Why I’m Too Dumb for My Smartphone
I’ve never been one to succumb to peer pressure. When I was a kid, the couple of times I did, the results were so utterly horrendous that I decided I could make my own mistakes independent of the prodding and guttural laughter from those around me. I’ve also never had to have the latest and greatest of anything. My outfits were from Wal-Mart, and they consisted, more often than not, on single colored sweat suits with matching sweat socks and hair scrunchies. My pride was built more on what I could do intellectually than what I possessed materially. I can even remember my friends trying to redress me when it was time to go out because I looked like walking embarrassment to them. So when I tell you that I finally did it, gave up my flip phone from 2003, and upgraded to a smartphone, you must understand that it was purely out of necessity and not from the jeers and shocked faces of onlookers anytime I had to make or take a call in public.
But I wasn’t prepared. I can tell you that I’m nobody’s idiot. I consider myself fairly mentally swift. I understood the jokes on Seinfeld, and I wasn’t even a teenager when the show first aired, but this damn phone makes me feel like a simpleton. What’s even worse is that my baby, the three year old who insists that her life’s calling is being a pirate, can operate the darn thing better than I can! Now, if that isn’t embarrassing, I don’t know what is.
Here is a list of reasons why I feel totally dumb with my new smartphone:
- I can’t figure out the touchscreen. Who decided that this was a good idea for cell phones? First of all, I can’t ever type the letters I’m intending to type. On a real, typewriter sized keyboard, I type 100 words per minute, but I can use all of my fingers. This thumb action with the cellphone touchscreen is ridiculous. THUMBS ARE FOR THE SPACE BAR! And apparently I have elephantitis in my thumbs too because every time I try to type “e” I get “rfdc” instead. I’ve decided that texting people just isn’t all that important. If you need an answer right away, just call me. It’ll take way too long for me to thumb my response.
- I feel like I’ve started a crack habit. Having emails sent directly to my phone is brutal. I never had to check my email as much I actually check it now. Not because of any real need to monitor every little message, but because they pop up and the curiosity in me forces me to click to see who has sent me a message. And because all of my coupons and latest sales come to my email address, I’m sitting at work asking myself if I can take the long route home to stop at Target to pick up that detergent at 15 cents cheaper than the usual price.
- Trying to save a new contact is like trying to untie the Gordian Knot. I can’t figure out which “button” to push, and when I actually do get to the spot where I need to be, the phone likes to suggest to me names instead of letting my type the name I want. So “Shelly” becomes “Sheila” and when I try to delete, my gargantuan thumbs save, and I’m stuck trying to delete the whole contact. That turns into deleting every name saved under “S,” and I, of course, don’t know anyone’s number by heart anymore, so I have to wait until Sandra is so pissed that I haven’t returned her call that she calls to curse me out and yell about how much of a bad friend I am all before I can explain what the smartphone made me do. It’s awful, but if you want to be my new friend or change your number, just know that I refuse to try to put you in my phone for fear that I will no longer be able to call my mother when I need to do so.
- If the phone is really so smart, how come it can’t preserve battery. I may be wrong, or the dumbest person alive, but isn’t technology supposed to improve over time? Why would someone create a phone that can tell me how to get to Red Lobster, what to order once I’m there, and how much of the bill I’m charged with paying, including tip, but it can’t keep enough juice to allow me to drunk dial my husband professing my undying love after drinking too many strawberry margaritas with my girls on a Mommies’ Night Out. My flip phone would stay charged up for two days! And what’s the deal with the dropped calls? With my old staple, I could be in the middle of a desert and still get a signal. It’s absurd. I could be dry humping a cell phone tower and still not get a signal.
But I guess I’m too stupid to get rid of my smartphone.