Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Your Phone Is Dumb


When I say you're being rude because you're constantly on your phone, it's because it's true.

When you tell me, "whatevs n00bs, you would do the same thing if you had a smart phone" I agree with your statement.

But here's the difference between you and me: I DO NOT HAVE A SMART PHONE, THUS I AM NOT ALWAYS ON MY PHONE.  Your argument is invalid. 

Is cocaine fun?  I'm sure it is.  It's probably awesome.  But I have no desire, ever, to do cocaine.  People on coke piss me off.  Because they're idiots.  Plus I would get dangerously addicted. 

(in the biz that's what we call a metaphor)

Thankfully, no one is sitting around trying to pressure me into snorting coke (we are in our thirties and have much better things to do, like high five strangers on the street and take pictures of ourselves with other peoples dogs, or go to the supermarket and purchase one grape).  But a minimum of three times a day someone tells me how annoying it is that I don't have a smart phone, which doesn't make any sense.

My phone always has a signal, always has battery power.  It can call and text.  My apartment is a dead zone, but that's my apartment, not my phone. 

Go on, get defensive.  Talk about how it's annoying that I...I don't know.  Cannot take or receive pictures.  You can talk about how it's annoying that I find constant phoning fucking annoying. I don't give a shit.

It's obnoxious.  Sure, I will joke around and ask people to look stuff up on their Galaxy.  Plus it's funny to fuck with people sometimes.  One time CrazyLiz and I texted Scooter just so he would tag us at a bar on Facebook.  Scooter was, obviously, at home in a completely different city.  But Liz and I refuse to get smart phones and people are constantly bitching about it.  If you care where we are so much, then do the work for us. Of course, Scooter is probably the one person that doesn't give a shit where we are or what we're doing, which made the whole thing greater. To us.

Can you people think of one legit reason as to why I would want a smart phone?  
  1. GPS: I'm old school, I will straight up ask strangers for directions before I ask you to check your phone. Personal favorite people to ask: delivery drivers.
    • Friends always argue, "No, you never ask directions."  That's a lie.  I never ask you to look up directions on your phone because I like to wander.
    • To ask someone for directions, there is a requirement: we have to find a fucking person.  So until we find a person I cannot ask for directions.
    • Caveat: I will ask for your help if you are being annoying and you keep on saying, "I can just look it up on my phone.  Why can't I just look it up on my phone?  This would be so much easier if I just looked it up on my phone."  THIS IS BECAUSE YOU ARE RUINING PERFECTLY GOOD WANDERING TIME.
    • Honestly, your phone is fucking wrong half the time anyway. 
  2. Knowing things:  I value people who have knowledge, not people who are good googlers. Your ability to google does not fucking impress me.  The worst is when people google things for the sole purpose of proving me wrong - I wouldn't say it if I didn't know it, dick. If that were the case I would preface the statement with, "I don't know if this is right, but..."  If you've never heard me say that, then you are not paying attention. Probably because you're on your fucking phone. Also, why are you being a lameball funsuck?  We could spend this time having a discussion with actual thought processes.  We could be yelling at each other for fun right now.
  3. Photos:  I can bring a camera. 
    • Argument:  "you get mad when you're not in pictures"
    • No, I'm sad when I don't feel photogenic. There is a difference.
    • Besides, saying, "OMG, take a picture of me doing this!  Wait, now take a picture of me doing this!" makes me feel stupid.
  4. Videos:  I don't really care for them.  I don't want to be on Youtube.  I don't want to be famous.  Don't you think that if I wanted to be famous I would put my real name on this blog and try to monetize it somehow?  Yes.  I would.
  5. Tagging:  I don't give a shit if I get "tagged" on Facebook.  Do you know why?  Because I don't give a fuck when anyone is tagged. 
    • The common defense that people use for this is: "Well, then I won't tag you."  Cool.  I'm not going to notice anyway, seeing as I -
      (a) don't have a smart phone
      (b) will not scour your page to make sure I was included in your tags when I get around to Facebook
    • Sometimes people point out whenever they do not tag me out of spite and mockery, which I get - like I said, it's funny to fuck with people sometimes.  I usually fake whine and laugh it off, but it's really starting to get old.
    • Is it sociopathic if I do not give a shit what people are doing at every moment of the day?  
So on the other side of the spectrum (obviously there are are exceptions):
  1. I had an Oscar party on Sunday, and at one point I looked up and EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE ROOM EXCEPT FOR ME WAS LOOKING AT THEIR PHONE.  Granted, I was glued to the TV, and I totally ran over to my laptop every half hour to put something funny on Facebook. The purpose of our gathering was to be in a room and look at a screen together.  Adding more screens to the mix just made things hilarious. 
  2. I'm guilty of asking people to watch a certain video or play a song, but that's putting in requests to someone who is already watching videos or listening to music. Perspective, people - if we're engaged in an activity together, the phone is secondary.  If you didn't have your smart phone we would just be doing something else.
But when you whip out your phone while we are having a conversation for the sole purpose of communicating with an outside party, you are sending a clear signal that you would rather be talking to the person on your phone than the people you are with.  I've written about this before:
"Shit. Hold on guys, I need to take this," I'm shaking as I leave the patio table in front of the bar and answer my phone, partly because it's cold outside, partly out of fear, and partly because I'm a little hungover. Or a lot hungover. Whatever.

