Welcome to the thunderdome: I am scared because of smartphones

I am getting a new phone next week, a Google Nexus 5. I feel lucky. I patiently checked rumors on tech websites prior to its launch, found myself irrevocably hooked on a product that did not exist yet, and willingly turned the right to know my personal whereabouts over to Google and/or the NSA.

And I have never felt better.

I was actually an early adopter of smartphones, but I have been out of the game for awhile. I got a Blackjack 1 all the way back senior year of high school, one of the few phones that ran Windows Phone 5. If you’re wondering what that is, you are obviously a whole lot cooler/hipper/possessing of better aesthetic taste than me, but it actually was a great phone. It was rootable way back before that was a word that Microsoft Word doesn’t put red squiggles under. I rooted my Blackjack in high school and put Pokemon Yellow, Super Mario Brothers and Metroid 2 on it. I don’t remember any high school chemistry as a result, but you should see my Mankee. He whipped up on Gary hard.

But now I am scared. As I said, I haven’t had a smartphone in a number of years, not since the wheel on my BlackBerry, rest in peace, company, but I also have some minor schadenfreude towards ex-ceo Jim Balsillie for trying to move the Nashville Predators, screwed up literally a week after I bought it and I had to operate it using a Q-Tip because it was around two hundred dollars for a repair. I have never liked BlackBerry since.

Am I going to turn into one of those people who pathologically cannot look up from their phone? I sure hope so. Eye contact has always been problematic for me, stemming from either my sensitivity towards sunlight or near-crippling social anxiety that developed as a result of childhood bullying. Having a little rectangular box that shows hockey scores and pictures of dogs in people clothing will prevent that from ever happening, and the Nexus’s slick five-inch screen gives me more screen real estate than other eye-avoidance devices.

Given my penchant for overloading surge protectors, this seems like a good choice. In addition to my laptop, alarm clock, near useless due to my sleepwalking, tablet, lamp and MP3 player, I am going to have an even bigger charger for a fire risk. Who doesn’t love accidental arson?

More than anything, though, I am glad that I will never have time to contemplate the extreme sadness and meaninglessness that pervades day-to-day life. Famous comedian, Louis C.K. said on Letterman recently that he is not going to buy his daughters cell phones because they need to learn to let the sadness hit them so that they can recover and feel true happiness as a result. That may work for you, Mr. C.K., but it doesn’t work for me. I just want to be able to push my existential dilemmas slightly forward by purchasing shiny things with paper and metal. Hopefully I will be able to perpetuate it and never think about it again.

I mean, heck, the Nexus 6 will come out next year, right?

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