I have an iPhone. That means I have terrible battery life. A few YouTube videos, one Snapchat, and two Facebook updates are enough to drain half of my battery, even in Low Power Mode. Luckily there is a solution: a portable charger. A portable charger is essentially a backup battery and it’s a lifesaver. I dropped thirty bucks on one a few weeks ago. I was hiking Half Dome in Yosemite and wanted to make sure my phone had enough juice to take plenty of pictures so I had to get one. It allows me to charge my phone up to three times before I have to recharge the charger. That’s good news for me, because I’m one of those anal people who can’t leave the house without being 100%. I dread a drained battery. Now I don’t have to worry about it. My charger also has two USB ports on it, meaning I can charge my vape at the same time. Not too shabby. The future is now.
It’s slow season at work so I get into a lot of mischief during my shifts now. One of my newest games is covertly taking selfies with someone else’s phone when they leave it unattended. You don’t need to know their passcode to access the camera so you can take a few random pictures or record a video without them knowing about it. I will take selfies and group shots of me and all of my accomplices, or record a quick video, and sneakily replace their phone without them knowing. Then you sit back and wait for them to discover it. Sometimes it happens right away, sometimes you have to wait a few minutes or hours, and sometimes it takes days. It’s always a funny reaction. There are a few rules to the game. Pick your targets well. Some people don’t like it when you use their stuff without asking. I wouldn’t recommend taking any crotch shots or capturing anything illegal. It should just be funny faces or middle fingers, nothing that will cause any distress. If you take selfies with someone else’s phone, expect to have someone taking selfies with your phone as payback. It’s all part of the game, so make sure you really want to play before you click the shutter button.
A passcode is a series of numbers that you enter into an electronic device for user authentication. When you drop five hundred bucks on an iPad, you want to make sure your shit is secure. You don’t want some stranger going through your contacts, pictures, and personal accounts. So you put a passcode on that bad boy. Now only you and your most observant friends can gain access to your electronics. I try to learn as many of my friends’ passcodes as I can. It’s fun to take selfies with their phone, status hack their Facebook accounts, or FaceTime a mutual friend. I don’t do anything too malicious (mostly so that they don’t change their passcode and I can keep pranking them).
Airplane mode is a setting on your phone/tablet/laptop that cuts off its transmission signal. It basically makes it invisible to the outside world. You can’t call, text, or browse the net but you can still run any apps, music, or videos that you have downloaded to your device. Most people only use airplane mode when they are on planes and the pilot tells you to put your stuff on airplane mode. That is a waste of a glorious setting. I use airplane mode all the time. I use it when I’m catching up with friends over dinner. I use it at the movies so I don’t get distracted. I use it to escape group texts blowing up my phone while I’m trying to sleep in. And here’s a good life hack: the next time you need to charge a dying phone in a hurry, switch it to airplane mode and it will recharge faster. It works. I swear. Airplane mode isn’t just for airplanes. Get with it.
The world is a different place when you lose your phone. You have no idea how reliant you are on a miniature computer that fits in your pocket until it’s no longer in your pocket. I know this because I lost my phone on Friday night. I left it in the Uber. It was terrible, it was amateur, it was a rookie mistake. I felt like a loser in every sense of the word. I noticed something was amiss pretty quickly. I got out of the Uber, went to 7-Eleven, and patted an empty pocket on the way out the door. I sheepishly confessed to my friend that I lost my phone and I didn’t know if I left it in the Uber or at the bar. Yes, I was a little bit drunk. It was Friday fucking night, what did you expect? We called the bar but nobody had turned it in. My friend called the Uber driver and left a message. Then there was nothing left to do but play the waiting game and it was getting kind of late so I went home.
I got home and started changing all my passwords. I changed my email passwords, my bank password, and my Facebook password (ain’t no way I’m getting status hacked on top of everything else). I tried to change my Venmo account but stopped when it tried to send verification to me via text. I’m changing my password for a reason, what the fucking fuck!?!
I had to work the next morning and wake up by 8:30 am. This is when not having a phone started to become an actual burden. I use my phone for everything, including as an alarm clock. Luckily I’m a spoiled American and used my iPad as an alarm clock. I woke up Saturday morning and left to take the bus to work. I got to the stop and wanted to check the arrival time but I couldn’t because I didn’t have my phone. I waited for a while. I’m not really sure how long I waited for. I couldn’t check because I didn’t have my phone. I finally got on a bus. It was an insanely long bus ride. I couldn’t do anything to pass the time. I couldn’t listen to music, read the news, check sports scores, stalk people on Facebook, or play Trivia Crack because I didn’t have my phone. All I could do was stare out the window. Along the way I saw a group of old ladies dressed up as pirates. It was an unusual sight, even for San Francisco, so I wanted to take a picture. I couldn’t though because I didn’t have my phone.
