Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#26 Not Using the Phone

No group dislikes talking to other people on the phone quite as much as nerds do. Surely there is a generational component to this dislike as well, but the average twenty-something is generally willing to phone to order pizza, where the average nerd will order something revolting on Foodler to avoid such a conversation. At one engineering office where close surveillance is possible, many of the employees choose to eat at what is uniformly recognized to be the worst of the nearby food options, solely because said greasy spoon has an online order system.

The iPhone is a dreadful tool for placing and receiving phone calls, and yet the amount of concern over that fact is remarkably limited given that it pretty much sucks at being--well, a phone. But since nerds make up a substantial component of its user base, the iPhone sails merrily along being a fantastic mini-computer and a substandard phone.

It may be that nerds require more social cues than the average person, and thus losing visual cues makes conversation impossible. It may be that nerds recognize that there are more efficient ways of communicating most pieces of information—ways that make use of the ability to type 100 wpm and don’t involve a guy named Vito mishearing sausage for cilantro. It may be that no human being has ever liked talking on the phone, but that most are better at hiding it. It may be that the nerd’s ideal phone is a iPod Touch.