Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Not So Smart

I don't own a Smart Phone*, so I tend to notice how people who do sometimes behave. I'd like to share my observations, too, so here are

Ten Dumb Things About Smart Phone Addicts

Conversation Monkeys: When I try to talk to any of you smart phone addicts lately, you listen for only about half a sentence before you start talking about your phone, then check your phone, and then begin texting someone. While you do this last part you mutter "sorry" to me four or five times until you're ready to listen to another half a sentence, and then the whole process repeats until I walk away, which you don't notice for at least ten more minutes. Then you get mad at me for being rude.

Date Voiders: This is something I see almost every time my guy and I go out for a meal: a nice young couple who should be totally involved in each other, yet who never say a word to each other because they're both on their phones the entire time they're in the restaurant -- even while they're eating. So romantic!

Find Mining: Why must we watch you unload your purse every single time you need to answer or use your smart phone? This would be the purse with the empty zippered phone pocket on the outside, btw. Ever consider actually putting your phone in the phone pocket? It's a radical idea, I know, but it might help.

Grocery Store Gamers: One of the great joys of having grown up kids is that I don't have to listen to that stupid video game music anymore. Until you get behind me in a long line at the market and start playing [insert name of smart phone game app] and then alternately yay or curse it while you play. This is especially attractive when you're doing it one-handed while dragging a wailing toddler along with you. P.S., the next time you shove your cart into my back because you're so wrapped up in your phone you don't look before you push? I'm handing your toddler a king-size energy bar.

Lookee! Or Not: Probably a dozen times last week someone tried to show me something on their smart phone which wouldn't load or they couldn't find. At which point they have to explain what I'm missing, but it's been so long since they've actually spoken to anyone they can't remember half the words they need to use. Totally unriveting.

Low Battery Bitching: Once you realize your smart phone battery needs charging, and you're somewhere where you are unable to do this, you have to whine to me every five minutes as to what percentage of power is left. While you're still using the smart phone. And when it finally dies you spend the next twenty minutes bitching about how lousy your battery is while you begin to twitch and fidget uncontrollably (which is the part I really like to watch. Can you get the Lookee! addicts to do that?)

Phony Drivers: I don't drive anymore at night because you people who have to be on your smart phone while you're behind the wheel do. I know, it's incredibly selfish of me to refuse to die just because updating your Facebook status made you run a red light, but there you go.

Plug Slugs: Once a week I find a charging cord hanging from one of my outlets where it was left after someone who is not my relative charged their smart phone. I used to try to find out who they belonged to; now I add them to what has quickly become an extensive personal collection. And do you know there's a guy at the flea market who pays five bucks a piece for them?

Selfieshing: While at any event I inevitably have to wait five or ten minutes while you people ahead of me take sixty selfies, which you immediately have to show to all the people who are already there with you and watched the whole thing in person, you idiot.

Text Gagged: This always makes me laugh, actually -- the growing number of smart phone addicts who refuse to make phone calls anymore and will only communicate by text. When you ask them why they say "It's easier" (if they still remember how to talk.)

*I do have one of those disposable drug dealer-type phones for road emergencies; it sits in my purse turned off until I get a flat or break down or someone needs to borrow it. Aka a dumb phone. It only makes phone calls. This horrifies everyone who borrows it, btw.


  1. Anonymous7:16 AM

    Excellent! You're my hero.

  2. OMG yes to all those annoying things people do and *shamefaced* I probably do a lot of them myself... Whatever did people do before they invented 'smart' phones (otherwise known as you-dumb-human phones)??

  3. I agree with every word. I get sick to death of meeting friends to "catch up" only to find they are on their phones half the night - bugs me rigid. I got one of these things a year ago and have been saying ever since that I hate my phone and want to go back to my simple push button Nokia. I used to be able to send a text without looking at the screen, now I can't even read the screen and my fingers feel like big fat sausages as I try to tap miniscule letters. I only use it to phone & text, so once the contract runs out I'm going back to a simpler phone. You know, my kids are horrified when I tell them that we didn't even have a house phone until I was 16! And back in 1976, if you made arrangements to meet friends you were there on time ... another thing that bugs me.

  4. I have a pay-as-you-go, I load it up with minutes in January, rarely use it, then lose the minutes on Dec 31st and have to start over... ;D
    A phone might be smarter than I am, but I still like talking to someone in person, see their expressions, rejoice in the light of laughing eyes. There isn't a device on the planet I would trade for human contact...

  5. I have my smartphone, because then I'm not chained to my desk. but during meals? it's not in use. We actually talk.

    I did go for dinner with friends who sat there, slackjawed at their screens for a chunk of the meal and I found it terribly rude.

    text and email is easier right now, toddler tends to burst into YAYAYAYAYA! as I'm talking on the phone.

    I don't do any of these things save for lobbing it in a pocket or bag and then kind of having to dig around for it.

  6. I have a flip phone. I could text if I wanted to spend an hour on it for one regular sentence. People give me strange looks when I say I can't text.

    I think we have become slaves to technology on a lot of levels. I find that incredibly sad.

    I am going to hold out as long as I can without taking the plunge into being so hooked in.

    I like being off the grid.

  7. The worst is watching parents ignore their children to play on their phones. I worry about this generation of babies who will have parents who never talk to them....

    1. my son's drop in playroom has a no phones policy, but it doesn't stop some parents ( you remain in attendance) from glueing to their phone. Frankly, I'd rather play with the plastic dinosaurs, so no phone, unless I'm taking a pic to send to Dad at work.

  8. I had a flip phone until just recently. Our oldest daughter gave me a smart phone in November as an early Christmas gift and at first I was worried that I might become one of those you listed as I have been observing those same things. But I actually love my new smartphone. The first thing our oldest (who is teaching in China) had me do was download the WeChat app and now she and I can text each other whenever we want. We have been using Skype but she has to set up a special "tunnel" to use it and it doesn't always work. We were also able to send short videos to each other of various Christmas activities so that she felt included in our celebrations. It does have a special pocket in my purse, but then so did my flip phone. I have a purse with multiple pockets because I'm the type who has a place for everything and everything in it's place. I never thought I'd say this but I really enjoy having a smart phone.

  9. After years of valiant resistance, we succumbed and now all four of us (me, hubby, and the boys) all have smart phones. I am pretty much 'allergic' to talking on the phone in public, so when I do talk in the car, it's when I'm parked somewhere. It drives me around the bend to see so many people talking/texting when driving. It's a miracle there aren't more accidents than there are. Sigh. And get off my lawn, you crazy kids!

    I have learned I had to turn all notifications OFF or the constant 'ping' would have me being like pavlov's dog, but instead of salivating, I'd be snatching up my phone. Now it's much better.

    Upside? My college kids connect with me every day - texting me, or sending silly stuff. It's kind of sweet, actually. And nice that I'm not pestering them.