Now that hands-free cell phone use is the law for Minnesota drivers, I was faced with a choice: A) buy a new car with built-in Bluetooth technology or B) retrofit the one I have. I have no quarrel with the intent of the new law, but my mind boggles at how awkward the retrofitting is.
I have an old car.
My 2011 RAV4 is a prehistoric gem with only 75,000 miles on it. Definitely pre-Bluetooth technology. Until now that wasn’t an issue, because I seldom used my cell phone while driving. When I made or received calls, I connected my phone to my old-fashioned earbuds (the kind with wires) and stuck the buds in my ears. Simple hands-free calling. Decent quality sound. Yay!
Now that’s unlawful, so I had to get a phone holder. The several articles I consulted pointed out that attaching a holder to a vent is hard in a RAV4. Besides, I don’t want to block the AC during Minnesota summers or the heat during Minnesota winters.
My best bet was a holder that attaches to the CD slot. Mmmmk. I don’t play CDs anymore. I listen to the radio, not even Sirius. Or I use the oldest iPod you’ve ever seen for music and podcasts. The Smithsonian museum probably has one in their ancient technology display. Originally, I was saving all that memory on my phone for photos, not music.
That’s only half of it. I also needed a Bluetooth speakerphone thingy to clip onto the visor.
I have an old brain.
Retrofitting the car was step one. My brain needs rewiring, too. In the olden days, cell phones were for talking, iPods were for music, and Garmin was for directions. I do realize that my iPhone 8 can do all of that—in one delightful device—but I have an unreasonable and balky reaction to being bossed around by devices even when they’re trying to help me. Until now, I hadn’t taken advantage of all that seamless wonderfulness.
Now, if I want to call while driving, I’ll need to tell Siri (Dang! I never use Siri, so I’ll have to learn that.) How long before Siri mistakes, “Call Margo S.,” for “Call Martha Stewart,” who I’m pretty sure doesn’t want to talk to me.
For music, I’ll have to reach under the cell phone holder to press radio buttons or convince my elderly iPod to talk to the Bluetooth speakerphone. (Oh wait, my beloved iPod doesn’t have Bluetooth capability, so it and the speakerphone aren’t friends. Sigh.)
It’s 2019. Time to rewire my brain and how I approach calls, music, and directions. I bought the devices and they work–sort of–but they certainly aren’t simpler.
Maybe I just should have bought a new, fully-equipped car!
I keep my phone’s ringer and dinger turned off most of the time…and rarely reach for it in the car…but do appreciate the nudge to change my antiquated ways when it comes to tech in my car. Realize I’ve had my new-used car for nearly a year and still don’t know how to switch from AM to FM. Grrr! Though am enjoying the silence that comes from leaving the radio turned off.
Driving can be an oasis of quiet!
Sometimes progress comes with a whole lot of pain! I hope you do manage to get your cell phone into a hands free mode for your car, because trust me, getting a new car isn’t going to make things any simpler. They come with a whole set of challenges all their own!
I’m more of a dinosaur than you are – at least you have all those devices and know how to use them. I’ve never ‘needed’ them, so never got them. Which makes me wonder, will I ever?
Well, if you don’t use a cell phone, you’ll never have to deal with hands-free laws ! 😉