As a child of the ‘90s I’m supposed to be an iPhone-toting, social networking lover of technology. My generation uses ironic Twitter hashtags to channel our inner-asshole and we chronicle nights at the club via instant mobile uploads (or “muploads” #coolgirllingo). The reason we get to be this awesome? Cell phones. From my fingertips to your bleeding eyes – the breaking news on the outfit I’m wearing, musings that no one gives a shit about, and minute-to-minute location updates just in case the neighborhood predator is having a slow day. I agree that they are indispensable, but all the same, I hate cell phones. Here are five of the main reasons why:
1. No one pays attention to me anymore. Okay, this isn’t as needy as it sounds, I promise. But do you ever get the sense that some of your friends have no idea what your face looks like because they’re always looking at their goddamn cell phones while you’re talking to them? You don’t have to be a 50-year-old to know that yes – it’s shockingly rude behavior – and no – being able to type without looking doesn’t mean you should do it. (Keeping your phone beneath the table while you text is not discreet, you just sort of look like you’re playing with yourself.) Either way, you sound like a halfway stoned zombie stringing words together when you deign to partake in conversation. Every time you do that, I enter a J.D.-on-Scrubs-type daydream and slap your mobile device right out of your hand. My alternate reality self is not sorry.
2. Without fail, I always drunk text my grandma. Sometimes it’s a “WhereeEeee areejeee youuyuuu?” text that I accidentally sent her because she appears as a contact right below my best friend. Other times, I hit her with a “I love, love, love you Grandma!” intentional text that I send in a moment of wasted clarity, which allows me to value loved and aging family members. More embarrassingly, she has also received nothing more than a random combination of letters that I hope she thought was my cell phone bouncing around in my purse. You know that dreaded moment the next morning when you look through your phone to see the drunken damage you’ve done? Well you should hope you’ve only confessed undying love to an ex-boyfriend, because grandmas never forget.
3. BBM ruins relationships. There is something so sinister about the little “D” that appears above your sent BBM. For non-Blackberry users, this means your message has been delivered, but not yet read. Your message is sent and now you wait. Five minutes have passed and you start to panic a little. “Why hasn’t he/she read my BBM yet?” you wonder. “He/she must hate me, right?” No! Chill the fuck out. Put down the phone before you send a crazy “Well obviously you’re ignoring me” text. Sexual politics are confusing enough without the help of instant messengers that make it seem like you should be talking 24/7 simply because you can.
4. Someday we will all be porn stars. Not that I want to weigh in on Weinergate, but if a high-profile politician decided to send out “dick pics,” I would put a large sum of money on Joe and Jane Collegestudent doing the same. I’m talking to you, girl in the public restroom taking a cell phone picture of your panties for your boyfriend. I don’t care what he says when you breakup, he is never going to delete that mobile pic of your lady bits. Let’s just say that the folder on his computer titled “Junior Year Bio” definitely contains a different kind of biology. So now you’re faced with two options: either be nice to your ex for the rest of his life, or make it big, Paris Hilton style.
5. I miss landlines. Ah, the blissful days of youth when the word “three-way” only applied to three-way calls. Remember when your friend called the boy you liked while you quietly held back nervous giggles on the line? And remember the moment after when your little brother picked up another phone in the house and totally blew your cover? Yeah, me neither. Experiences like this might not have been the most pleasant, but such is childhood. Kids these days (am I really already using that phrase at 21?) don’t have to suffer through their moms answering the home phone and inquiring about the “booooooooooyyy” calling. Instead, these kids walk around with smartphones and compose carefully thought-out, flirty texts to the boys they like, looking and sounding cooler than I ever did at 12. Cell phones are denying kids the proper forum for those painfully awkward “tween” years required to become interesting (and slightly insane) adults.
Listen, I’m not endorsing a massive burning of all things electronic. Just be aware that the phone glued to your hand does both good and… robs you of your youth and turns you into a sociopathic amateur playmate.