The New Sillyphones Considered

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It’s almost time for me to get a new smartphone. But I’m torn. Do I just get a newer model smartphone or splurge for a spanking brand-new, cutting-edge sillyphone?

I grew up with the first smart phone. All you had to do was dial a number and it would connect and ring. That was a lot smarter than cranking it and having to go through a switchboard and operator.

Then phones got even smarter. You’d just push some buttons. Not long after that, wireless ones were available where you could walk around the room and not get tangled up and trip on the cord. There was no need to be tethered to an outlet. It was magic.

Soon phones became minor geniuses. They were small, folded up, and you could take them anywhere. Phones would ring in your pocket!

Next came screens, phones were mini-computers, you could send instant emails disguised as ‘texts’ and do lots of other great things like download a million+ useless apps. Phones became full-fledged geniuses.

Today there’s a new generation of super high-tech Sillyphones, mostly for silly people. To use these phones, you have to pass a fingerprint scanner or iris recognition test. They’re for people who think they’re secret agents or work at the Pentagon. Their Instagrams of restaurant dinner plates and videos of themselves drinking beer and throwing up are now classified as TOP SECRET, and might damage national security. Plus, they don’t want to be accused of ‘leaking’ sensitive information.

Then there’s augmented reality. This is where your sillyphone is paired with a pair of special glasses, and little messages are super-imposed over wherever you are. For example, if you’re standing in front of a store, super-imposed over the name sign on the store you’ll see, “This is a sign with the name of the store”. It improves reality.

So I’m perplexed. I’m not sure how silly I want to be. When I was a kiddy, walking around wearing a secret decoder ring was really neat. In my teens, pretending to be James Bond had its appeal. Nowadays, not so much.

And as far as augmented reality…I can barely deal with reality as it is. Augmentation would be overkill.

Just give me a plain, old-fashioned, dumb Smartphone.


Originally published at on April 11, 2017.

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