GIF: Hill Climb Monsters on YouTube

Since I was a youth, I’ve always been curious what people did with the photos they take. I take photographs of cars because it’s ostensibly at least part of my job, but it always makes the experience worse. What is the better way to watch Sebastien Loeb fly by you on a hillclimb stage in his 2013 Pikes Peak record setting Peugeot? With your eyeballs or through the tiny pixelated screen of your camera phone probably also from 2013? I thought so.

While watching this awesome video of awesome Loeb and his awesome Pug, my eye was drawn to the man standing on driver’s left of a right hand bend, looking at his tiny cell phone screen. Not only is this an obviously bad place to position yourself from the standpoint of safety, but ooh boy that video is going to be bad. What’s he going to do, pull it out at the pub later to show off the three second clip to his buddies in glorious 144p display? Is he going to turn it into an animation for his Geocities page? I bet the sound capture borders on Dolby quality.

If you ever have the opportunity to see one of the best rally and hillclimb drivers of our time racing up a hill in a world record winning 3.2-liter twin-turbo AWD hot hatch, put the phone down and enjoy the split second moment while it’s happening. You might remember it better.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m on my phone all the time. It’s a tiny machine I can put in my pocket that holds all of the world’s knowledge. Why wouldn’t I be on it all the time? That said, there are some experiences, like driving and watching other people drive, that phones make demonstrably worse.

It’s official, I’m an old man.