Blog Archive

Monday, October 1, 2012

Smartphone Habits You Should Avoid

Photo Credit:

Drunk -tweeting, -texting, -Instagramming, etc.
Long gone are the days when the only witnesses to your inebriated ramblings were other bar patrons who also saw you stumble from your bar stool to the ground. Whether you're able to keep it together with spelling and syntax (in which case, you've just got the world going, "Wait, she wants to do WHAT to Paul Ryan?!"), or your typing skills erode quickly, alcohol and mobile devices don't mix.

Fooling around on your phone whenever you have a spare moment.
As writer Austin Kleon writes in his alarmingly cute book, "Steal Like an Artist," we need unstructured time for creativity to foster, down time in which we mess around and let our disconnected thoughts gel into cool ideas.
If you turn every spare moment (a red light, a line at the salad station, a ride in the elevator) into an excuse to check your Cinemagram feed, you just won't have those artistic a ha! moments. (And no, "Draw Something" doesn't count.)

Passive-aggressively whining for the whole world to see.
Look, we all have our personal stock of First World Problems, frustrated complaints with the minor injustices committed by a cruel, uncaring world. That's been true since the dawn of time. Now we just have myriad means of expressing them.
Nobody cares about your thinly veiled railings against your ex or roommate or employer, OK? Unless you've scribbled it on a notepad, in which case you should share it with the world. So that we can laugh at you.

Being really, really scared to actually use the phone.
Phones and tablets have made it oh so easy to communicate without using our voiceboxes. This is bad for relationships for oh so many reasons. Anais Nin would just hate it. Hit "dial" and enjoy the time-honored pas de deux of two humans, you know, talking.

Missing your favorite band's concert because you're so busy taking crappy photos, letting your phone ring and fiddling with your phone during the set.
Your hard-of-hearing, reformed punk-rock uncle was right: Concerts really WERE better back in the day, not necessarily because music really meant something, man, but because the audience actually paid attention and sang along and danced instead of holding their phones in the air and spending 30-plus seconds trying to find the shutter button on the front of the screen.
Your punkle would be so disappointed if he still made it out to shows today.

Texting salacious pictures.
The ritual sharing of NC-17 photos used to be a complicated analog affair involving Polaroids and furtive looks. Nowadays, people just drop trou, snap and send. Analyze THAT, Anais Nin.

Turning your friends into enemies with videos of them.
Camcorders have become tiny and discreet and as user-friendly as checking your e-mail. This is potentially bad news for those people you hang out with, as you hold in your hands a recording device that can humiliate them forever.
Set ground rules and roll the camera judiciously, lest you wind up publicly shaming a friend for her foul mouth, caught-on-film fart or unpopular political opinions.

Letting your seething anger leach out into the world at large.
Humans have always done stupid things when they're emotionally riled up. Now, those tantrums and rages and outbursts are shared and cached for the world to see. Take a deep breath and put down the smartphone.

Texting while walking.
Rarely does this go well. Whatever's so urgent can probably wait a few minutes. Or you can, you know, actually call the person (see No. 4).

Using your phone in the bathroom.
Don't. Just don't.

Don't talk/text/whatever while dealing with a cashier or waiter/waitress.

Don't talk/text/whatever while someone is trying to talk with you or hang out (applies mostly when only you are doing it and other person is being ignored)

Don't ignore your kids in public / on public transit by yakking/texting/whatever and letting kids run around or just get ignored for long stretches of time.

Turn off the sound when typing or playing games in public (like a bus or train) because it's freaking annoying to hear tap-tap-tapping and beep-beep-beeping.

I am more irritated with pure phone rudeness than what people actually do when they're using them.

I use to be a supermarket cashier and I had to endure these smartphone-holes who won't so much as look up because they're too busy conducting their Very Important Lives during the ring-out. 

Here are opinions from commenters:

Jake Grzelka
As a part time server its completely annoying to have a family of 4 come in. The kids are going to be on there Nintendo ds' and the parents on there phones or ipads. Sometimes you have to say several times can I get you a drink or can i get your order. Put your phones down people.

 I used to work in retail for many years, and it's annoying as hell when the customer (for whatever reason) simply treats you as if you're not there.  Like you're an ATM or something.  Or when it's their turn and they're so busy blabbing on their phone, they hold a hand up to you to wait for them (esp. when there are others behind them).  I don't blame the Starbuck's barrista one bit.  
And if your pet were critically ill at a vet's office, why would you choose to wait in a long line at a Starbuck's?   The Starbuck's worker had NO way of knowing that.
While portable phones have kept us more 'connected' with each other, they've also robbed us of some of our essential humanity and manners.  We treat people with less respect than we do our devices...

#4... I can't disagree enough.  The world is filled with people who have nothing better to do with their time than waste yours.  And at this point, I'd say texting has saved more marriages than the DVR (if you're married and texting your junk to someone else, you were going to end up getting divorced anyway, technology has just reduced your wait time).  A text message typically has to be quick and to the point. 
Also, people have forgotten "Life's Little Instruction Book", and I'm not referring to the part about 'call your mother'.  I'm referring to the part about the phone being there for your convenience, not the callers.  We seem to think cell phone calls are urgent, and we take them, even when it is not convenient.  A text can be left there until you are ready to deal with hit. 
I say, if you want to be a good person, text more.  That way, when you have something that must be done via phone call, people are a lot more likely to take your call.... because you don't constantly waste their time.

No comments:

Post a Comment