How Social Media Saved the World

It cannot be understated that we are living through a history-making difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling victim to a global pandemic and everyone is else either staying home or acting brazenly stupid. It shouldn't be surprising, though, that one of the upshots of all of this is that there has been a rise in meme-making.

First defined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 as a cultural idea that takes on a life of its own and is passed down through generations much the same way that genes are, the word "meme" has itself taken on a life of its own to define pictures made and passed around on the Internet that often lampoon various aspects of life. I don't think I've seen any new memes in the past few days that weren't about the COVID-19 epidemic. But this isn't the first time a global catastrophe has been made fun of in what could be described as a "childish" fashion. In fact, one of the memes I've seen compared the uptick in Cor…

The Dead Phone Chronicles: Part 4

[Previously on The Dead Phone Chronicles]
And now the exciting conclusion...

After my previous writing, I was a little bummed that I had to continue waiting for my tax refund. I didn't think it'd be enough to cover the whole cost of my phone, but it would at least take care of a good chunk of it. And then halfway through the week I learned that what I thought would be a $300 purchase was actually going to be more than double that. See, what I hadn't be counting on was the fact that I was looking at the new or renewed contract pricing when I came up with the $300 figure. The full price of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was actually $650. Which would put my 6 week journey closer to 13 weeks. Unless I could find a benefactor.

It's kind of interesting how in America we let you have the phone for cheap up front as long as you sign a two-year contract. Everywhere else in the world you have to pay full price for your phone and pay for service by the month. I guess in a land where capitalism is king, we are slaves to contracts that seem cool up front, but really just keep you shackled.
I was mildly depressed/shocked when I found out the actual price of my phone. Until I talked with my friend, Joy. Besides being an all-around awesome person in general, she gained more awesome points by being worried about my late-night walks home without a phone. After talking about my predicament for a while, she agreed to use some of her own student loan money to help me get my phone as long as I repaid her as promptly as possible. This was the best news I had gotten in quite a long time.

She sent me $600 through PayPal on Thursday night (I, of course, already had the rest). Friday I waited until Zack got off of work so he could give me a ride to the Verizon store. When we got there, we were greeted by one of the nicest representatives/salesmen I've ever encountered. And I don't mean the kind of fake nice that salesmen put on to impress you and sell more stuff, I mean a genuine kind of nice. The kind that knew that I knew what I wanted and what I was talking about. The kind that didn't try to sell me anything extra. The kind that gave me a huge discount.

While I was at the counter, one of the other salesmen pointed at something at the screen and when it was time to swipe my card, the register read only $200 (plus tax)! Here I was worrying about going the whole summer without a phone when, on my own merit, I could have come and gotten this discount in only one more week! Needless to say, I was ecstatic about not having that huge debt to a friend over my head. I still needed some of her money to cover what I didn't have, but by the end of the day she had $450 back in her PayPal account, and I had a brand new phone that's Google to the core.
Such beauty ne'er defined, save only in mine eyes!
I never asked what the discount was for. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. From then 'till now I've been playing around with my phone, getting the settings just right and fixing up the layout of the homescreens. I have to say, this is far and away the best phone I have ever had. And all it really took was a few weeks of waiting after the drowning death of my Droid X.

It's been a little over a month. It was difficult, but I made it through without a phone. There were moments of jealousy, moments of depression (mild, mind you), moments of feeling out of the loop and tethered to a location. But I suffered through and came out of it with a better phone at a better deal than I had ever expected. I guess it just goes to show you that with a little bit of patience, and the love of some close friends, anything is possible. Now I have to go check in at my house on Foursquare... because I forgot to do that before starting this post.

Saved in total: $650; 325% of $200 final total.