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Ay! Phone: How I, Like Many Latinos, Got A Smartphone/Tablet Over The Holidays & Grew To Love It


by Lucas Molandes

According to a recent NBC Latino article, nearly 5 billion Latino dollars were spent on smartphones this past holiday season. The desire for smartphones reflects the technology’s shift towards affordability and its increasing relevance to Latinos in the United States. As more and more Latinos pursue higher education and higher paying jobs, a greater need for the technology is necessary to in order to be competitive.

Though I am a Latino who got a new smartphone on Christmas, I don’t fall into that demographic at all.

Normally I don’t believe in New Years resolutions because I don’t believe a younger version of me knows what’s best for the older version of me. But I gave in this year and decided to give up drinking booze or caffeine for as long as I could. As you might guess, the absence of these daily enjoyments left a huge void in my soul. Some people try to fill that addiction hole with other things like charitable work or religion. As a new smartphone user, I‘ve been able to avoid that rock-bottom by translating my need for mindless distractions into continuously downloading apps and looking up information on a screen so small that I will surely be blind by the time I reach middle age. That’s the demographic I’ve fallen into.

The future me. Or Jose Feliciano. I can't tell.

But it’s worth it. My old phone was in need of a mercy killing. For the last several years, I’d been using a worn out Nokia that had belonged to my friend’s stepmother, a woman who’d gone missing after her trailer fell into a sinkhole. Presumably, the Nokia was the only thing that survived the disaster. Speaking of, I miss that phone because of how durable it was. The phone was capable of surviving falls down stairs, being left out on freezing nights, and accidentally getting dropped into multiple toilets. My new smartphone needs more safety gear than the dorky kid we used to throw rocks at during recess.

Still, I’m proud of my new smartphone. When I opened the gift on Christmas day and held it in my hand, I instantly knew how Biggie Smalls felt when he opened “Juicy” by saying his album was dedicated to all the people who said he’d never amount to anything. My smartphone is dedicated to all the people who never thought I could be better than them.

My life has improved exponentially in the few days since getting the phone. I’ve replaced being anti-social and easily agitated by drinking too much coffee and booze with being anti-social and easily agitated by playing Temple Runner and Angry Birds. Yeah sure I might go blind, but I can finally fit in with my tech savvy (aka white friends) and look cool by squinting at a small screen instead of human interaction. And isn’t that the true spirit of Christmas?

Lucas Molandes is a stand-up comedian that has made appearances at the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” and CNN”s “Not Just Another Cable News Show.” 

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