I think I’m in pretty good shape.  I walk daily, I work out regularly, I do sit-ups and push-ups and squats and lunges; I’ve advanced to the half-lord of the fishes pose in my yoga class.

But I’ve become self-conscious about a part of my body that never bothered me before. And I’m beginning to wonder: Does this phone make my fingers look fat?

I’m getting a bit sensitive about it because I’ve been making fat-finger calls since I got it. It’s not that hard to do. I’ll go to call one person on my favorites list and because she’s sandwiched between two other people on a smooth and glossy screen, I’ll hit the wrong favorite. It’s getting to be a problem, especially when I fat-finger call someone who is out of the country.

Robin Conte

My old phone never did that. It fit me just fine. It was like a well-worn, relaxed-fit pair of jeans; it was comfy and roomy and it made me feel good about myself and about the size of my text fingers. It had plenty of wiggle room. It was a 10-year-old Nokia with a smashed-in keyboard, but that had its advantages. For one thing, I could text with my thumbnail. That old-timey keyboard allowed for precision hits.

I got a skinny new phone a few years ago, but it’s just too tight. Worse, it has a virtual keyboard that needs a fleshy finger to place a call.  This updated, yet unforgiving, keyboard wants fleshy, but not TOO fleshy—it wants a perfectly shaped, size-four text finger.

At least it has gotten accustomed to my digital heft, and it knows that when I type Vsn hou fi ? I mean Can you go? I’m learning, too—I’ve started texting the wrong word so it will self-correct to the right word, because that’s faster than trying to hit all right letters.

I never used to have a problem with my fingers overlapping onto another contact or another letter, but now they’re spreading all over the keyboard. I feel like my fingers have developed muffin top.  It’s really unnerving.

I know, I know. I need to upsize to the “boyfriend-fit” version of a smartphone, the one that’s designed for full-figured fingers. But I can’t bear to part with this tiny little number that fits so perfectly into the back pocket of my jeans and the side pouch of my purse.

So I’m going to take matters into my own hands—literally. I’m going to lose that finger flab!  I’ve decided to put my digits through a good workout every day.  I want the fingers of a 20-year-old.
I found a set of easy finger exercises guaranteed to slim those digits down to stylus shape.

I’ll warm them up with a series of stretches, then move to the toning and tightening. I’ll run them through a strenuous game of finger soccer for the aerobic component of the program, and then it’ll be time for the cool down.

And while I FLEX two three four, STRETCH two three four, LIFT two three four, BEND two three four, please tell me that it’s not me…it’s my phone.

Robin Conte is a writer and mother of four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be contacted at robinjm@earthlink.net.

Robin Conte

Robin Conte lives with her husband in an empty nest in Dunwoody. To contact her or to buy her new column collection, “The Best of the Nest,” see robinconte.com.