Tech Talk with Nazeem Hussain

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Mar 08, 2016

by DI WEBSTER, Managing Editor

The stand-up comedian’s addiction to technology isn’t funny. On second thoughts… actually, it is.

What’s your latest technology purchase?

One of those chunky Mophie battery cases for my iPhone. I don’t understand the point of designing a slick, slim iPhone if the battery is so terrible that you have to bury it in a thick, ugly back-up battery case. My phone looks like it’s from the ’90s.

So you favour Apple over Android?

I’m an Apple guy but those Android phones seem to have a way better battery life. I think I’ve got low-battery anxiety. I have an iPhone, iPad and MacBook, plus Apple TV. I feel like such a sucker, like a stupid consumer. Each time, I say, “I’m not like the rest” as I buy an iPad or a new phone or update this or that. We’re all just sheep following the turtleneck-sweater guy.

You don’t camp outside the store on new-release day, do you?

No! I’m not that guy. I’m cooler than that. I wait at least a week.

What apps do you use the most?

I started using Google Calendar about a year ago and it’s changed my life. It holds all my important meetings and gigs, even reminders to wash my underwear and buy bread. I use it for everything. I also use a banking app. And I prefer WhatsApp to normal text-messaging; you can send photos faster and voice messages. I voice-message stupid things and sounds to my friends all day.

What social networks are you on?

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat but I’m not one of those people who puts everything out there. Social media is a weird performance but you have to do it if you’re an entertainer. I find it enjoyable when you can connect with an audience.

Have you ever regretted a tweet?

I don’t regret tweets; I regret that I waste time reading mean tweets. Recently, a guy sent me a stock-standard hate tweet: “I hate you because you’re Muslim and I hate Islam. F**k Islam.” I replied: “I love you. Can I be your friend?” We’re making plans to meet. He suggested Federation Square [in Melbourne]; I suggested the Lord of the Fries because it’s next to a police station. I’m genuinely interested to know about that kind of person.

What technology do you take on planes?

My iPhone and laptop. And in my Google Calendar I have a list of things I need to do on the plane trip... but as soon as the plane starts moving on the runway I fall asleep. My body associates planes with sleeping.

So you don’t have a view about wi-fi on planes?

You can’t sleep the entire trip so on long flights, if there’s wi-fi, I might post something on Twitter or Facebook about how I’m using the internet in the sky. That’s probably what results in me losing friends on social media. I switch off by mucking around on the net. There are so many funny things online.

Do you ever have technology-free time?

If I’m with friends I’m present; I don’t use my phone. When I’m performing on stage, I don’t use my phone. But when I’m not interacting with people in person then I’m interacting with them online.

What’s your worst technology habit?

Probably reading texts and replying in my own head – not actually replying.

What’s been your favourite social media moment?

Chuck D from Public Enemy follows me on Twitter. I definitely celebrated the day that happened. I like all of his tweets but he’s never interacted with me since. Then I realised he follows tens of thousands of people. 

Nazeem Hussain is performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which runs from March 23 to April 17. For more information, go to