For all of you who bury it out in the yard, throw it off a cliff, and flush it down the toilet – and for everyone else too – here are a few tips on what to do right after you’ve purchased a new phone.
#1 Make sure it’s an iPhone
Okay, I’m not serious. Maybe a little.
#2 Use protection
There several ways to go about this.
One is to buy a case that allows you to let a freight train run it over without scratching it. I recommend the Lifeproof case: its waterproof, windproof, drop-proof, and fool-proof. It may even do the dishes for you while you are sleeping. Way better than the Otterbox, which is only water-resistant and is physically impossible to remove from your pocket once you’ve fit it in. Really bad for those days when you “gotta go” and can’t make it to the bathroom on time.
The second way to protect your phone is to get insurance. If you go through Apple, you will basically have to pay for a second phone between the “Care Plan” and the deductible, so you are better off going to your cell carrier who will rip you off even more over the course of 24 months. The last option is to put that money aside so you can swap it out if and when a ninja rips it out of your pocket and makes the nearest elephant stomp it to pieces.
#3 Register your phone
There will come a day when you leave your phone at the park, get robbed by a traveling salesman (and we mean literally), and forget to turn off the iron – yes, all in the same day.
Hoping that your house did not burn down and the salesman did not steal your laptop, there are ways of finding out exactly where you left your phone even if the only place you went today was the park and you “just can’t remember” where you left it.
Purchasing a phone comes with all sorts of instructions to go with it. Most simplify the process by automatically prompting you through all the setup features upon starting it up and also connecting it to your computer. The handy “Find My Phone” app is priceless. Given the thief, if any, hasn’t pulled your SIM card from the phone already, you still should be able to find its GPS location if you access the program on another computer.
This feature supposes you have a computer first; so if not, go get one of those or visit your local library.
#4 Make sure you have all the correct power cables
When Apple switched power cables from 4S to 5, millions of American wallets groaned. It’s true, however, that you don’t want to be driving to Timbuktu and suddenly realize you brought the wrong cable. Car jacks, home jacks, and jack-o-lanterns need to be switched out in some cases. They usually “give” you one with the new phone. The rest is up to you.
A word to the wise: buying a Dollar Store version of the cord you need gets you what you paid for. It will probably ruin your phone and could burn down the rest of the house that leaving the iron on didn’t. Spend the extra 49 bucks to get the real deal.
#5 Transfer your data
Perhaps the most annoying thing next to seeing “lost your numbers, comment and give me yours” on Facebook is actually losing all your data in the first place. Any smart phone buyer or salesperson will help you transfer your contacts from old phone to new – even if it’s from the Stone Age.
Transferring apps, pics, and notes can also be accomplished seamlessly by backing up your data on your computer and reloading it onto your new device. Many cell carriers can assist with this also.
#6 Check your data plan
Especially for those going from rotary dial to smartphone, knowing just how many movies you can watch on Netflix, hours of thumb gaming, and thousands of texts messages you can send is pretty important, especially when your bill comes at the end of the month and you have to foreclose on your mortgage because of your overage charges.
Check. The. Terms. And then adjust for your personal data usage. This goes especially for you “Framily” plan users if you share data and minutes (then multiple houses are getting foreclosed on).
#7 Schedule your next upgrade
That may seem a little hasty, materialistic, and downright snobbish – and let’s be real, it is; but knowing when you’re up for a discounted or entirely “free” (with a two year extension to your contract, your first born son, and the blood of a virgin) new phone is something to be excited about and not miss that exciting opportunity! [More exclamation points otherwise not grammatically allowed.]
#8 Explore new possibilities
Life is all about going from the known to the unknown. It’s about time you did that with your phone. While there’s nothing like the tried and true mainstay apps, trying out the latest and greatest, even if you have to cough up a couple a’ bucks can be well worth it. Go out there: ask your friends what they are using and explore “top sellers” and stuff that makes your life easier.
#9 Enjoy it!
It’s your new phone. Flash it around, text in public a lot, leave it on someone else’s desk at work – “Who’s new iPhone 5s is this?” “Oh, that’s mine, sorry.” The world is full of “new phone snobs” and now you are one of them. Congrats! Now have fun with it.
#10 Put it down
I added this one post-outline, especially since it was Memorial Day while I was writing this.
Put the phone down. There are a million other things to do and many can’t be done effectively while getting interrupted by your handy leg-numbing device. Flush it, go outside, fly a kite, ride a horse, swim across the English Channel; discover a new favorite hiking spot, ice cream place, music store; find a new cool bar, meet someone new, go on an adventure.
Life is full of beautiful things to do without your phone. Never forget that.
A former Internet Marketing Manager, Joe Cunningham is a dad, a screenwriter, playwright and all-around adventurer. He blogs for Kinani Blue, charms Google at Terakeet and enjoys running through the city. You can follow him on Twitter at @IndianaJoe77 or he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.