Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

Not smart enough for a smartphone

August 23, 2013

Begrudgingly, I have been dragged into the 21st century. I broke down and bought an iPhone. As my friend Mike said, “Welcome to 2007.”

So, I am a little behind the times. Whenever I pulled my old phone out of my pocket, my friends would look at me like I had a seashell and a carrier pigeon in my hand. So, I upgraded. I chucked the old phone in the sea gull disposal, where it droned on playing “It’s a living” to no one in particular.

My friend Ryan sent me a text, “I am running late for Lenny’s party. I will be there at 9:40.” I responded, “Kloop.”

My friend Jason wrote, “You got a new phone. Yay!” I answered back, “mjid.”

Needless to say, my fat fingers are adjusting to the touch screen.

Maybe they think I learned Polish over the weekend, too.

Nothing makes me feel dumber than having a new piece of technology. I feel like a Geico caveman. I am not smart enough for my smartphone. Even though the iPhone seems pretty idiot-proof, I feel like I’m the idiot bringing down the bell curve. For a brief moment, I wondered if the Amish community would take me in, but it seemed like it would be a long buggy ride home every Christmas.

It didn’t help that the salesman forgot to load my contacts onto the new phone. I saw that someone was calling me, but I couldn’t identify the number. I panicked. I had 130 contacts in the old phone, and I probably only memorized two of those 130 phone numbers. I didn’t recognize the phone numbers of my closest friends. Awkward.

It also doesn’t help that I have a lot of friends in IT. That’s Information Technology. I don’t have a lot of friends in “It,” scary-ass clowns who live in the sewer. Though, I don’t see a significant difference between the two. My IT friends were immediately laughing at my inability to use an object that they have used for years. They mocked, cajoled and teased. Essentially, the Homo sapiens are pointing at the Neanderthal and laughing. I may have to club them and drag them back to the cave.

I have no apps yet. Right now the phone is strictly for calling and texting while I learn to navigate it. If you get an invitation to play Candy Crush Saga from me, I am giving you permission to put a bullet into my head.

A few years ago, I balked at having a cellphone. My friend Henry bought me my first one for Christmas. I graciously accepted the present, but I was reluctant to use it. Nowadays, I can’t be without the darn thing for five minutes without going into some sort of panic. One time, I was at a bar with a group of friends and my phone battery died. I had to go home. While I balk at this new device, I’m sure I will be singing its praises all too soon.

I still think I may need thinner fingers to work the touch screen, but I am sure there’s a Finger Transplantation app on the phone somewhere.



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