Phone Guy

You could send text messages by calling Western Union and asking them to send a telegraph to whoever you wanted to talk to.

Please don't actually blog about your phone. Smug turtle neck sweater NPR groupie douchebags do that shit. You're so much better than that.” - My Main Bro Alexander

What the hell blog have you been reading, dumbass? Clearly I’m not.” – Me

When I was in high school I knew, through my various nerdy connections, a fair number of pretty naïve kids who were kept very sheltered by their highly religious, conservative parents. No TV, no R-rated movies, no Internet – they were kept pretty far behind the times in order to preserve their purity or some shit like that.

Sometime in my sophomore year, one such kid from the speech team ran up to me, clearly very excited.

“Truman!” He exclaimed. “Have you seen The Matrix?”

“Uh, yeah.” I said. I’d seen The Matrix when it came out in 1999, along with the two horrible sequels that had come out a year before this conversation.

“I just saw it, and it rocked!” He squealed, eyes alight.

He spent the rest of the week trying eagerly to discuss The Oracle and bullet time and whether we thought reality was all a big simulation or not with my friends and I, and our collective response was sort of, Dude, we all talked about this shit five years ago. The world has moved on. Where the hell were you?

That said, have you guys heard of the iPhone? I just got one, and it rocks!

I’d resisted the iPhone – and smartphones in general – for so long not because I doubted their usefulness, but because I felt like it’d just be healthier for me to stay away. I spend a lot of time on the Internet. I’d try to estimate how much of my life I spend shuttling back and forth between Facebook, Wikipedia, and, but any halfway realistic estimate would just make me sad about how much of my life I’m flushing down the tubes trying to think of funny status updates, and that estimate would be nowhere close to the actual amount of time I spend online.

So for somebody who spends too much time on the Internet, little excursions like driving to work, walking to the store, or going to the bathroom were my saving grace, the few times that I actually divorced myself from the Internet and did something in the real world – a cold and scary place where it’s difficult to express yourself because nothing has a ‘LIKE’ button attached to it and poking people is even creepier than it is online.

A smartphone, then, would be pretty much the end of me, because I’d essentially be carrying the entire Internet with me in my pocket at all times, not to mention this ‘Angry Birds’ thing the kids keep talking about which is apparently like meth for hipsters. When it comes to the Internet, even though I know I should I just physically can’t exercise restraint – for me, having Internet access at all times is a lot like those lab rats who, given a choice between pushing the button for food or pushing the button to stimulate the electrode in the pleasure center of their brains, mashed the pleasure button until they starved to death.

Plus, being away from the Internet gave me something to look forward to when I was stuck in traffic. Well, this sucks, but when you get home you can get on the Internet again and see what happened while you were gone! Just imagine how much new content has been generated in your absence! I loved checking my email after a long road trip and seeing the messages pour in so I could pretend I was popular (even though most of them were from Priceline – it’s easier to get out of the mafia than it is to get those assholes to quit sending you emails.)

As everyone around me started getting iPhones, though, it was harder and harder to keep up with the steady march of technology: People, some of whom write paychecks, now expect me to be able to read and respond to their emails immediately no matter where I am – if they’d expected that a few years ago, it would’ve been laughable and irresponsible. Now, though, not being able to send and receive email from my phone at all times is laughable and irresponsible. I had to catch up to the 21st century.

So I received my iPhone 4S yesterday, and in the past 24 hours I’ve decided two things:

1) Apple should manufacture everything - Pacemakers, airplanes, hospitals, guns, food – because they’re really fucking good at making good things that are awesome.
2) I am going to spend more time with this thing than most people spend with their kids.

I mean, it’s an incredible device, but just importing my contacts alone is probably going to take weeks – I’ve got to input all the numbers and names, sure, but then there’s that ‘company’ field underneath where I have to think up a funny title to give each of my friends. Then I have to find an appropriate picture that’ll pop up whenever they call, and then edit together an appropriate ringtone in Audacity… All I’m saying is, if this iPhone was a kid, the amount of attention I’m giving it qualifies me for father of the year.

That is, until I get drunk and drop it, at which point this analogy becomes very uncomfortable.

Truman Capps is practicing his flirting with Siri.