This is a big fucking deal, because I don't do that. I also don't use call waiting, and I won't talk on the phone while I'm hanging out with someone else. It's fucking rude. Seriously, if I'm constantly texting someone when I'm around you it means I don't want to be around you.

Exceptions to these rules include but are not limited to (1) giving directions to a member of our party who has yet to arrive, (2) receiving directions for a destination to which we have yet to travel, and (3) my mother, because she only calls when something is wrong. 
Is this for your job?  Remember that part in Hook when Robin Williams answers his phone in front of his kids and then acts like a total dick?  That's you. You're the guy who forgot how to play. Go suck on a dead dog's nose.

There is a difference between "sorry, this might be an emergency" and "omg, Cute Guy just said something hilare on FB!  LIKE!"

Is it ironic that I write blogs on the internet but do not like smart phones? I'm not sure.  I write a blog to let out frustration, tell stories, share ideas.  And by "share ideas" I don't mean post pictures of things I like.  When I started doing this I did it to develop a dialogue for my thoughts, as a way for me to understand things about myself and why I behaved a certain way.  Meeting fellow bloggers was a plus - people who felt the same way I did about the concept of ideas but had completely different ideas themselves. I didn't really start sharing this blog with friends (other than a very select few) until all those bloggers all but disappeared and moved on...

I feel like the very nature of a smart phone - immediate gratification without thought or purpose - is discordant with the reason I like the internet in the first place. I like the thinking part. This is, perhaps, part of the reason why I don't like Yelp - it's letting random ass people do your thinking for you. It doesn't feel like sharing ideas, it feels like a fucking circle jerk.

Personally, I'm far more interested in why you like using a smart phone.  All of the positives I can think of for smart phone technology feel like negatives to me, so there must be a reason, and my inability to look at it from another perspective is worrisome.  So if anyone would like to explain it...please help.

They make me feel disconnected from people, disconnected from the world which is odd, since they're supposed to make you feel more connected.  They scare me. They make me feel boastful and superficial, and I do not like feeling that way.  People may see me as boastful or superficial, and that's fine.  I can't help that.  I just don't want to feel that way.  

Otherwise, from now on if I notice someone check their phone in the middle of a conversation without reason, I'm just going to walk away.



Anonymous said...

In my defense-1. I got the very first iPhone (3G) for a job I had three years ago and have kept it because I keep electronics in general until they completely die. 2. I have left my phone at home on multiple occasions 3. I do like my iPhone for directions, though because it's so old my fb ap doesn't usually work lol 4. I also got iPhone because I didnt and still do not have Internet at home (boo) l But I get your point:-) btw, this was sent from my iPhone lol

Meagan said...

I'm gunna stick with "knowing things." Becasue the ability to google does not equal knowledge, bu if you google often enough, you aquire knowledge, my husband and I have a rule, specifically because of the existance of smart phones, that when we are wondering something, we look it up. It's so EASY to find things out these days, there's no good reason not to, immediately. Sure, we sometimes get distracted, or stumped, or incomplete results, or dubious accuracy. But we're still learning.

Probably what I use my phone for most though, is reading blogs. I have my rss app, and just flip through. Makes commenting a bitch, but then, without the convenience I probably would have stopped following most of my blogs anyway, so I guess it evens out.

