I am not going to say that I have have a love/hate relationship with my phone, because mine is more of a begrudged-acceptance/resignation one. Still, the way our lives are now, one has to have a cellphone, particularly in my line of work. But how does one carry her cellphone? Since my clothes rarely have pockets, where should I keep it?
If I keep it in my bag, I will not hear it ringing when I am at work, because I don’t have my bag with me at all times. Same when I am at home, or when I am visiting somebody. I will not hear it in noisy places, like the street or a restaurant. So I need to take it out of my bag when I go somewhere, and then what?
Men’s clothes, formal and not, tend to have plenty of pockets, so for the moment this is a strictly female problem. However, I said “for the moment” because with the current trend of cellphones becoming bigger and bigger and turning into phablets, this is becoming a problem for them too.
I had been discussing this with other women at work and found out that they all share the same frustration so I started thinking of possible solutions (because that’s how I am wired, total nerd, if you want). But before getting too excited about my start-up idea, I decided that I could not just assume that this this is a general problem based on such small, anecdotal data. What about millennials, are they as frustrated as me and my friends? So I started asking this question every time I could, without appearing too crazy: “Nice phone you have there young person! Where do you keep it, how do you carry it around when you are not using it?”
”You know, when you are not actually talking on it? Or texting? Or searching the web? Or watching a video, instagramm-ing, vimeo-ing, taking selfies?” (Voice pitch getting higher and higher)
They all looked at me like I was crazy and this was a very stupid question!
And yet nobody could give me an answer.
And I am not trying to be a smartass and say that the entire generation is stupid and lazy. Plenty of idiots say that all the time – I actually talked with some intelligent young individuals who give me hope for humanity.
It rather seemed that my question was wrongly formulated or that it was the wrong question.
One of them said honestly that she had never thought about it, that she puts it down or puts it in her coat’s pocket…
“But what about summer? What about indoors?” I say. “My blue jeans?” “Yes, but what do you do at work, where you cannot wear jeans?”
Big, perplexed smile “you know, I never thought about it, I guess it was never a problem, so I don’t know. I will have to pay attention to what I do with it.”
And she did.
It turns out that millennials hold their phone.
They hold it all the time, apparently, even when they are not using it, even if they are carrying a capacious bag. They just hold it.
They put it down for a few minutes, while doing other things, but then they grab it again.
I find this fascinating.
It means that they use their phone much more than I do, and it goes to show that they are perfectly comfortable with constant interruptions, while I still wage an hopeless struggle against “multitasking”
What I really want and could possibly love, is something that could help me reduce the number of things I need to hold and carry around. I want it to be a smart phone, but also a driving license, a passport, a credit and debit card, an activity and heartbeat tracker, a blood pressure monitor, a locator of where I left my glasses and a caffeine dispenser.
Still, I would not want to hold such a device all day long!!!
I want to wear it or have it on me somehow and I want it to be an elegantly designed object of beauty. Perfectly matched with my personality or, less ambitiously, coordinated with my attire.
Beautiful and functional so that I don’t need to hold it all the time and I am free to hold other important things, like a book, a paintbrush, a child, my love’s hand, a glass of Brunello…
An acceptable solution would need a combination of good software, solid and beautiful hardware and intellectually elegant design.
Is somebody working on it?