I, like you, dear reader, feel weird in many social interactions. When I feel awkward, my iPhone is always there for me. I can read my email while standing in line to avoid eye contact. I can fake an important text to leave a party. I can have a pretend phone conversation to avoid speaking to someone I don't like.
But there are some situations my iPhone just can't save me from. For those moments, I have thought up some apps to make the daily grind just a tad less uncomfortable.
An "Of COURSE I Remember You" App
Problem: That panicky feeling when you can't remember the name of the guy walking right toward you (or if you even know him).
Solution: A Shazam for people! With "Un-Awkward Me," you'd be able to hold an iPhone up at the approaching person. If you know him or her, the iPhone can match the person's face with a Facebook profile -- and give you a name and a few identifying details.
No more accidentally ignoring childhood friends because I'm not sure of their names, and no more greeting frightened strangers with a warm embrace. Everyone wins!
A "To Listen Or Not To Listen" App
Problem: I'd rather be raked over coals than listen to my voicemails. Seriously, this is my life:
Solution: An app that decides if a message is actually worth listening to. This app would rate each voicemail on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "delete immediately and feel no regret" and 10 being "listen to this now or face wrath." If Gmail can decide if an email is important, why can't my iPhone tell with voicemails? I demand answers.
A "Delayed Text" Button
Problem: I am afraid of looking too eager when texting, so I often don't respond to people right away to make it look like I have a life. (Full disclosure: I don't.) The problem is, if I don't respond immediately, I forget for hours or even days. A social Catch-22 of sorts!
Solution: A "delayed text" option, in which my iPhone waits 30 minutes to send the texts I craft. Tell me this is not the perfect idea.
An "Eavesdropper" App
Problem: I often commute/sit/walk/live while wearing headphones, and in doing so miss out on dramatic and/or funny conversations happening between strangers around me. That and, like, subway announcements or whatever.
Solution: An iPhone alert that automatically turns off my podcast when a fun conversation is happening around me. It will just listen for words like "murder," "cheating," "watch out" and "pizza." This isn't rocket science, people. It's computer science.
A "Locked Or Occupied?" App
Problem: I never know if a restaurant or store's bathroom is locked because (a) it's occupied or (b) I need to get the key from a cashier.
Solution: I'd like to be able to hold my iPhone up to a bathroom door and find out whether or not I can use the toilet inside it. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
Yes, it probably is.
A "Trader Joe's Pros" App
Problem: My one complaint with Trader Joe's is that other people are just as obsessed as I am, so there's always a ridiculous line. Like, around the block just to get inside the store.
Solution: I would like my iPhone to have a connection to a camera outside of my local Trader Joe's so I could see if there's a line or not. I know what you're thinking: "Why don't you just go there and see?" Well, I could (and I often do) but (a) this is my dream world, so back off, and (b) often Trader Joe's stores are far away from other grocery stores, so you have to make the decision ahead of time.
An "Automatic Slang Definer" App
Problem: MY friends are much hipper than I am. To be fair, most animals are hipper than I am. Thus, I am often faced with slang words I don't know. I don't want to look like a dingus by asking someone what he means when he says a music video had him "gagging."
Solution: I want my iPhone to be listening while I chat and give me a little ping when someone says some kewl thing. Perhaps my iPhone will buzz whenever someone says they "Criminal Minded" something, or whatever people say nowadays, and give me a quick definition. It will look like I just got a text, but in reality I'll be learning about popular culture.
Follow Alexis Kleinman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alexiskleinman