Friday, July 22, 2011

smart phones

A few years ago I purchased my first smart phone on a whim, and let me tell you, that has proven to be one of the best decisions of my life.1

I love how whenever I go home my family rolls their eyes at my smart phoning ways, calling me "frivolous", "bad with money", and "incapable of getting married due to your bizarre fear of asking women out on weekend evenings".2 This all because I spend "money" on a phone bill instead of "borrowing" minutes on my in-laws' family plan, and for some other reasons I didn't hear them say because I was checking Twitter.

Sure, I might be spending approximately six times what the average non-dumb-as-a-stump American does, but can you quantify the effect of looking cool? Or the benefit of viewing cats tapping on keyboards wherever you are in the world?

I submit that you cannot.

To this day, among my seven siblings, I alone have a smart phone. They obviously don't know what they're missing. I think the benefits are obvious.

I need a smart phone so I can:

  • get emails from my friends telling me about their smart phones
  • play solitaire when speaking to people becomes so boring my brain is at risk of melting out of my nose3
  • take grainy videos of my niece singing her love for Justin Bieber and then force my sister to watch them and fake enough laughter to get me to leave her alone
  • have something to pull out of my pocket and check compulsively whenever I am standing stationary for more than thirteen milliseconds
  • pretend it really did just vibrate next to my leg instead of being creeped out by the fact that my thigh occasionally goes into phone-vibration-like spasms just to trip me out
  • keep up on the latest news telling me what smart phone to buy4
  • have something to compulsively plug in and charge whenever I go anywhere
  • improve my ability to estimate trajectories of birds being launched from slingshots in an alternate universe where Newtonian physics has been abolished in favor of what can only be described as Randomian Mobilemassochistian physics

Of course, my sister Bekah laughs at my obsession with this "waste of time", but that's easy for you to say, Mrs. I Don't While Away My Free Time Stuck On Level 3-14 of a Pointless Game Because I'm Out Training and Competing in Double Marathons. Well, you'll be sorry when the zombie apocalypse hits and your only mode of defense is a slingshot and some diseased avian carcasses. A fat lot of good your skill of running at high speeds for long distances will do you when the country is encompassed by a sea of slow moving undead.

Oh, wait.

Smart phones are also great because a new one comes out every month. If you're into coveting like myself, you can't even figure out all of your phone's features before you can start craving a younger, more slender, petite, and flashy option.5

Speaking of learning features, I love my new smart phone, which lets me do amazing things like turn on NFC and watch my battery drain down for no apparent reason. My poor old smart phone of 2008 sure couldn't do anything like that. No siree. All it could do was browse the internet, send email, play music, take pictures, and play games at glacially slow speeds...which pretty much describes my smart phone usage today, except the playing music bit, because I haven't figured that out yet. But boy oh boy, I'm sure my new smart phone could play some sweet music for the thirty seconds of battery life that would remain if I turned on anything besides basic smoke signaling.

Unfortunately, having purchased phones at an average rate of one every eight months during my adult life, I promised my sister and niece that I would hold onto my current phone for a full two years. I'm stuck with my current dead battery smart phone for the time being. Unless, of course, something woefully terrible were to happen to it the day of the new iPhone launch...

1. Let us not revisit the cacophony of bad decisions above which this rises. That I own a laser leveler for reasons which I still find inexplicable should give you an idea of the quality of decisions I am capable of making. Exhibit B: the grenade dud I purchased from Smith and Edwards (best store ever) as a boy scout and have carted around with me ever since. Why? I cannot say.
2. This is, of course, false. My fear is perfectly normal. Weekend dates mean you can't get away with dropping her off at seven thirty after dinner and slithering away to go play with your smart phone...and I'm suddenly struck by the fact that it is currently a Friday evening, and I have spent it reading the Economist and writing this. I. Am. Awesome.
3. I feel terrible about this, but I have seriously started a game while talking to someone. It was either that or fall asleep. Or maybe drop into a coma.
4. Incidentally, can I just state what a cursed day it is when you reach the end of your news feed? There's nothing as depressing as hitting the bottom of Google Reader and realizing you have just reached the end of any intelligent commentary that can be found on the internet related to things you obsess about, and being forced to go back and click through old Daring Fireball posts your buddy shared and cringing every time you read that his company just made enough money to buy Ireland.
5. To be clear: I am still referring to smart phones. And yes, I realize I made almost this same joke a few weeks ago. Sue me.


Sam said...

It's better than spending your Friday evening writing surveys for the Economist, isn't it?

chris said...

hahaha. well, now that you mention it...

Isaac said...

I actually managed to completely disassemble my smart phone, replace a part gone bad, and reassemble it with all requisite pieces. Damn thing even still works. Hell. It works better, now that I replaced the broken part. That must be worth something.

Michelle Glauser said...

Smith and Edwards! Oh, the joys of that place!

Secretly, I am a hardcore advocate for smart phones. If I still had one, I would use it 24/7. Maybe that's some unconscious reason that I don't have a phone now--I know I'd want the newest, fastest, most expensive one, and I might feel guilty about using so much non-existent money on that.

I also hate getting to the end of my Google Reader. I even wait between sessions of checking it just so I can have more to look at.

And for the record, I don't think there's anything wrong with doing nothing social on a Friday night and going to bed at 9. In fact, that is my ideal Friday night. The only unfortunate thing is that society expects single people to do tiring, uncomfortable things at that time instead.

Random question: have you heard of the game called "Alchemy"? Great time . . . user.

Marie said...

was I supposed to be annoyed that you mentioned other sibling using their in-laws minutes? not offended at all-- you wish you had 100 minutes a month. free.

Jess said...

You nailed this one CP! Still laughing...especially at your perfectly justified fear.