Does anyone else hate smartphones – or cell phones in general?

Profile photo of owenkellogg owenkellogg (@owenkellogg) 4 years, 4 months ago

(I’m 43. Maybe this is an “old man rant”, but I need to get this off my chest.)

I don’t necessarily hate the object itself, but the way people are obsessed with their phones I find extremely annoying. It seems that manners have all but disappeared. I can’t count how many times a day a converstation with a co-worker, friend or family member is interrupted by a phone call or text. 9 times out of 10, rather than postponing a reply to their phones, they immediately cut the conversation short as if the message is a matter of life or death.

I’m somewhat of a solitary introvert, but when I’m out in public people seem to be more interested in scratching around on their smartphone screens instead of interacting with friends or being aware of their surroundings. (Many have seen the viral vid of the woman who walked into the mall fountain while texting on her phone. I’m sure this happens more often than you think.) I recently went to a sports bar to watch the UFC. Before, and even during the televised event, the majority of people were locked onto their smartphones – not even paying attention to the fights or talking to their friends. Why even bother to go out in public?

Lastly, it seems that smartphone “apps” have replaced basic skills – and even intelligence. My daughter is 19. When she goes on a trip, I insist that she use a map to plan her route before she leaves. She thinks this is silly because she has a GPS on her iphone – and besides, “none of my friends use maps.”

Don’t get me wrong – I have a cell phone. It’s a flip phone. I can’t tell you what kind it is besides that I have Verizon service. I use it for phone calls and a few texts. However, I keep these to a minimum and try to be polite about how I use it in public. People are more important to me than some gadget in my pocket. I will admit that I saw an app on my daughter’s phone that I thought was pretty cool. It was a “star chart” thing that showed the location and position of the stars, as well as the moon and sun during any time of day or night. It’s not enough to make me want an iphone – I just thought it was pretty amazing. If my interest in astronomy grows more, I may invest in a telescope and other equipment and kick it old school.

Does anyone else see things this way, or am I just being a grouchy old fart?

February 26, 2013 at 7:52 am
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wayner (6) (@wayner) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

I am a 20 and I agree with you. Like you, I consider myself am introvert. I like to sit and watch people, in a non weird way, and almost everyone walks around with their heads down looking at their phone. It seems as if we don’t look up anymore, we stoop over our phones or laptops and use them to replace face to face communication. Personally I believe it has largely contributed, among other things, to the degradation of our society.

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E.C.F. Doyle (346) (@chekovchameleon) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

@owenkellogg, I know what you mean. Up until recently I absolutely detested smart phones. But I recently got a job in which I have to spend a lot of time on my own doing nothing so I invested in a smartphone to play poker online when I was doing nothing. I still feel the same way about the phone though. I put it away as soon as somebody comes near me. I intensely dislike when somebody is using their phone in my presence, so I don’t do it to. I don’t text unless it is something important. The thing that bothers me that people are essentially ignoring you to simply go on facebook and look at pictures cats and the likes. I wouldn’t mind but they have the internet, they could be ignoring me for all sorts of interesting stuff, but alas this is not to be. It has happened to me so often that I’m somewhere with someone and they spend the whole time on their phone and then later on I see that they have tagged me in a facebook status saying “at X with Doyle”. So you have ignored me to tell other people you are with me, whats that all about?

However you can do a lot of great things with smartphones when you are on your own, like getting the bus or anything. You have vast amounts of information in your pocket, that’s pretty cool.

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winslow (85) (@winslow) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

@owenkellogg, Im with you man. I lost my phone 2 weeks ago and havent even attempted to get a new one. Im enjoying the freedom!!

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YHVH (462) (@spaceghost) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

@chekovchameleon, How can I get a job like you have?

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YHVH (462) (@spaceghost) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

@owenkellogg, I bet back/neck problems will start arising from all these people with their heads lowered.

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E.C.F. Doyle (346) (@chekovchameleon) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

@spaceghost, Serious amounts of luck. I work in the stock room of a department store that does very little business so most of the day I’m just sitting around waiting for orders. And also the managers are the same age as me so they don’t give a fuck what I do as long as the minimal amount of work there is gets done. So I just got really lucky.

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PeaceRiot (178) (@peaceriot) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

@owenkellogg, It’s a love hate with me. It does so much cool shit.
I’m so bound by it.

