I'm starting to regret giving my dad a cell phone

It's 2019, and my dad still mostly lives as if it's 1980. Though he's been slowly, slowly, trying to learn how to use a laptop, that's his only modern luxury. Seeing as how my dad is...well...my dad, with all the quirks involved in his personality, I decided to grant him an upgrade to the 1990s: a cellular phone. It's a bulky, old school flip phone, with nothing more than the ability to text and call. It arrived in the mail, and my dad excitedly opened the packaging as if it was Christmas. However, I underestimated the difficulties of flip phones, as apparently, they are a nightmare to people unfamiliar with them. These are the adventures of dad and his phone.

Dad: How does it work...?
Me: Okay, so you press the numbers, yeah? Then press the big green button.
Dad: What is a green!?
Me: Uhm...it's the one with the picture of a phone...
Dad: [holds RED power button]
Phone: [powers off]
Dad: Oh no...I killed him! Phone is the dead!

Dad: How do I stop the phone call?
Me: Just close it, and it hangs up for you.
Dad: [loudly slams phone shut]
Dad: Ooooh this is fun!
Dad: [proceeds to open and close his phone for fun]

A fateful week after obtaining his phone, he ran into his biggest trial yet. Alarms. Apparently, he keeps setting alarms. I don't know how, I don't know why. But he's set the loudest alarms on the face of the earth. I woke up at 6AM to see my dad start wrapping his phone in blankets, trying to muffle it. Then, he left it on my desk, waiting for me to fix it. Dad said "the phone has been crying for hour. Why won't it quiet? Please kill it!". 10 alarms had been set, on accident, to go off every 30 minutes. Even after I thought I disabled them all, it kept playing the alarm tune. For days, Dad would excitedly try to answer it, thinking it was a person. When he realized it was the alarm again, he would wrap it in a blanket, and leave it on my desk for me to fix. How. Why. Pls.

Dad: Help...I charge him all night, and he won't listen to me!
Me: What?
Dad: I made sure he would be happy with electric! But it won't do the calling!
Mom: What are you even saying?
Dad: Jeez, don't you people know the English? Poor phone is upset with me!
Me: [presses power button]
Dad: Phone friend alive again! Magic!!!

Dad: People tell me to do tax, they like the tax more than talking.
Me: What do you mean by tax?
Dad: You know! Your age people do it all the time, tic tac tac tac! Always pressing the phone!
Me: ...texts?
Dad: Yes! Tax!

Me: Alright, so you press the buttons, and they all have little letters on them. Don't be discouraged if it's difficult. Texting on these is really hard.
Dad: I will learn!
*two days later*
Uncle: Please, please, please tell your father to stop trying to text people. He keeps spamming me with things that don't make sense.
Uncle: Most of them are just the letter A repeated over and over...
Dad: I am taxing the good!

I thought a flip phone would be perfect for him to learn, but perhaps it's just too lofty of a goal. The concept of it just completely eludes my dad, but...at the very least...he's having fun with it.

Comments

I'm almost tempted to get him a cheap smartphone...cuz maybe the large icons on the screen would be easier...but at the same time, I don't think the world is ready for dad having a smartphone. I'm certainly not ;O;
 
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I hope he doesn't have a data plan. My Step Father went to NZ a few months ago, and his phone didn't have 'download updates via wifi only' checked. $4000 bill from Spintell.
 
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Luckily, no. It's one of those pay as you go plans, because I assumed my dad might accidentally do something weird and accidentally run up a huge bill.That sucks to hear though :(
 
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If you do think he will still benefit from a phone (I try never to have one, and when I did it was 99% of the time plugged in at my flat as a de facto landline, and apparently I am still alive) and texting is to be a thing then might be worth looking at those full keyboard things.
 
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Honestly, consider getting him like a Blackberry Q5 or Blackberry Classic. Both have qwerty keyboards and large icons. They are still smartphones, but they are old enough that he can't do any real damage if he just leaves stuff on. I'd recommend the Q5 because the keys are more pronounced. Although, if you get the Classic, he doesn't need to use the touchscreen at all.

Also, they are both sub-$100 now.
 
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My dad discovered online dating. He gave up on being a family for someone that looks like she's seen a lot of action.
 
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