The Uber driver eventually got in touch with my friend and he promised to bring it back. I tried to meet up with him a few times but it’s hard to communicate through third parties. I had to borrow other people’s phones to text my friend to text the Uber driver and hope that the messages got through. I finally got my phone back earlier today. The Uber driver was actually really nice about the whole thing and refused to take any cash as a reward/tip/display of gratitude or gas money.
I went through the whole weekend without my phone in my pocket. I survived but I never want to experience that kind of anxiety again. I never knew what time it was. I couldn’t GPS so I didn’t know where I was. I would occasionally forget that I didn’t have it and check my pocket, remember it’s not there, and get sad. I would feel phantom vibrations. I couldn’t call anyone, I couldn’t text anyone, I could only talk to people that were in the same room as me. I felt disconnected and alone. It was like being in a different time, a forgotten era. I don’t ever want to go back there. I vow that I’ll never be that stupid again. At least I hope I’ll never be that stupid again.
I had a cyst removed from my cheek about a week ago. It was about the size of a marble, which doesn’t sound very impressive until you realize that it came from my face. They cut it out, put it in a jar, and sent it out for a biopsy to make sure that it wasn’t cancerous. I wasn’t too worried about it, but it was on the back of my mind for a few long days. Well, I woke up this morning to my phone ringing from a number that I didn’t recognize. I groggily answered it. A woman’s cheery voice informed me that they got the test results back and they were negative. My cyst was just a cyst and nothing more. I thanked her, hung up, and smiled. That was a pretty damn good wake up call. The best way to wake up is to find out that you don’t have cancer. Not all days start off with great news like that. I’ll take it.
Vertical filming is when you record a video on your smartphone without first rotating it 90 degrees. The end result is a tall and narrow video that doesn’t look natural. We see in landscape mode, not portrait mode. Movies and TV shows are often shot in widescreen. That’s what your eye wants to see. So the next time your friend does a drunken dance, flip your phone 90 degrees and record her shenanigans horizontally. You’ll notice you get a lot more hits on YouTube and more shares on Facebook. Film horizontally and save the world.
A Bluetooth headset is a small device that fits in your ear used for short-range voice transmission. You’ll typically find them on businessmen, cab drivers, and douchebags. There is no way to use a Bluetooth headset without looking pretentious. The problem with them is that you never know if the douchebag is talking to you or to someone else. They will suddenly ignore you in the middle of a conversation because their phone rings, but you can’t tell that the phone rang. You’ll think that they are still talking to you so you respond to them, and they point to their Bluetooth headset like you’re an idiot. People complain about how everyone is so absorbed in technology that there isn’t any real human interaction anymore. Bluetooth headsets and smart phones have a lot to do with that, but you can use a smart phone without looking like a tool. You can’t do that with Bluetooth in your ear. It’s a social deterrent. Bluetooth headsets are only acceptable if you are working or driving. But you’ll still look like a douchebag.
You’re hanging out with some friends or spending some time with family, just enjoying yourselves and catching up. Somebody asks you about the recent vacation that you took, and you start to describe the culture, the sights, and the things you did. And then you remember that you have a dozen pictures on your smartphone, so you bust it out and say, “Hold on, let me show you a picture.” You then spend the next few minutes scrolling through your thousands of pictures looking for the right ones, while everyone else pretends to care as their interest wanes. By the time you finally find the pictures of your vacation, the conversation has already moved on and nobody cares. They might glance at your pictures to be polite, but you’ve already killed the mood. Conversations are supposed to flow and transition. Trying to find a picture on your phone doesn’t let the conversation progress. A picture should start a discussion, not end it. You’re a great photographer though.
Most guys have a designated pocket for their cellphones. That way you just need to pat one pocket quickly to make sure you still have your phone. But every once in a while you will put your phone in a different pocket and then you’ll momentarily freak out when you check for your phone and it’s not there. You’ll think that you left it behind somewhere, or maybe someone stole it, or maybe you dropped it without realizing it. And then you do a quick pat down and find it in your sweatshirt pocket. Putting your phone in the wrong pocket makes you feel like a victim and a dumbass at the same time, like you pranked yourself. I hate pranking myself. A self-destructive prank war is never a good thing.
