My dad's cell phone is on my family plan. Everybody wanted him to have one because he helps us so much with the kids and he needed to be more reachable when he's not home. He resisted it for as long as possible, but his consulting gig, renovating a high school, eventually required him to have one.
I found him a low frills Motorola 2 years ago. But after a month it barely worked. It turned out somehow the antenna had gotten unscrewed and lost. He denies the phone ever had one, but it did. I screwed it on myself before I gave it to him. Fortunately my cousin Danni had recently upgraded her phone, and the old one was the same model. Voila! I swapped in her old antenna and problem solved.
My dad frequently hears the phone and (audible gasps here, please) flips it open to answer it. And then (oohs and AH's please) I can have a conversation wit him.
In short, it's worked out well.
However, after over 2 years the Motorola is starting to fail. The reception is getting worse and the keys are getting sticky, so I logged onto Cingular's site to find him a new, no frills, sturdy flip phone.
Know what? They don't exist. Almost all the flip phones have cameras, which would result in many pictures of the inside of my father's pocket and likely filling the SIM card and would later cause the phone to malfunction. The buttons are tiny and not appropriated for a far sighted individual.
Why don't they make phones for Babyboomers? They are starting to make big, klunky phones for older seniors, but that's not what my parents need. The Largest Generation is far-sighted and they do NOT use text messaging! They need flip phones they can throw into pockets and big purses. They don't want to have to push buttons to activate and deactivate their phones. Trust me on this. My mother is about the most tech savy 64 year old woman in the world I get almost daily phantom calls from my mother's Blackberry in her purse where I hear nothing but static and Janine Garafolo's voice ranting on Air America in the background. It's like getting calls from a left wing ghost. One that really, really hates the president.
Back to my idea... They need a flip phone with a large text display, with big buttons. You've seen it right? Every time a Baby Boomer's phone rings they frown and hold it as far from their faces as possible so they can see the caller ID. Then they shrug in frustration because by the time they get their reading glasses on, they'll miss the call so they just answer it. Then what if it turns out to be a left wing ghost that hates the president?
So, ladies and gentlemen, what should such a phone be called? The phone with large, simple buttons and a simple text display in a 14 point font? One that's marketed to Baby Boomers who want to stay in constant contact with their friends and families? That phone I am imagining should be called the "BoomerRang"
I know. It's brilliant, isn't it?