Sunday, January 30, 2011

I-Phone People

I am beginning to realize something: People who own the I-Phone are absolutely obsessed with this piece of technology. What do I mean by that? Basically these people can’t do a single thing in society without some way, somehow employing an I-Phone capability and/or app, even when it’s not ostensibly necessary.

Before I go any further I will tell you that I own a very basic Verizon phone. I don’t know what it’s called. It flips open and makes phone calls and sends text messages. Sometimes I go on the Internet to check and every once in a while I stumble across something it can do, i.e. voice recognition. I don’t have apps and I don’t have a $30.00 per month data plan. It’s just a phone. That’s it. I don’t have it flipped open 24/7. It's just a phone.

But these I-Phone people (God love them) they are glued to this thing. Whenever we are in a social situation with someone who owns an I-Phone, you can bet your bottom dollar that bad boy is coming out during a discussion about politics, driving directions, sports trivia, news headlines, basically anything. The I-Phone always has to be consulted. I already know Al Gore was Clinton’s Veep and he's from Tennessee, you don’t need to double check your I-Phone. And, I know that LA is about a 5-6 hour flight from NYC, you don’t need to pull up mock flight times on your I-Phone. When the dinner bill comes and it’s time to divide out evenly, we can just figure it out, please, please, please don’t reference your new I-Phone waitress tipping app. We can divide $300.00 6 ways.

I think my feelings on the I-Phone came to a head over the weekend when I was browsing books at B&N’s. Some guy had his I-Phone out, taking pictures of the bar codes on the books. He was obviously not a B&N employee. Curiosity killed the Cat’s Pajamas, so I asked, ‘What are you doing, sir.’ He told me the phone is able to take the barcode pic and instantly compare book prices to other stores. Really? Is all this necessary when buying that new hardback title? I don’t think so. To me that just feels like another I-Phone thing that all these guys do. And even if this guy had found out that Border’s sold ‘Decision Points’ for .80 cents cheaper, is he really going to get in his car and drive across Albany to take advantage? I love technology but this is just a weird mix of wasted technology and boredom, don’t you think?

And when these I-Phone people aren’t putting all the capabilities on display, they have that phone out, 3 inches from their face, doing something on that device, 24/7. Playing some kind of game or pushing things up and down the screen with their finger. And this glued-to-the-I-Phone thing happens in any social situation you can imagine: Christmas morning, a DMB concert, when you’re front row at Giants’ Stadium in the last two minutes of a tied game, at a funeral, on your lunch break, while watching an action-packed thriller. The endless mobile uploads to Facebook. I know the phone is an amazing machine, I get that. There are plenty of great things it can do, no doubt. But come on. There just never seems to be a BAD time for the I-Phone. I’m sorry, I just don’t get it, not to this extent. It’s a phone, guys, take a breath, smell the roses, live life for a while.

So who are these I-Phone people I speak of (generally)? From what I’ve come to see, I-Phone guy is usually between 25-35, a professional-looking type perhaps--in my circle at least. But I’m sure the culprits exist outside my bland and even ignorant stereotype. Either way, I know that you know exactly the type of behavior I’m talking about, you’ve seen it a thousand times in your own life. Or have you? Am I way off on this one?

I watched a movie a few years back about the future, from the same guy who created South Park, I think. Anyway, it suggested that people would soon become hopelessly addicted to instruments and various kinds of hardware technologies, unable to self-think. I laughed. It was ridiculous. I’m not laughing anymore. So next time you’re out to dinner and you can’t quite remember what night Glee is on TV, just pray someone has an I-Phone handy to instantly solve that all-encompassing mystery.

Speaking of technology: Now on facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba

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