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Anonymous (2,653) (@) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

Yes. That’s why I don’t own one. Bring a compass and binoculars! Ok, I’m kidding, but it’s just not necessary for me to take pictures all the time, watch movies while I walk or hold a shiny brick in my hands.

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Marlon (97) (@shoeopener) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

In how many situations vibrating devices are actually a good thing? Seriously.

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Shivvy (86) (@shivvy) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

@beyond, I’m with you on that one brother. I hate going out for social events with friends and as soon as we sit down at our table everyone is on their phones just doing their own thing. I rarely see any eye contact amongst people anymore.

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ALEC (25) (@ALEC) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

@owenkellogg, I’m 20 years old, and have had basically the same feelings ever since all my friends started getting cell phones (I wasn’t allowed one until age 18). I see cell phones, not to mention things like Facebook, Myspace, etc., as a vehicle that people use to seek attention, and to be even more attached to a meaningless social life. Plenty of people that I know seem to have forgotten how to make conversation, the minute someone else is talking they turn directly to their phones and everything said seems to fly right over their heads. I see the same people updating their Facebook, Twitter, taking pictures of themselves, mindlessly screwing around on their phones while remaining completely ignorant of life around them.
Throughout the years I’ve also noticed that many of my ‘friends’ on Facebook deliberately use the site for social exploitation and attention seeking. People can post the most meaningless shit, like “at the mall with @tag” or a picture of themselves making some ridiculous face 20 times a day. Not only do I see it as unproductive, self-absorbed bullshit, but these posts will get so many ‘likes’ and comments….for what? WHY?? It’s always been such a strange phenomenon to me….but I’m glad other people are just as cynical as I am about this

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Quay Denise (0) (@Quaydenise) 6 months, 3 weeks ago ago

well put!!

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Beni (110)C (@beniandtheuniverse) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

Recently I realized I spend an hour and a half (!!!!) first thing every morning on my phone. I’m getting a headache just thinking about it. I have to check Instagram, Facebook, Email, Texts, my daily horoscope… just to catch up on what happened when I was asleep. It’s pathetic. I’d love to chuck my phone at a wall and call it a day but it does so many coooool things! haha

I’m going to be implementing some kind of ‘system’ to ween myself off. Like having a designated spot where I put my phone when I come home (it’s so silly to carry it room to room, to the bathroom, then to breakfast, then to the shower). Tell people to call me if they can’t reach me, maybe I’ll hear it, maybe I won’t. That used to work in this society. I think it’ll be fine.

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TheSkaFish (961)M (@theskafish) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

I think they’re pretty useful devices, especially how the internet has made things like GPS possible. I hate getting lost, so it’s great for navigation on the go, when perhaps you don’t have space for a map, like when you’re walking in unfamiliar territory. Or you can look up stuff like train schedules if you can’t remember off the top of your head. And I like knowing that I have a line of communication with someone if I should be stranded somewhere.

I don’t like what I’ve been hearing about the radiation though, that just sounds unhealthy. And the contracts are really a pain in the ass, it’s another feckin’ bill. As useful as cell phones are I’ll be getting rid of mine ASAP for these reasons (just a cell, not a smart).

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Nagnostic (0) (@Nagnostic) 2 years, 9 months ago ago

The Internet didn’t make GPS possible. They’re independently developed systems predating stupid people’s network-enhanced ignorance.

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TheSkaFish (961)M (@theskafish) 2 years, 8 months ago ago

@nagnostic, okay, I guess I got that wrong. But calling me stupid and taking a wise-ass tone wasn’t necessary.

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Suereyya (164) (@drapetomania) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

I totally agree with everything you said. I do own a phone but it’s only for emergencies. Sometimes I tell people it’s broken so they’ll stop texting me 24/7. That’s just annoying.

I’ve noticed that phones influence our social skills and ability to have good conversations. Often when people don’t know what to say anymore, they avoid awkward silences by just whipping out their phones and staring at their screens. It’s just a form of ‘hiding’ from society. Instead of paying attention to what’s around them or having a chat with someone, people desperately avoid any social interaction nowadays.
It’s ironic how some are constantly on Facebook, chatting with others to ‘socialize’ and know what’s going on, instead of just talking to someone in person.

