“I Forgot My [Portable Computer]”
A YouTube video about phone addiction made the rounds a few months ago, using exaggeration but nonetheless illustrating our dependency/connectivity with/to phones. “I Forgot My Phone” shows a day in the life of a millennial without a phone, observing the constant, distracting phone use displayed by her friends.
The video does capture an important part of current phone use, in that they’ve become an all-encompasing object for not just consumption, but a hub of content creation as well, namely photos and videos. The practice of taking photos and videos to record any and all experiences is only exponentially increasing. Accumulation is aided by the expansion of quantity and quality afforded by constantly developing tech, and thus the cycle of consumption continues. The video attests to this, illustrating a crowd of friends taking pictures of a birthday party rather than experiencing it.
But the video fails to grasp how cell phone use changed in a vital way, namely the decrease of phone use as a phone. The clip starts out with the young woman’s friend ignoring her, instead talking on his phone about something banal. This is where I roll my eyes, because no millennial actually uses their phone to make phone calls. Nah. At the very least, people are definitely not addicted to making phone calls. The vast preference to the proliferation of text messaging and other forms of digital communication afforded by phones can attest to this. If anything, the majority of millennials seek to avoid phone calls in preference for text exchanges out of preference/convenience.
After all, phones are no longer phones, they’re portable computers.