Friday, February 24, 2012


Attention:  Smartphones are marketed as Smart.  People are not.  Not automatically, anyway.   On this day and in this age, a person still must prove himself or herself smart before being marketed as such.  A person is not smart just because they consider their smartphone to be an appendage.  Sorry if this news wrecks your day.

A person will still be rude if they use their smartphone to interrupt a conversation to read a text, or check a score, or Tweet, or update a status on Facebook.  And rude is rude: it is not smart.  Texting is something else entirely that makes us look stupid.  I’m not exactly sure who thought it would be easier to communicate through typing (and thus spelling) instead of talking.  Many people are not great spellers. When you talk, you don’t have to spell anything, unless there’s a toddler around.  Why make yourself look stupid by communicating via misspelled words?  And autocorrect (while sometimes hilarious) often makes people appear even dumber.

If you exclusively use your smartphone to find your way around the globe, you might not be very smart.  My husband and I have been in situations where someone has given us straightforward directions, and instead we choose to follow the route a smartphone suggests.  That route usually is longer, out of the way, and sometimes just plain wrong.  Using a smartphone to find your way in the world has made me look dumb, and it probably has made you look dumb, too.  Imagine how dumb our kids will be if in the future someone asks them to use a map to find a location.  They won’t even know what a map is if we’ve only taught them how to access directions via a smartphone.  They’ll be doubly dumb.

Moreover, if you are a parent and you look at your smartphone more than you look at your kids, you are dumb because you are Missing Everything.  Plus you are teaching your kids that smartphones are more important than they are, and more important than people in general.  That’s untrue, and it’s dumb.

We rely on smartphones for the news, our friends’ phone numbers, where to eat, what to buy, ways to get gum off of furniture.  Sometimes the news is wrong, the restaurant sucks, and we end up getting bad information that leaves a big bleached out spot on the couch.  And we can’t even contact the important people in our lives when the battery runs out on our smartphone, because we have allowed the smartphone to hold all of their information.  Dumb.

Of course, we can be dumb without a smartphone.  But we have filled these handheld devices with our lives, and we look at them as holding all the answers.  And sometimes they do, and the answers are good.  But we still look dumb looking into our palms instead of up into the world full of people, 7 billion resources that we have access to if only we look around.

By the way:  I do not own a smartphone.  I learned a long time ago that I don’t need any help looking dumb.

This is not your brain.