What bothers me even more though is seeing 4 year olds with iPhones or iPads. When I was 4, I had a sticks and pebbles to play with. And that’s perfectly fine because Kids at that age can find interest in even the smallest things. And that’s important! That way they can maintain their curiosity, imagination and train their physical abilities.

Phones are evil. They dominate our lives and most don’t even realize it.

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Marlon (97) (@shoeopener) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

:(

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Suereyya (164) (@drapetomania) 2 years, 11 months ago ago

Correction: They are useful for certain things :).

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mr. noone (20) (@mr.noone) 1 year, 4 months ago ago

This and all of the above posts are completely right and make very solid notes.

Not to mention that exactly these new children ‘toys’ are  the reason we see more and more KIDS with glasses since their 10’s … This has never been!

I will get rid of my smartphone at the end of this month – and I am not getting any other phone, even not a ‘normal’ phone. These things interfere with our brain waves and disconnect us from this world.

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Sarah Porter (6) (@srenaldo) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of smartphones. I feel that they have affected our society more negatively than once thought. I think that we are extremely privileged to have access to a variety of information via the internet, however, most people that I have observed seem to use the internet for really useless purposes (i.e. facebook). I also had a similar conversation with an ex boyfriend about using a GPS rather than using a map. He wanted to use GPS and then when we were in the mountains, there was no service. I think that these devices could be helpful but only if they are used to gain something meaningful.

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chumps (0) (@abeasley) 4 years, 4 months ago ago

I dont detest them, but I dont exactly praise the change they’ve brought to our society. I myself am guilty of a bit of habitual smartphone gazing, but I would not lump myself into the crowd that seems to be glued to the screen at a constant rate.

Smartphones can do many cool things, I’m very thankful for that. What I am not thankful for is the emphasis they’ve seemed to place on the constant use of social media. I dont need to know what you are doing every five minutes, or where you went to have that drink last night. Smartphones allow the constant update and insight to peoples lives that I simply do not need in my life. It’s great that you had waffles for breakfast this morning, but I’d rather not be constantly updated as to what is going on in your personal life. I simply dont care.

Also, talk to me for five minutes without reaching for your phone, proceeding to reply to whatever update you’ve just received. It’s incredibly rude.

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Shien Uzuki (0) (@hth3heretic) 4 years ago ago

22 year old here, while smartphone may be useful for some people, I’d say most of them are naive for thinking that they are ahead of the time just because they use one.
They get wowed just because it’s touch screen and there’s a lot of FREE apps.

Yeah sure, you can record voice, videos and take picture and share all of it online.
And there’s applications which allows you to send message and call for free which encourages people to text their friends everywhere they go.

I don’t like looking at people who updates their lives every hour so I don’t
They just randomly watch some videos, play some apps in situation like many of you said during an outing and etc.

I use a smartphone without internet and I don’t think I’m missing anything and texting has become harder for me
And I don’t feel comfortable being outsmarted by phones these days.

You know what my parents do all the time when they are free?
They just browse through their facebook to keep themselves updated

I’m glad I was born early before someone successfully introduced this “smartphone”
something merely 7 inch without buttons isn’t going to amuse me more than a laptop, an actual TV and my playstation

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Matt (0) (@MattWA) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

I can’t believe the number of people staring at their phones as they walk down the street. You can’t wait a few minutes to get where you are going before checking that screen? What is so important? Email, internet, Facebook? If you have to check your phone so often, how do you sleep? How can you lie in your bed for an hour and not check your phone?

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Bono (18) (@bono95zg) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

smartphones in <3

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Joseph (114) (@warriors41) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

I watched a TED talk today where a lady talks about how our phones and technology is now just as important to us as food and water. She was in New York when hurricane Sandy hit and she and a huge chunk of the neighbourhood had no power. Check it out: http://www.ted.com/talks/abha_dawesar_life_in_the_digital_now.html

