"It's a pretty common phenomenon," said Mike Day. "For the last few years, cell phone companies have done a really good job of creating a need for phones that do more than call and text, but they haven't been as good at educating their customers after the sale.
"They wow you in the store with all the things a smartphone can do, but when you get home, you can't seem to duplicate all that cool stuff the salesperson demonstrated. It's frustrating and leaves a lot of people just doing the same things they did on their old flip phones -- making calls and sending text messages."
Day should know. He was a wireless sales representative and trainer for more than 10 years before joining friend Chris Wallace, an electronics guru, to form T-Squared Trainers, a business designed to help smartphone users get the most out of their devices.
"We had been working primarily with Realtors, doctors and nurses and other professionals who use the phones for work," Wallace said. "But, in doing that, we realized there was also a need among the general public."
T-Squared kicked off its first classes for individual users Saturday at the Armstrong Center, offering two sessions of "Android for Beginners." Next month's classes will repeat those and "iPhone for Beginners" and "iPad for beginners."
The two also plan to add advanced courses as demand grows.
"We realize some people find it funny that you might need a class to learn to use your cellphone, but the days of a cellphone being just a phone are long gone," Day said. "Today's smartphones are all-in-one, multitasking devices capable of doing all kinds of things.
"They have more computing power than the first space shuttle and most come equipped with 8-megapixel cameras and high definition camcorders. They can play movies or music, give turn-by-turn GPS directions, send e-mails, pay for parking or buy a drink from a vending machine.
Day said it's easy to see why a new user can feel overwhelmed.
"It's kind of like trying to drink from a firehose," he said.
Kathy Aull of Savannah agreed.
"I'm actually on my second smartphone," she said at Saturday's class. "Considering what I paid for it, I want to get my money's worth from it.
"I know I'm not doing that now, so that's why I'm here."
That theme seemed to permeate the class.
Some Android owners wanted to learn more about using voice commands; others were interested in using apps and social media. Everyone wanted to learn how to maximize battery life and manage tasks running simultaneously. Several had "what does this function do?" questions.
By the end of the two-hour-plus session, they had those answers and more.
For example, Day said, Android systems are designed to multitask, which makes task management vital.
"If you press and hold the home key, it will show you the apps you have running, allowing you to move back and forth easily," he said.
As smartphones and tablets continue to grow in popularity, T-Squared expects to expand its class offerings to include accessory sales and recommendations, blogs and podcasts. They are also planning a class that focuses solely on apps.
After Saturday's class, Mabel Teeter of Midway, Ga., said she was happy with what she had learned.
"I've had my phone nearly two years, and all I've really done until now was talk and text," she said. "This class has not only taught me a lot of things I didn't know my phone could do, it's made me a more comfortable and confident user.
"It was well worth the drive."