A conversation with Camille Shannon, social media people watcher, about her phone. Conducted by Reed Immer, recorded by Reed’s iPhone 4.
Glitch credit: Robin Szypulski
RI: So what type of phone do you have?
CS: An iPhone 5. I bought it a few months ago.
RI: What apps do you use?
CS: Not many, I never jumped on the app train. Just the basics like weather, banking, social media, Yelp–which I use all the time–and maps.
I never jumped on the app train. Just the basics like weather, banking, social media, Yelp–which I use all the time–and maps.
RI: What do you think of Yelp?
CS: It’s useful but it’s also a huge joke. A lot of the reviews are people just looking for something to complain about, like one for a pizza place where the first three paragraphs just ranted about finding a parking spot–a whole novel before they even got to the food. I’ve learned to disregard overly emotional reviews.
CS: But other than that I don’t really use apps.
RI: It’s funny that you say you don’t use any apps. It seems like weather, banking, social media and Yelp make up a hearty collection.
CS: Well some of my friends have 6 pages on their phone full of apps. I only have 3 pages.
RI: Can you show me how you organize your apps?
CS: So the first screen is just the default Apple apps. The stuff I can’t delete, and hardly ever use.
RI: Why do you place rarely-used apps on your first page? It seems like an inefficient use of your attention.
CS: Because it’s the default stuff that was on the phone when I first got it. I hate change, especially visual change.
RI: I also see your mail icon has over 1,000 unread mail messages. Is that a stressful image?
CS: Not really. It’s just my Gmail and I never delete anything, although I need to. The red notification bubbles used to stress me out but now I ignore it.
RI: Now we’re on the second page of apps.
CS: The second page is important things like navigation, utilities, weather, news. Serious person stuff.
RI: Apps that my grandpa would understand the value of.
CS: And then the third page is social media and fun stuff, including the NFL mobile app which I use all the time.
RI: Can we go into that?
CS: I use the NFL app to keep up with my team’s schedules and stuff, and I can also stream a broadcast from wherever I am.
[A mobile ad appears on the NFL app’s footer.]
RI: What do you think about this mobile ad that just popped up? How do you feel about mobile ads?
CS: I don’t even register them anymore. They’re always there. It’s just a part of life.
I don’t even register [mobile ads] anymore. They’re always there. It’s just a part of life.
RI: What are your top three most used social media apps?
CS: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for sure. LinkedIn I rarely ever use–it’s just not a fun escape. Facebook I use to turn my brain off and escape real life for a couple minutes. After work I want to be outside and not use technology anymore, but during work I’ll escape by going on Facebook for a few minutes and turning my brain off.
RI: Because it’s frowned upon for you to physically leave the building, but people can’t tell if you’re just mentally leaving.
RI: Do you turn to each of those three primary social apps–Facebook, Twitter and Instagram–for different reasons? What’s your motivation for diving into one over the other?
CS: Instagram I love for quickly checking out pretty pictures. Facebook is mindless–it’s just a chaotic mess of friends and family speaking their minds, talking for the sake of talking, whether they have anything valuable to say or not.
CS: Twitter is a great platform for humor and wit, including from people who aren’t my friends and family. Facebook is everyone I know, whether I like them or not. If I know someone in real life I feel obligated to friend them on Facebook, even if I don’t like their posts.
RI: Facebook allows users to hide others’ posts. Do you ever do that?
CS: Not really. Once in a while if someone’s consistently making me very angry I’ll hide their posts, but for everyone else I kind of enjoy watching the craziness.
If someone’s consistently making me very angry I’ll hide their [Facebook] posts, but for everyone else I kind of enjoy watching the craziness.
RI: It’s a human zoo.
CS: Right, it’s a human zoo.
RI: That sounds pretty good. Let’s say it together once.
RI + CS: Facebook is a human zoo.
Facebook is a human zoo.
RI: I love people watching, and I think that’s a huge part of social media.
CS: Right, I can look from afar and see how ridiculous you are, but without having to be too involved. Human zoo.
Other posts in the Young Adults And Their Phones interview series: