July 21, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Kennedy: Somebody call the cops, my smartphone is trying to hurt me

My iPhone might be trying to hurt me.

And I think I know why. It’s been breaking bad since I got an Apple Watch a couple of months ago. My theory is that my fancy phone is jealous of my smartwatch.

Why? Because more and more, I’m using my Apple Watch for texting and counting steps on my afternoon walks. I used to use my iPhone for these tasks.

I blame myself for trading in my ancient, but reliable, iPhone 6+ last year for a new iPhone 12. The new phone takes better photos, but it’s also temperamental.

On the other hand, my old iPhone 6+ was primitive but docile. My new 12 is smarter and more attractive, but also requires more TLC.

I have recently come to the conclusion that my phone actually means to do me harm. In fact, I’ve counted five ways it’s trying to hurt me.

See if you don’t agree.

It’s trying to hurt my feelings.

Like almost everyone else, I scroll news feeds on my phone with one hand. In my case, my left hand. Usually, this isn’t a problem unless I’m looking at Facebook, which was obviously designed by a right-hander.

When I look at the comments on a friend’s Facebook post, my left thumb accidentally hits the trigger for an auto-fill, which is often entirely inappropriate. For example, someone will post on Facebook that they are recovering from a heart attack — and my iPhone will try to reply with something like: “Fun, is this still happening!”

Yikes. My whole body stiffens with panic until I can reel back the suggested comment.

— It’s trying to hurt my livelihood.

I have developed something called iPhone pinkie. This is a soreness of my left pinkie caused by balancing my iPhone on my little finger while I scroll.

If you think I’m making this up, The Washington Post published an article last Monday titled “How To Avoid ‘Smartphone Pinkie.'” You can look it up.

It quoted a bunch of doctors warning against this 21st-century overuse injury and suggested two-handed scrolling or a PopSocket, one of those little suction cups that fits on the back of your phone.

I won’t be doing either of these things, well, because they both seem a little sissified.

On the other hand, if my left pinkie gets worse, it might become an occupational hazard. The left pinkie controls the “a” “q” and “z” keys on a computer keyboard. I’m pretty sure I could write a whole column without “q’s” or “z’s,” but vowels like “a” are pretty import-nt.

— It’s trying to hurt my head.

Twice in the last week, my iPhone has conspired with my phone charger to try to trip me on the way to the bathroom at night. (It’s an old-man thing.)

Both times I had to hop madly to get my balance to keep from cracking my head open on our chest of drawers. A sane person would move the charger cord, but that feels like surrender. Plus I like the way these mishaps fling the iPhone across the room. Serves it right.

— It’s trying to break my foot.

If you haven’t noticed, iPhones have gotten increasingly bigger and heavier. Plus, I’ve noticed that with advanced age comes a touch of clumsiness. I’m more prone to dropping things than ever before.

If you have ever dropped an iPhone from 5 feet onto your foot, it will make your say naughty words. I dropped my phone on my left big toe and it turned blue.

I’m pretty sure if an iPhone takes a big toe and a pinkie, it counts as total disability.

— It’s trying to burn my skin.

Our two sons are continuously embarrassed by the fact that my iPhone often shines through my pants pockets. Sometimes the flashlight even turns itself on. If it’s turned the right direction, it can heat up a spot on my inner thigh.

None of my actual body parts have caught fire yet, but it could happen.

Right now, as a I type, my phone is staring at me angrily from across the room.

Come at me, bro!

Email Mark Kennedy at [email protected].

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