I bought a new phone.

The process began about a month ago, while I was still in the throes of moving. My phone company, which is in no way mine, but rather the property of the Fortune 100 company, Telephone and Data Systems, sent me several messages, reminders, and hard copy letters in the mail to let me know I was eligible for a brand new iPhone “at no cost.”

I took precious packing, sorting, and discarding time, spending six hours in the cellphone store waiting for information to be shuttled from one small computer to another. I used to call them pocket computers, but more on that later.

We were almost done when I noticed something in the small print of the paperwork I’d been handed. The $400 cost of the phone would appear on my monthly bills, and remain there for 30 months. At the end of that time, if I’d been good and paid my bills on time, that charge — the cost of my phone — would be removed from the account.

By then, of course, the phone would no longer be new.

The other thing I noticed, just before signing off on this two-and-a-half-year commitment, was the new phone has no headphone jack. “Everything works on bluetooth,” the sales agent told me when I pointed this out.

“Not exactly,” I replied.

My 2010 Prius, which rattles and shakes a bit after 200,000 miles of travel but still has some life in it, predates Bluetooth. There’s a place to plug in a headphone jack that allows me to hear my GPS and talk on the phone, while still focusing my body’s attention on the road. It’s not state of the art, but it works for me.

“You can get an adapter,” the sales agent said. Suffice it to say, I felt pushed. I decided to put the decision aside until I felt more settled in the new home where boxes of the past still waited for me.

Over the next few weeks, I realized I really wanted to keep my old phone. It does everything I think a phone should do, plus a bunch of stuff I don’t care about. Other than the annoying pressure to do things the Apple way rather than choose the applications I prefer, after almost a decade of iPhones that seems like forever, I’d made peace with that computer in my pocket.

But 5G — the fifth generation of cellphone development — is coming, and the old ways must stand aside.

One of my kids suggested I switch to a pre-paid plan, so the next time I went into the cellphone office I asked about that. That option would allow me to buy a much less expensive piece of hardware and, at first, appeared to cost about half as much. But then we looked at my data usage and the occasional need to turn my phone into a hotspot.

I went back to the display of cellphones, looking at options that would work with my old plan and still give me that archaic headphone/aux cord socket.

Three years ago, as citizens were preparing to elect a Congress that would either affirm or deny Mr. Trump’s agenda, I made a short video. A recent college graduate, while in school I dressed in undergraduate style. For me, that meant overalls and cargo pants. Like any good 21st century student, I had a pocket computer, and my clothes were chosen to keep this essential tool handy.

As 2018 rolled to into its final quarter, the election and the coming holidays occupied our screens. Looking at the rhetoric, the division, and the polarization of the issues, it occurred to me that what was needed was a more basic approach to the decisions facing us, something that might put us all, more or less, on the same page.

I created The March for Pockets (https://youtu.be/-c9tj-xrC-g) based on the following idea: before you fill your mind with the issues that others think you should care about, and the solutions others have determined to be best, walk an aisle with someone else’s views.

Head to a store that sells clothes labeled for more than one gender, my short video suggests. To make it more fun, bring along friends of more than one gender. Go into the various departments and, as you go, slip your clean hands into the pockets of the clothes on display. See how deep you can dig. You will find a pattern that might inform your perspective on a number of concerns.

When I made the video, my iPhone was about the same size as any other cellphone. The phone I bought last week is 30-percent larger than that — with an equally large chance of not fitting into any pocket I wear. It has bells and whistles that truly annoy me. I am grateful to my children for their help, after that big dinner last month, in reducing the challenges of living more slowly than the overzealous minds of hardware and software engineers, gamers and streamers.

Capitalism tells us that markets are driven by our demand. But I never asked that women’s pants be adorned with useless pockets. I never asked for Bluetooth. I never asked for a bigger cellphone that would do more than I care to, often in the middle of me using the phone to do something I want. Like making a call.

Experience tells me that the 5G network that is now in its infancy will — long before the end of the decade and well ahead of the day I start to like this new phone as much as I did the old one — be as obsolete as the 3G system that is being forced out by the current digital generation of streaming and speed. Before I’ve figured out how to carry it, the phone that was made to show the videos I don’t care about, and play the games that occupy our children’s minds will seem small.

I guess it is time to look for pants with pockets big enough for my tablet.

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