My distrust of the small screen

Don’t worry TV. This time you won’t be knocked for your shortcomings. I’m going after my cell phone.

I feel like an 80-year-old grandma saying it, but I don’t trust my cell. I just don’t. I consider myself relatively tech-savvy. I can use my phone for many things. I’ve more than mastered the internet on it, GPS, Facebook, UberTwitter, etc. I know the apps. I know how to get them and I know how to use them. But for the most part, I don’t really don’t trust the work I do on my phone.

Perfect example: I was stunned at how many comments I received on my last post. Thanks to you who commented- it was so appreciated. I was happily alerted to each post by an email that I got on my phone. The emails asked me if I wanted to approve the comments. I hesitated. Shouldn’t I wait until I’m on the computer to do this? I thought.

Honestly. I stopped to consider if I really should be moderating blog comments on my phone. It would only require a few simple clicks. It would mean pulling up WordPress to sign in and clicking “Approve.” Hadn’t I used my phone to log into things before? Hell, I’ve ordered pizzas on the internet on my phone. I’ve checked my banking on my phone. I’ve posted to tumblr from my phone. Why the hesitation?

Because I still don’t trust my cell phone. I think it’s easier to make mistakes on them. Blame the small fonts. Blame the small keys. Blame the relative newness of cell tech. Or blame my own paranoia.

I’m bringing this up because I think it’s an interesting point. I’m as close to digitally native as it comes in terms of people currently in the workplace. I would guess that generationally speaking, I’d be one of the first to nonchalantly use my phone for something like blogging. After all, I got my first cell phone when I was 16. I’ve been texting as long as I’ve had the phone. I assumed my first cell phone would have a camera.

And yet I also remember the OH GOD moment whenever I had accidentally hit the web icon on my first cell phone. I was terrified to accidentally surf the internet, thus racking up unintentional fees on my parents’ next bill. I also used to get early spam messages, offering me ways to reduce my credit card payments (I didn’t even have a card at the time) and I remember the fear that gripped my young heart as I naively wondered what I might have done to mess with my parents’ cards.

I should admit here to being a fairly gullible person. It’s a trait I hope to lose with time.

Or maybe my struggle with my Blackberry is related to the fact that I grew up staring a computer screen. I’m conditioned to visualize online transactions in those square dimensions. I find it challenging and uncertain to not be able to see how your comment will fit in relation to the general outlay of the site. I find it hard to work in tightly vertical block of text. How will my words look when spread out on a page?

Maybe it’s my phone. Maybe iPhones are better.

I’m getting over it. I know my brain, just like everyone else’s, is getting rewired to accept mobile as the norm. I recently tweeted about disliking Twitter on my phone and everyone responded with talk of iPads. It’s a good point. The mobile model will change as tablets claim whatever section of the market they will eventually own. Maybe their more user-friendly designs will make up for our current clumsy fumbling with tiny keys and tiny screens.

My conclusion is that mobile is a learning process for all. There’s no advantage to being GenY with this one. Not yet at least. Also, I want to give a shout-out to my Grandma and let her know that this time, I feel her frustration. The screens are just too damn small.


2 Comments on “My distrust of the small screen”

  1. You bring up an excellent point Kelly. I find myself doing the same, waiting until I can get to my netbook or desktop to write, respond to email, etc. Yet other online functions, like tweeting, I have no hesitation to do from my mobile. Why is this? Think you’ve touched on some of the practical reasons, but psychologically something is going on here isn’t it?

  2. kellystonebock says:

    Thanks Greg- thank goodness I’m not alone. And I’m sure you realize why I haven’t commented until now. I hadn’t gotten on my computer!

    Though I did write an email on the blackberry last night. Baby steps.

    You’re right though- bigger things than a general dislike of squinting at a small screens are afoot.

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