I also stream Pandora music constantly while I'm driving which is nice. I use GPS a fair amount, but I mostly use it when I'm driving no particular place, so I can find my way back to where I need to be whenever I need to get there. It was really handy when the baby refused to nap in his crib and I was doing 2+ hour driving naps. Do not recommend.

I have a task manager app that keeps me reasonably productive when I use it. A grocery list app that syncs with the grocery app on my husband's phone so either of us can add or cross off. Evernote, a "note" app that does audio, photo or normal notes and syncs across all devices. And of course, the calander, which actually lets me remember to get my allergy shots most of the time, because seriously, I never keep a hold of those stupid reminder cards.

Oh. Yeah. And Tap Defence, Scrambled Net, or whichever game I happen to be losing sleep with on any particular night. Not really an argument FOR a phone mind you.

Sid said...

I don't have access to internet at home. I also don't own a television ... My smart phone allows me the opportunity to read blogs, email and my twitter feed in the comfort of my own bed.

Also I'm addicted to Twitter. I love being constantly updated about real life events (e.g. the Oscar Pristorius case). That said, I hate it when others are sitting in a room with me, and instead of talking to me, they are on their phones. Disgusting habit.

jon said...

What bothers me about my smart phone is, while it can probably retrieve any non-classified information in the world, it lacks physical and emotional intelligence.

I mean if this thing could give me a massage or listen to my problems and offer constructive advice -- man, that would be great. Although I suppose that's what the people IN the phone are for.

Kono said...

What the fuck's a smartphone?

Feisty Democrat said...

I agree with ya on smartphones, but I'll admit to having one. Got it when my stepson got one for his birthday. It does have its benefits, but I don't miss it when I don't have it.

Jessica said...

I'm going to disagree with "knowing things." Why memorize endless amounts of facts when you don't need to and can free up the mental energy to focus on something deeper, like philosophy and abstract ideas?

Before calculators existed people memorized way more multiplication tables. That doesn't make sense any more. Waste of time.

Jessica said...

I'm putting this separate because it is a separate topic: Are there actually people who've gotten upset you don't have a smart phone?

I have a smart phone, but I don't really care if anyone else does. I was a late adopter, but now that I have it, I like it. I still can't understand being bothered by what other people do or don't do. I mean, it's not like you don't have a phone at all and are forcing people to send you a telegram if they want to reach you.

Rassles said...

Anon, you are silly

Meagan, I agree that googling can lead to knowledge - but I guess I like to figure things out, I play association games with things in my head, I like to talk things out. But when people argue that "you don't need to figure it out, it's right there" to me, that takes the fun out of everything. I LIKE figuring things out. But if it's something I don't know and I WANT to know it, of course I'll look it up. But I'll do that when I'm at home, alone, when I can focus on learning something new.

Sid, for real. And I...I'm terrible about the news and real life events. Most things I hear in the news are things I don't give a shit about.

Jon, it's only a matter of time until are phones are robots.

Kono, hear hear!

Mathdude, I really don't care if people have smart phones at all - I'm just starting to get pissed

Jessica, I pretty much associate "memorizing" with "googling things." So I agree that it's pointless. For me, learning things energizes mental activity so I can reason more clearly. The more I use my brain the better I get at it. (Is your brain a cup or a sponge?) So yeah, memorizing multiplication tables is goddamn pointless if you never learn how to multiply. But you need to understand multiplication to learn algebra, and I actually use algebra all the damn time for work - plus, algebraic logic is heavily featured in critical reasoning and debate. So calculators made memorizing the tables obsolete, but not LEARNING how to multiply. So when I said "knowing things" I probably should have said "understanding things." I feel like the quick fix of googling does not make people understand - it makes people parrot shit they read back to me.

Rassles said...

And they don't get mad at me, but they definitely get frustrated. "You need a smart phone" is a sentence I hear every day. EVERY DAY. Drives me bonkers.

But even more than that, I get seriously annoyed when people are staring at their phone all the fucking time. It's more me then them.

Chris said...

I have a smartphone and two tablets, and I agree with everything you said. Probably because I'm old, and everyone knows that everything was better in olden times. But mostly because people in front of you matter.