Smartphones: The New Stupid

Written by Kevin Marcus

Is your smartphone ruining your life? You are not alone.

aNewDomain — We have a problem, people. It’s our phones.

Here we all are, smartphoned-up, expensive Walmart phone cases on our belts, iPhone 4s inside the case. So what’s wrong? I’ll tell you what’s wrong. My smartphone has become self-aware.

I dropped it in a toilet a year ago and dried it out with rice for three days, which apparently isn’t the Apple-recommended drying time after losing a smartphone into a 1.3-gallon eco toilet.

Steve Jobs is probably chuckling in the digital afterlife somewhere, kickin’ back with a digital supermodel and lookin’ good in his 501 Levi jeans and that same turtleneck he always wore, thinking: Thank god we put that sneaky dampness-indicator strip into all our phones. We’ve saved a fortune on warranties! 

Does it seem fair that just because we drop a phone into a toilet while texting or it cracks on a rock while hiking that WE are responsible for the repair? Shouldn’t warranties cover routine toilet drops and/or cracked screens?

Does Steve Jobs ponder this in the afterlife? Or does he have more on his digital mind than dampness indicators?

Does he reflect on that day Steve Wozniak came to visit him at Atari because Jobs couldn’t tweak the Atari video game called “Breakout II?” Woz was his go-to electronics guy. While there, fixing electronics, Woz noticed you could hook up an electric typewriter to a video screen to a word processor and voila, what do you have? Was it A) A fancy rack to hold all your upcoming black turtleneck sweaters (yikes); B) A homebuilt crystal radio receiver to listen to episodes of Paul Harvey each morning; or C) Some interesting device we all have come to know and love as the personal computer?

And now we have computers on our phones. But it’s time for some more tweaking and fixing.

Por ejemplo, today, I was calling my boss an effing d%^$%^bag, but just by whining to the attendant in the city parking lot. Except my phone hadn’t actually hung up after my conversation with my employer. Me mashing the END button did not work. My boss was still on the line. A disembodied voice from my phone case said: “I just heard that, Kevin.”

I thought I was hearing things until I realized my cell phone was still on. I was hearing voices, and it was my boss’s, still on the phone.

I frantically backpedaled and explained I was referring to my real boss, my wife. I’m not sure he bought it. Thanks, phone.

So speed-walking for exercise later, you know, and here goes my phone again. I’m speed-walking into a Starbucks because every other person in Lauderdale also is wanting their coffee and it’s almost lunchtime. Meaning, if it’s five minutes before lunch I get coffee and a sandwich in two minutes. If it’s five minutes after lunch, I am in a line. Remember, in a big city, it’s the early bird that catches the worm. Hence the speed-walking. I’m hungry!

So anyhoo, while in line I remember I texted my GF (girlfriend) earlier today and sent her that cool selfie of me lookin’ good. That’s the photo I took this morning of me in the Mens with my hair all gussied up and perfect. Well I actually took 19 selfies and picked the photo that did not have me with my eyes closed, or have my mouth slightly agape, or I didn’t have my head all cocked at a funky angle or whatever.

Here’s the accidental selfie I sent to my girlfriend as I was gussied up and lookin’ good, ready for work, but I just happened to be goofing off in the Mens and trying to waste time until break time …


Woah! WTF! We need the Smartphone Photographers Community EMS squad! Ant Pruitt please help!

How do we UNSEND an image in text? Ha!

But somehow I’m digressing here. Smartphones — The New Stupid is the topic. Stay focused!

So I have a picture in a foot locker of my grampa when he was a boy. It’s, get this, a hard copy of a photo. Anybody remember those? There’s photos of my dad, my mom, me as a kid. But where’s that recent cool photo of my GF in an orange dress? It’s an orange sunset, there’s an American flag behind her and it looks orange and something else looked orange, too, but I don’t remember what. Why don’t I remember? Because all my new photos are gone. One night as I was exploring the lower end of a bottle of 1800 tequila, I felt I needed to change my passcode lock on my iPhone. Well, the next morning the guests were all gone, and I decided to check my voice messages. But I couldn’t get into my phone! Why? Because I changed the passcode because some guy I didn’t even know, and who had even less of a reason to play peekaboo with my phone, had seen me clicking in my passcode — so I changed it, right then and there. And now, the next morning, I’m locked out of my own phone because I changed the passcode!

No problemo, though. What did I change it to? Let’s use all the usual suspect passwords: Rambo123, Dumbash123, 123dumbash, password and password123. Damn! Still not in the phone!

Okay, let’s try my password: IQ107

Now my SinglesEat password: Studmuffin123

And now my banking password: Brokebroke123

Damn, still locked out of my own phone! No worries. I’m a Google Chrome user. I’ll just Google what to do …

Google Chrome says: “You will not be needing any sex this year because you already have gotten F%^%^D.”

Which means I have to wipe my phone clean, jailbreak it down to no info and start again from scratch — i.e., re:, whatever-e, I have NONE of my music, no pictures, no contacts, no notes — nada cantada. As Google said — I am effed. Properly effed.

And don’t even get me started on butt dialing — you know, where your smartphone just randomly dials whoever it wants and now that person is on the phone, listening to whatever you are up to at that moment. Talk about being able to get into trouble all by yourself. Wah!

The problem with smartphones? They seem to do whatever they want, just not what you want.

For aNewDomain, I’m Kevin Marcus.

Top image: Screenshot by Nancy Imperiale

All other images: Screenshots by yours truly