7 silly things we do with smartphones

Among them, using abbreviations to send text messages, shooting videos incorrectly, and letting apps eat into battery life

Shweta Taneja
First Published29 Apr 2014
If you are speaking loudly, it&#8217;s a telltale sign that you are a digital immigrant <br />
If you are speaking loudly, it&#8217;s a telltale sign that you are a digital immigrant

Ever run around like a headless chicken in search of a socket, to plug in your dying smartphone? Or been told off for talking too loudly on the phone in a public place? The first brands you as someone who can’t stay away from those shiny little touch screens, even momentarily. The second is a dead giveaway that you are a recent digital immigrant. Here are seven ways to avoid being seen as a smartphone addict and being exposed as a smartphone newbie.

Keeping all the notifications on, always

DO: Find out how addicted you are to your smartphone with Menthal (Menthal.org, free on Google play), an app developed by the University of Bonn scientists to measure cellphone use. The app runs in the background and records every time you unlock your phone, start an app, or receive a call—and tells you how much of your time is consumed by your phone. Oh, and switch off, or at least silence, all those annoying notifications.

Taking videos in the portrait mode

DO: Want to correct something you have already shot in the portrait position? Download Video Swivel (iTunes, free) or the VLC media player on the desktop (Videolan.org, free) and straighten it up before you share.

Thinking it is clean

DO: Unplug your devices, switch them off and wipe them clean with a damp, lint-free cloth. Disinfect regularly using screen wipes like Lapcare Screen Cleaning Wet
Wipes (Lapcare.com; 130 onwards on Flipkart and Infibeam).

Typing text lingo

DO:If you have big or clumsy fingers which always type a wrong word, get SwiftKey Keyboard (Swiftkey.net, 99 on iTunes and Google play), which will even predict your next word and understand the way you type and learn from it, making your typing faster and easier. But do ditch the abbreviations. Asap.

Trusting the GPS blindly

DO:See the dot on the maps but don’t always believe it tells you the truth of where you are. In a car, push the phone towards the dashboard or the window so that it has a clear line of sight to the GPS satellite. And always backup by asking people.

Shouting into the microphone

DO:Whisper, don’t shout and reveal your age to others. If you do want to shout, it may as well be for something good. Download Shout (Shoutforgood.com, free on Google play and iTunes) and donate money to a non-governmental organization of your choice.

Using it while driving

DO:Don’t think you are cool if you can send a WhatsApp while driving. Monogamy is always way cooler than multitasking, especially in driving. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

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