The Rant

Smartphones Are Stupid

And so are the people who obsessively look at them

Photograph by Getty Images

I don't wanna sound like an old fart, but I hate when I'm out with my friends or my kids or people from work, and we're talking and having a good time, and then all of a sudden somebody — who am I kidding, EVERYBODY — starts in with their stupid smartphones.

What's so damn important on your iPhone that it can't wait until we're done scarfing down pizza, drinking mojitos or whatever the hell it is we're doing? Why is what your friend is saying on Facebook (who you're really not all that friendly with and wouldn't be caught dead with, outside in the real world) or someone who you're following on Twitter (who you don't even know IRL) more important than giving me (who you are friends with and who happens to be sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU) your full attention?

Why can't you just put the damn phone on vibrate and if it vibrates NOT pick it up unless it's one of your kids and it's an emergency (i.e., broken bones, bleeding, drunk and stranded) because if it's not an emergency, it can damn well wait. Facebook can fucking wait, too! And Twitter and that email from Spotify can also hold their damn horses. As for your other friends who are not at the table right now and are texting you ("hey man, what's up?"), they can also chill the hell out!

I know this makes me sound like those grumpy old Muppet men in the balcony, talking about how manners and respect used to matter to people a century ago, and I should just shut my trap and accept that this is the way we live in the world today and it's nothing personal. But it is personal. It's intensely personal.

I am a person who is sitting here right now and all of a sudden I've become Willy Loman and a terrible thing is happening to me. And attention must be paid.

And maybe also take off the damn headphones. I mean, really?