Thursday, May 19, 2011

iJerks



by Saint Mark (bio)

So, I had an interview the other day with an iJerk.

You may not know what I mean at first, but I bet you have met this person before. In pre-iPhone days, this person could have been known as a know-it-all, a wise guy, disagreeable, clever dick (there’s that word again. I promise I didn’t make it up - look here), or just one of those people who likes to find out every fact so they can tell you why you are wrong. In the old days, people would go to the dictionary or the encyclopedia or, the worst, an ADULT to find out information and then come back to you days later and tell you how you were wrong about such and such a fact (remember that time you said roadrunners weren't cuckoo birds...).

Now, we have iJerks. An iJerk is a person who during a conversation reflexively goes on their iPhone or other smart phone and types in one, some or every fact you state to confirm whether it is true or false.

Back to my interview for an example. I was asked about PF Changs restaurants in Boston and how many there were. Being an impoverished law student, I hadn’t seen the inside of a PF Changs for years nor seen one in Boston in two years of living there, so I assumed and stated (incorrectly) that I didn’t think there were any PF Changs in Boston. The iJerk quickly searched and found one PF Changs in a hotel where I had not been. Face! He didn’t say it but I felt it. This was just one of many iJerks I have met and I’m sure you have met as well and had the unfortunate displeasure to (not) communicate with.

As a personal plea to iJerks everywhere: Please put the iPhone back in your pocket. Let’s have a normal conversation where some immaterial factoids are left possibly correct or possibly incorrect. Who knows if there are rings around Uranus? Who cares. I know there are only three things we can take with us when we die: relationships, knowledge, and character. But does knowledge defeat relationships and character so completely that we can’t be agreeable when we know someone is wrong? Or, we can’t seek to improve the relationship first instead of improving our ego? Let’s just talk like imperfect humans, have some laughs, share some stories, and not treat every interaction like an electronic Inquisition.

Have you met an iJerk today?

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