I understand why people hate phones. Even people who are always on their phone will admit they hate it. I think humanity is in the process of becoming cyborgs. We’re trying to find our balance with “being one”. The people on earth right now who are old enough to remember a world without instant connection have trouble dealing with the new society. I’m one of these people who now have trouble interacting face to face because i’m so used to being behind a computer. I don’t hate phones, but I hate when people use it as an excuse to not do something. For example a coworker of mine will often check his phone, which prevents him from doing his job properly (which means more work for me). Or people will stare at their phone at the bar or a party, preventing healthy face to face interaction. The world right now needs to find a balance where technological communication is so normal and open and honest and loving (in the true sense of the word) that regular communication is just another normal part of life.
We should put away our phones more. Too many people trying to multitask, when this feat is unhealthy and arguably impossible to do. Oh and the astronomy apps are the best. If anything, as an aspiring astronomer, a pocket computer with a live updated map of the sky is the best thing to happen to the world. And it usually has a camera, to take nice pictures of UFO’s hehe :)

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Anonymous (7) (@) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

I use mine as an alarm clock and that’s about it.

Ever since phones became a thing I struggled with the idea of being contactable 24 hours a day. And I always found it rude if I was spending time with someone and they had there eyes focused on nothing but there phone. So eventually I stopped answering mine, and stopped hanging out with people who were obsessed with theirs. Life feels much better :)

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Anonymous (21) (@) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

@owenkellogg, I’m 23 and I quit using them one and a half years ago. I found it very annoying too. I remember when cellphones became popular between teenagers in my country some 15 years ago. And I tell you that a lot of things changed. The kids who were born in this cell phone era became dependent on it for social interaction. They interact via their phones rather than eye to eye. Recently I’ve been suffering a lot of pressure from friends and family to go back using it. Honestly I don’t feel like I need it. They can communicate with just fine, even though they feel it’s harder.

Like you said, some apps may be useful, I have a tablet and I guess like they,re big cell phones in terms of operating systems, I have a star chart app that helps with astronomy for example. At the same time, the light from the screen “blinds” me so can’t use it while looking at the sky.

This is another case in which moderation would be central. I like the mobile phone technology. It is interesting to have a phone to walk around with. When I was little you had to be home or have coins for a pay-phone. It simplifies things. The way it’s being used, however, annoys me. I just quit using for lack of need really.

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Jake (32) (@jacobbm) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgajtDfLmY4 this is pretty relevant, all things in moderation, but i agree @garreto, people become dependent on it and people’s attentions span’s suffer as they need constant interaction.
The most annoying times for me is when im at a gig and half the people stand there recording the entire set on their phones, yeah maybe take a few pictures or whatever but if your just stood behind a phone then it completely takes you out of the moment

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Anonymous (21) (@) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

@jacobbm, I can totally relate. This july I travelled far inland to a places with waterfalls, exuberant florets and wild life. No electronic technology. Breathtaking.

There were people there more worried about registering the whole experience with their phones and cameras than actually enjoying it. I was like.. Really? You’re hours away from civilization, in a paradise, and you letting the cellphone ‘enjoy’ it for you?

When I go out with my friends I wanna break their phones. You go to a bar. You sit on the table. You’re supposed to talk, interact,have fun. They’re half the time texting someone out of context, answering stupid related calls, or taking photos for social networks. They have to take a photo like every 5 minutes. Every silly thing is reason enough for a photo. You’re like in the middle of a conversation and a phone call is more important. The face to face moments which are rare, are under appreciated. Something that they can literally do whenever they want, they choose as a priority. Like you cant call that person later… Like cellphones only work twice a month..

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Anonymous (21) (@) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

@jacobbm, I forgot to play the movie. Felt so in her shoes after watching. Sums up exactly to how I feel. I guessing this is a universal thing now. Same behavior world-wide.

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Luis (63) (@luisfabian) 3 years, 7 months ago ago

@owenkellogg, Agreed! It is such a trip when I’m out with a group of people to dinner and 7 out of 10 of them are on the smart phone train. I almost want to ask if nobody here wants to be with each other as if someone on the virtual world is more fascinating. Or at a concert and they are recording everything! Looking at this event that they paid $20 $30 or $50 dollars for through a 2.5 inch screen. “Look at what the fuck is going on in front of you idiot. Your never going to play that video back anyway and if you do your going to be thinking of yourself I should be been watching instead of recording.” OH MAN!…….SOCIETY. Insane breed. Primal instinct should be taught. Then love. Then the world can begin. Soooooo maybe that’s my rant but what I mean to say is yes.

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