It's Time to Smash Your Smartphone When...

Updated on December 29, 2017
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Bowen Craig is the author of Keeping Away from the Joneses and A Look to the Future Through the Eyes of an Eighty-Year Old Pirate.

You are not your Social Media profile


by Bowen Craig

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when Twitter-speak creeps into your everyday face-to-face conversations.

I hate these freaking things. And they are everywhere. Inescapable. You can train for years, gear up, fly to Nepal, hire a sherpa, climb Mount Everest and stand on that little windy peak, literally on top of the world, and it’s entirely possible your experience will be ruined by some annoying hipster trying to get cell reception.

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when it’s the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning.

The cell phone phenomenon has taken the world by storm. It’s the most popular invention since sliced bread. Of course, idiot teenagers are leading the charge for moronitude, but that’s no surprise. They always do. They were big proponents of those crazy, new bread slices. They were the ones who bought pet rocks in the 70s and pre-ripped jeans in the 80s. Teenagers are dumb and easily led, and always have been. I just wish that Madison Avenue had never discovered how much buying power those unformed, unintelligent, highly opinionated, walking masturbation machines have in America. That was not a good moment for our country. But this I-phone, Android-phone, tablets-the-size-of-spy-novels, let’s-all-talk-like-we’re-in-junior-high-school phenomenon isn’t limited to teenagers. I know great-grandparents with smart phones now. You’d think that by the time you’ve pumped out some kids, raised them, watched them pump out some kids, and then watched those kids pump out their own kids, you’d know better than to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a flashing light machine with print too small for you to read, but sadly, no.

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when you feel like you have to check Reddit before you brush your teeth every day.

Being one of the only sixteen people on the planet who doesn’t want to own a cell phone puts me in an interesting position. When I tell people that I don’t own a cell phone, they’re usually surprised, which makes sense since that’s what they gave their great-grandmother for Christmas. Due to their popularity, I can understand their surprise. What I don’t understand is, when I tell some total stranger at a bar about not having a cell phone, how often they want to talk me into buying one. Seriously. If random bar guy worked for Apple, then maybe, maybe, he’d have a decent motivation for trying to talk me into buying one. If he’s a football coach, a dishwasher, a long-haul trucker, a barista who calls himself a parkour instructor, a garbage man, an elementary school principal, or the Vice President of the United States, then I really don’t see why he would feel the desire to talk me into buying one of those infernal devices. It’s not like he’s going to send me pictures of his rad parkour moves on Instagram. He’s just some guy I met at a bar. And yet, nine times out of ten (no exaggeration) this happens.

Do you smart phoners feel somehow guilty about your beloved devices? That might explain the need to talk me into joining your silly little cult. And a cult it is. For what IS a cult but a group of people with a shared belief, a zeal for talking into the air to no visible other person and similar props?

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when you can’t remember how to convey emotions to another human being without using emoticons.

Human beings expressed emotions long before those little yellow circle faces existed. In fact, it’s even still legal to convey your emotional state via text message in words. That’s what text messages are. They’re words. And yet, we feel like typing “I’m sad” is faaarrrr too difficult. We’d rather use a little yellow circle with eyes and a lone tear rolling down its little yellow face.

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when you find yourself waterproofing it so that you don’t have to shower without it (this is on the way, if it’s not here already).

This mobile phone nonsense has gotten so calamitously crazy that the newest-generation phoners pity, make fun of, and feel wildly superior to, older-generation phoners. I’ve been in the presence of a girl with a flip phone (the shabby, grizzly-bearded, bohemian cousin of the cordless phone family) and have seen people taunt her for not throwing away three hundred bucks on a new device whose basic function is EXACTLY THE SAME as her flip phone. They’re still called “phones,” for Christ’s sake! The new ones can only do a tiny bit more than the slightly older ones, and yet we’ve all been convinced that we need to “update” our phones every few years.

Don’t they say that the legal definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

Is this the new way of capitalism? Is this the shape of things to come? Can we expect taunts from the latest phoners coming our way soon? Will carpenters of the future make fun of the guys who haven’t bought the latest Smart Hammers? Why would anyone want appliances with Internet capability? Do we really want our refrigerators slacking off, spending all their time on Facebook and obsessively checking The Huffington Post?

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when the mere thought of typing anything longer than 140 characters makes you sigh.

Have we not learned how moronic Twitter is? William Faulkner would call 140 characters a good dependent clause, a decent beginning of a sentence. But now, that’s all we get. Not 140 pages. Not 140 words. 140 letters/numbers/smiley faces. That’s barely enough space to say anything of value. Perhaps that’s why most people use Twitter to simply say some version of “I agree,” “I hate this guy,” or provide us a link to a video of some guy crashing his skateboard into a wall.

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when the last time you looked another person in the eye on the street is directly correlated to the last time your smart phone broke.

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when, after losing a day and a half in an Internet hole, you can’t remember what air smells like.

It’s time to smash your smart phone…when you call anything that happened before 2005 quaint, and laugh about how primitive we were before children forgot how to play outside, when OB-GYNS didn’t give out those cute little Playschool premie cell phones to newborns, when catching up with current events involved the excruciating tedium of turning pages, when we had attention spans longer than kittens on crack, when sending someone a “card” had something to do with cards, when there was no such thing as an Internet celebrity, when text messages were not a standard part of foreplay, when talking out loud while driving a car meant that you were singing, had another person in the car with you, or were totally and completely insane, when being alive meant something closer to actually living.

If you read this and didn’t have at least one moment when you thought that maybe that crazy no-phoner, Luddite, idiot guy perhaps has the nugget of a decent point, then you’re lost to us. Otherwise, I think you know what my advice to you is going to be.


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