You’re lying in bed after a long night out and your phone buzzes. You fumble around for your phone, too tired to even sit up. You finally find your phone and hold it over your face, trying to figure out who is calling you so early and why. But you’re too groggy to function and you end up dropping your phone on your face. What a great way to start the day. At least you’re awake now. Hopefully your thick skull didn’t crack the screen. I don’t think your protection plan covers face dropping.
You’re hanging out with some friends when one of your mutual friends calls you from out of state. You have a brief conversation and you mention that you’re with a couple of people, and he tells you to “Tell them I say hi.” You say you will, you hang up, and you don’t tell them that he said hi. And why would you? He doesn’t really expect you to tell them that he said hi. He just said that to acknowledge their presence, that he remembers that they exist, and they are his friends too. He doesn’t want to me to actually tell them that he says hi. I’m always worried about telling them that he said hi and then they say to tell him hi back. And I do, and then he tells me to ask them how they are doing. And I do, and then they say they are doing fine and to ask him how he is doing. And I do, and then he tells me to tell them that he is good and that they should come out the next time he’s in town. And I do, and then they tell me to tell him that sounds like fun and that he should shoot them a text soon. I don’t want to be the messenger. I’m not an owl. If you want to tell them hi, do it yourself and leave me out of it.
It seems like everybody and their mom has a cell phone these days. Practically everyone has their own private line and number. If I want to talk to Billy, all I have to do is call Billy and Billy will pick up the phone. But it doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes Steve will pick up the phone, and I will be confused for a moment because I know that it’s not Billy and I know that I called Billy. I wanted to talk to Billy. I would have called Steve if I wanted to talk to Steve. Calling somebody and having someone else answer the phone gives you an uneasy feeling. It’s like a very mild betrayal. It’s probably why you text everyone instead of calling them.
It was really hot the other day, so I went swimming with a couple of friends. One of my friends was being really meticulous about emptying his pockets before jumping into the pool. He took off his watch, his chain, he took out his cash, he removed his wallet, then he ran to the pool and did a cannonball. He came up a second later with a scowl on his face and his iPhone in his hand. Fortunately, other people realized what had happened instantly, and before you know it his phone was in a bag of rice. Sticking your phone in rice and leaving it overnight will typically get your phone working again. The rice absorbs the moisture and your phone should start working again once it’s dried out. It’s important not to test your phone out while it’s still wet because you can short circuit it, and then no amount of rice will be able to save your phone. Rice is a wonder food. It feeds the world and saves electronics. It does way more for humanity than I ever will.
I was at the baseball game the other day, and I noticed the middle-aged woman sitting right in front of me was on her iPhone for most of the game. She was taking pictures and uploading them to Facebook, constantly updating her status, responding to all the lame comments that her lame friends were making about her lames pictures, and she spent a good solid 9 innings glued to her fucking phone. None of that shit bothered me. What bothered me was the fact that she was only using her pointer finger to type everything. She was moving at a snail’s pace. My grandma can type faster than her. My grandma knows to turn the phone sideways and to use two thumbs. I know you might be a little clueless on technology, but that has nothing to do with a lack of common sense. Typing on your phone with one finger is stupidly wrong. I don’t like to use the word retarded, but that’s what it is. You are fucking retarded if you’re typing with just your index finger. The only acceptable reason for typing on your phone with one finger is if you only have one finger. If you have thumbs, you should use those. Your phone’s keyboard was fucking designed for your fucking thumbs. If you don’t know how to use your phone, you don’t deserve your phone.
We are a society of consumers and that compels us to upgrade our phones constantly. You are behind the times if you don’t have the most current model and that’s somehow shameful. It’s weird. Upgrading your phone is like making your way through high school. You’re a Senior if you have the latest model, and that means you own the campus. You drop in the social standings for every year you’ve had your phone, You’re a Junior if your phone is a year old. You’re still an upperclassman, but you’re not top dog. You’re a Freshman if your phone is three or four years old. And if your phone is five years old you are in middle school and not worth talking about. I am still rocking my iPhone 4. Siri won’t talk to me, but I can look down on anyone who still has a phone with buttons. Conversely, anyone with an iPhone 5 or 4s can legally shun me. Even those fuckers with the Windows Phone can make fun of me because their phone is cooler than mine. Whatever, I’m chill with being in the middle of the totem pole.