The more time I spend staring at my iPhone when I don’t really need to, the more choppy and unfocused my thoughts are. When I’m staring at the thing too often, my mind is more likely to veer toward mopey thoughts, time moves faster, and a low-grade anxiety hums in the back of my mind. It’s not realistic for me to ditch it altogether (nor do I want to), but I’m constantly trying to build better boundaries between myself and my phone. When I choose a better option in the moments when I’m compelled to check the phone for no real reason, I feel less like the news cycle, or my emails, or whoever is waiting on me to text them back is dictating the pace of my life.
I think Louis C.K. describes it best when he says ”you need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something” instead of whipping out your phone whenever fleeting thoughts of sadness or emptiness show up. It’s surprisingly tough! Most of us play with our phones all the time because it’s so much easier to find that distraction instead of getting real with ourselves about whatever we’re feeling that day. Here are some itty bitty tips that, while they may seem small, have helped me feel a bit more independent from my phone. Keep reading »
One of the biggest reasons I take pictures on the regular is a fear of forgetting, but as it turns out, all those pictures may be making my memories more likely to go fuzzy. There are so many small, delicious slices of life that I’m afraid will slip away forever or go undocumented somewhere in my head if I don’t snap a quick photo. I worry that I’ll lose perspective on the way I thought and felt during whole chunks of my past, though I suppose we’re all doomed to lose memories to some degree as we get older. What I should do about this is keep more of a written record of things, but instead I resort to the quicker method of taking photos. Thanks to smartphones with cameras and their all-too-easy to access apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, we’re all falling down a rabbit hole of constant capturing. You know when you go to a concert and everyone is holding their phone up to take a video instead of listening to the live music they paid for? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t always normal. Keep reading »
Apparently, we haven’t had enough people plunge into massive bodies of water for the sake of their phones yet — it’s happened again. This time, though, the story isn’t quite so funny. Earlier this week, 26-year-old Ken Hoang fell into the frigid Chicago River while trying to retrieve his phone, which he dropped on the ice. His two friends, a 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, walked onto the ice to try to pull him out of the river, only to fall in themselves. Keep reading »
Does anybody else have a weird junk drawer in their house that serves as a graveyard for retired, once-loved electronics? I do, and my pink Motorola Razr is chillin’ in there collecting dust next to the Nokia my mom got me in middle school that I treasured back in the day. Turns out, my old phones could save somebody’s life. This month, Safety Net, a program that aims to educate victims of domestic violence on using technology to escape their abusers, is collecting old phones from junk drawers across the country. The phones will be recycled for their parts or sold, with the proceeds going toward empowering victims. The Safety Net Project was created by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), and they’re partnering with DoSomething.org and MTV to amp up awareness with the Cell Phones For Survivors campaign. Keep reading »
Yes, with your phone. Because who doesn’t want to explain to the gal at the Android store that you cracked your screen whacking someone on the ass so you could measure the intensity of a spanking? A $1 app called Spanking Meter— which “doesn’t support violence against mobile phones, tablets or women,” mind you — features three modes to measure a spank: one smack (the free version) or more smacks and birthday spanking. Sensors on your gadget then measure the intensity of your spanking on a scale and saves the high scores in your phone. Of course, you’re not really incentivized to spank too hard because then you’d crack the screen. (And the app’s creators are not responsible for that, either.) The kicker is that Google claims the Spanking Meter app is a “high maturity” level. But I beg to differ on that point. [Play.Google.com]
Every phone I’ve ever owned has met a tragic and untimely death. Whether it’s the toilet, the concrete, the washing machine, a sandy beach, or a spilled glass of juice, I am an expert at breaking cell phones, so when I splurged on a fancy new Android a few weeks ago, I vowed things would be different. And for awhile, they were: I cradled it gently against my ear; I never touched the screen when my hands were messy; I tucked it carefully into its very own pocket in my purse. And then, a few days ago, I dropped it on the concrete while taking a nice, slow-paced stroll through the park. Looking down at that cracked screen, at all my hard work gone to waste, I had an epiphany: there must be 50 ways to break your cell phone. With apologies to Paul Simon, here they are… Keep reading »
This weekend, I went to the T-Mobile store to upgrade my smart phone to a smarter phone (nope, still don’t have an iPhone, whatever, shut up). I hadn’t gotten a new phone for awhile, so when the T-Mobile guy came over to help me, I asked if I was eligible for an upgrade. He stared back at me incredulously and said, “Upgrade? What are you talking about?” I repeated my question, explaining that in the past my plan had included a discounted or free phone every year or so. “I don’t understand,” he said. “Upgrade? What does that mean?” We went back and forth about the meaning of the word “upgrade” for a couple minutes, before he finally sighed dramatically and said, “Look, you just pick the phone you want and pay for it. There’s no such thing as an upgrade.” Awkward, right? But wait, that’s not the only cringeworthy moment I’ve had with my cell phone providers over the years. Check out four more, after the jump… Keep reading »
Uggs: They are a fashion monster, and yet, many people swear by their comfort. But teens and pre-teens at one Philadelphia-area middle school won’t be allowed to wear them anymore, either way. That’s because officials at Pottsdown Middle School feel that Uggs offer an all-too convenient hiding place for contraband cell phones. (If there had been cell phones when I was in high school, I would have failed.)
Those found sporting the hideous, mobile-phone-hiding footwear will receive detention. The Uggs ban may hopefully have unintended positive consequences — like pushing better footwear decisions upon teen girls. [Reuters]
It was only a matter of time beside someone decided to take sexting to the next level. A dude by the name of Fabian Hemmert, a designer at the Berlin University of the Arts, is working on three prototypes for phones that can give you actual physical affection that corresponds to the actions of the person on the other end of the line. One of the phones has a strap you wear around your hand that tightens—like a hand squeeze—when the person you are talking to ordains. Another prototype breathes sensually on your neck when someone breathes into their phone.
And then there’s the version that can actually kiss you. Keep reading »