that a simple discussion about our cell phones can trigger.
Some of the responses were incredulous:
Some were totally reassuring:
Some were trolling:
There's no right answer to the guy's question. In a few years, we're sure to witness a revival of aughts trends, so he may as well hold onto that flip phone for the inevitable comeback. But this simple question has demonstrated how much stock we place in our phones.
For better or worse, whether we're conscious of it or not, these devices have become an extension of our personalities. They affect how we judge others. So while cell phones make life much more convenient, they also add a layer to something like exchanging numbers -- as if that issue weren't complicated and muddy enough already.