You’re getting bored with your smartphone. It’s OK to admit it. My fellow editor, Evan, wrote a post not long ago asking how you all keep from becoming fatigued and uninterested with your devices. My question is, why? Why do we look at our current handsets -- these powerful little computers that once seemed impossible -- with a little dreariness and disdain?
We’re bored because we’re obsessed. It’s almost simple as that.
My smartphone obsession started almost 10 years ago, when I’d spend a good chunk of my days browsing Howard Forums. We’d talk about the hot new phones at the time, like the $500 Motorola RAZR, and there was even a community of buyers and sellers where we’d sell or trade phones. Exotic phones were all the rage, like the Motorola Ming, and it was pretty exciting.
Then, it was a new BlackBerry, Nokia, Helio, iPhone, Sidekick, and eventually, I moved to Android devices. Phones became prettier, more exciting, and very powerful.
After a while, though, smartphones have become pretty homogenous. There are few slider phones, flip phones, double-slider phones, back-flipping phones, swivel phones, and so on. Today’s devices are slabs -- giant slabs of screen and apps and processing power. What distinguishes one manufacturer’s flagship smartphone from another’s flagship just doesn’t seem terribly exciting anymore.
For a little while, apps saved us from becoming completely turned off. But like the devices themselves, apps have also saturated us to tears. There are hundreds of camera and photo editing apps, boring games, social networking apps, and utilities. Many of you suggested that downloading new apps or new skins and launchers were temporary fixes for your boredom.
However, I believe our boredom is a symptom of something bigger. I’m not sure what that is, but it’s probably the same thing that keeps us wanting new cars, clothes, shoes, appliances, computers, and other junk when what we have now is perfectly fine.
If new apps, cases, skins, and launchers don’t help in giving you that out-of-the-box feeling all over again, try creating something new with your phone.
I’ve seen incredible photos and videos that have been shot and edited with smartphones, for example. We’re not talking shaky home videos here, but featurettes and shorts that make you question whether they were really shot on smartphones.
If still photography or videography isn’t your thing, why not create a little art? We’ve all seen the New Yorker cover that was painted on an iPhone, but if you’re not up to that speed yet, it couldn’t hurt to try and hone that craft.
Or you can make sweet music on your smartphone or tablet. Think of all the music and instrument apps there are out there. Remember the iPad DJ? Or the band that played together in the NYC subway using their smartphones?
Whatever it is you’re into, don’t just think about it. Do it. Go make a crazy video that has us scratching our heads as to how you made it. Explore street photography with your smartphone’s discreet camera. Make music. Download apps to learn a new language. Create fun projects for yourself that uses your smartphone as a tool, because that’s what these things are -- powerful and versatile tools. And they’re affordable and fit right in our pockets.
Pick something, or a few things, and create something every day. Stick with it and keep consistent. Just remember that the things you can create with your device are more powerful and moving than just customizing your launcher so that it looks different from the way it did last week.
When you do make that cool new video, painting, or music track that you’re proud of, share it with us!