by Greg Schwem
I have a request, no, a plea, to cellphone manufacturers and software developers obsessed with phone memory.
You are the primary cause of an annoying disease I refer to as “scrolliosis.”
Those who suffer from it, and, in turn, cause those around them to suffer even more, are serial scrollers. In layman’s terms, they are obsessed with showing everyone the photo contents of their phones, beginning every sentence with, “Check this out!”
A scrolliosis victim could be your best friend, your relative or even your spouse; although, if my wife was constantly thrusting her phone in my face, I would put an immediate stop to it. But if it’s anyone else, I am forced to politely wait while their finger frantically moves vertically as they search for that photo or video clip that, according to them, I “just gotta see.”
What I really want to see their finger doing is repeatedly pushing the delete key until the only image left on their phones is the one on their home screen, covered in icons so I won’t have to look at that either.
I am not saying my phone is empty of memories; quite the contrary. My library shows I currently have 2,520 photos and (gulp) 1,362 videos vying for space with apps I actually use on a daily basis. About once a month, I attempt a phone cleanse, although it usually results in me deleting about one percent of my phone’s contents. Hey, you never know when somebody might want to see a selfie of me outside a Ketchikan, Alaska, salmon store. It could happen, right?
No, it couldn’t.
Think about it: Suppose I’m having a conversation with somebody about Alaska. That person expresses interest in visiting. Do I whip out my phone and say, “Check this out. Here’s ME in Alaska”? Followed by, “And here’s 40 more pictures of me in Alaska. And, wait a minute while I find it; wait, wait, hang on, it’s here somewhere…yes, here’s a video of a bear in Alaska!”
Somehow, I doubt the response would be, “Well, that’s all the evidence I need. I’m calling the airline today!”
When my daughters were of high school age, my wife and I frequently attended “pre dance” parties. Prior to homecoming or senior prom, a willing parent opened their home to about 30 couples, purely for the chance to take photos.
These get-togethers often lasted longer than the dances themselves; the event did not end until every ball gown and tuxedo-clad individual had taken pictures with every other attendee, in every conceivable combination. Yes, Chloe and Haley took a picture together but they didn’t take one with Samantha. Or Madeline. And did Madeline get one with Haley and Chloe, but not Samantha? And look who just showed up? Gabby!
This photo extravaganza continued until all the couples were satisfied they had, indeed, taken the appropriate amount of photos. Then, a late-arriving couple entered the home and the process started all over again. I could only imagine the scene on the Monday following the dance when Chloe met Madeline, Haley and Gabby in the school cafeteria and said, “You HAVE to see this video I took of us. Wait, wait…I know you have to get to class…here it is! No, wait, that’s me with Lizzie. Hold on…”
Twice a year, my town offers a shredding event, where residents are invited to, free of charge, destroy documents they no longer need. I suggest a similar event for phone contents. Keep five of the 367 photos you took of your Disney World vacation, transfer the rest to a thumb drive, and toss it into a machine full of sharp blades. You still have evidence on your phone that, yes, you visited Disney World and, yes, it was magical. But nobody will be forced to feign interest while you locate that amazing photo.
You are now cured of scrolliosis. That didn’t hurt a bit, did it?
(Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of two books: “Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad” and the recently released “The Road To Success Goes Through the Salad Bar: A Pile of BS From a Corporate Comedian,” available at Amazon.com. Visit Greg on the web at www.gregschwem.com.
You’ve enjoyed reading, and laughing at, Greg Schwem’s monthly humor columns in Senior Living News. But did you know Greg is also a nationally touring stand-up comedian? And he loves to make audiences laugh about the joys, and frustrations, of growing older. Watch the clip and, if you’d like Greg to perform at your senior center or senior event, contact him through his website at www.gregschwem.com)