10 Amazingly Dumb Things We Do with Smartphones

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. richard Says:


    I would love to know why you have a smartphone. I think this is the only reason I buy a smartphone is just so I can do everything you say is dumb. If I didn’t want to do any of these, I would have bought a 50 dollar to go phone. So spending over 800 dollars on a phone is so I can text and call people stupid, take a video of people with opinions getting their a** whoop, taking a picture of fat people stuffing their face with s**t they shouldn’t eat. Than blasting Lil Jon on my phone while on the train so I can annoy the other fat guy taking up 2 seats so he can go find another area to sit. and than making a video of myself watching all of you people out there doing everything wrong. Than texting made easier while driving using voice to text. Wow, they sure make some great phones. So until you pay mine and anyone else’s phone bill, your opinion sucks but was good enough to get my attention.

  2. Kenny Says:

    Mark Spoonauer, contrary to your article, I think you are the dumb one setting these “phone ethics” yourself. Smartphones become part of the everyday lives of all humanity. You are not the type of person who judge us if we deserve to have smartphones or not.

    1. Food postings regardless of the purpose whether of what you are having or what culinary “achievements” you’ve created is completely normal. We are in a social media age and we are our own celebrities or Hollywood star in our own PERSONAL page. Like Facebook for instance, posting something like a dish I’ve made/cooked/baked or whatever then share it is similar to posting pics of me winning a soccer game (go figure the relativity). People who’d give a fk are free to comment good or bad. Point is – its fkin normal!

    2. Settling Arguments via texting – well we can say texting is a “digital love letter” settling arguments is a gradual thing. Texting is now essential regardless how poor you put punctuations, grammar, etc. Its up to your capacity. You cant just jump into talking terms with your partner if you are both upset and go on Skype like nothing happened.

    In conclusion, smartphones are personal belongings so people are held responsible with it. They may substitute it as lighters in concert, the hell I care with it – it will be much safer, less flammable! People takes too much photos of themselves? The hell I care with it, that’s their phone, they can even take their nude photos for all I care (as long as not released in public). Its THEIR PHONE! I buy my phone for myself so naturally I will take photos of myself as many as I want rather than take photos of my neighbors in a good sunny day and post it on my Facebook! Calls can be important to people of all statures. Unless they are taking calls in a library, Church, while driving, or other really inappropriate places. Using whichever maps is completely none of your business as long as they find their way, its up to them how dumb can they be using maps.

    You are the dumb one setting these ridiculous restrictions and irrelevant topic over smartphones. Unless you want to tweet it or post in somewhere on the web.

    Now, go get a life :)


  3. Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief Says:

    Hi Kenny,

    I think you fail to see that this column was meant to be tongue in cheek. Of course people can use phones however they like.

  4. Jack Shappa Says:

    I think if you have to explain it’s tongue in cheek you’re not doing a great job. “Amazingly Dumb” things people do pretty much leaves little room for interpretation. Perhaps your writing skills need a tune up. Tongue in cheek is usually funny.

  5. Jarrod Bush Says:

    I don’t think it is bad or stupid. Perhaps is an age thing but I agree with most of these things. With the food thing I think posting a culinary achievement is fine, however I don’t need to see your McDonalds value meal saying #fatty. That is asanine and stupid. SO, I agree with number 1. It was never stated that texting was stupid. It said that you need to be careful what you text as tone and meaning can be lost (i.e. sarcasm) and can come across as being an a**hole. The concert thing is too normal now to stop because lets face it…it’s 2013, who smokes let alone carries a lighter. I have a girl on my facebook that takes about 12 selfies a day. Yes, some people need to stop. She’s not even very pretty. Headphones come with phones, use them. Taking a call in the elevator is rude and if you do this, especially often, you are an a**hole. Videos on portrait mode (and pictures for that matter) drive me insane. It’s like why bother taking the video if you don’t know how to use your phone. Apple maps…need I say more? Smartphone while walking…eh. Lastly, yes notifications need to be turned down in certain situations (i.e. meetings, church, movies, etc).

  6. Jay Wolfe Says:

    You forgot all about the idiots who use their phone in the d@@n public restrooms. You actually think the party on the other end doesn’t hear the toilets flushing or the guy in the stall next door taking a s$%t???? WT?

  7. Dave Says:

    I’m just glad that you pointed out that it’s only fandroids who are rude enough to leave their notifications turned up super high or run the volume at 11.


  8. Richey Says:

    Wow, poor butt-hurt people. You’re the ones he’s writing about alright… lol

  9. Gregg Says:

    I agree with everything except… Passing laws to prohibit phone use while walking or crossing a street… seriously???

  10. David A. Says:

    Best article I’ve read in months. Spot on, I agree with every single point. And I love the fact that the people who do these exact things are crying and moaning in the comments section. Lol!!! Priceless.

  11. Shaz Says:

    The main reason why you think people taking and sharing photos of their foods are dumb is because you ain’t Asian! LOL
    And I don’t see why everything you mentioned above are considered “dumb” acts? Apparently your intention was to write some catchy/”viral” tech articles online so that someone will pay you to write your next dumb article. I’m afraid your post was completely invaluable to tech audiences like me. Note: I will never want to hire you writing anything or speaking for my tech company.

  12. Julian Says:

    The people complaining about this article need to get a life, and stop using their smartphones as an excuse to be jackasses. If this comment hurts any ones feeling, good; I hope they text themselves off a cliff.

  13. Serge Says:

    Agreed that these are all “dumb”; why do you continue to do them?

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