Monday, July 7, 2014


Cell phone. Smart phone. Feature phone.

I have a problem with calling these things phones. It's like calling a Swiss Army knife a Swiss Army fork. Take the least used portion of the tool and call it that because that makes a lot of sense.

I was looking at my Sprint bill and it says I used 24 minutes of phone time.

24 minutes.

Considering all the things I do with this thing, using the 'phone' portion of it is dead last. By a huge margin. I suspect there's a couple other people out there that are in a similar situation. Maybe a few more than a couple. So if we don't call it a phone, what do we call it?

I use my phone to research everything. A large chunk of my time using the device, in fact.  I could call it my Research Assistant Device, or RAD.

'Used my RAD today to check into transgender sexual implications of the cheese industry ban on non-approved chemical reduction via government mandates. Interesting thing about that...'

Hmmm... don't see that one catching on.

I'd say the second thing I use it for most is getting information and recording information. A lot of that is done through Google Now these days. Personal Digital Assistant is a pretty accurate term for what the device is, but the devices of the 90s that failed miserably used up that name. So that's no good. Calling it my 'Google Now' thingie isn't right either. No one wants to Google their thingie now.

I really like apps and games. A rare few are actually fun and useful. Checking out apps is a new addiction, though, and having access to millions of apps to try is a dubious method of naming the device at best. I don't like App Box, App Computer, or Cellular Remote App Platform.

'Where's your CRAP?'
'Can I borrow your CRAP?'
'My CRAP has Bluetooth.'

Everything is better with Bluetooth.

Most people, myself included, use SMS text to communicate mostly. Which auto-corrects on my phone to S&M sex. What? Weird. Calling it a 'text machine' doesn't really have much of a ring to it. Dubbing James Brown singing 'I'm feeling like being a text machine!' would be in too many commercials.

We could take all the functions and put them together. Call it a Budi (Bundled Universal Digital Information) and we could go around humming that catchy jingle from the 80s and making everyone want to shoot each other in the face. Or, perhaps call it a Bundled Electronic Device.

'Yay, baby. I'm going to put you in my BED.'
'Hi boss! I got some great new games you need to try in your BED!'


Many people use theirs to connect to social networks. I don't see people really calling it a Cellular Social or Cellso.  That's sounds too European to me.

Then again, in Europe they just call it a 'mobile.' Which makes a hell of a lot more sense than 'phone'.

Maybe just start calling them by name, like Bob or Sally.

Considering what people search on their devices, though, that could be little too creepy. I'm sure Siri gets enough of that already.

I like pocket computer best, but that one never worked out.

'What are you doing?'
'Playing with my pocket computer.'
'Yeah, whatever buddy. This is a family restaurant.'

In the end it's probably a pointless exercise.  We haven't had to 'dial' our phones since 1963, and we still have a device with a 'dialer' in it. I suspect 'phone' isn't going anywhere anytime soon, even if the meaning has completely changed. Viva la phone!