February 16, 2009 will forever be known as liberation day for me. On my first day of freedom from a crippling Samsung cell phone my friend Peter was the first to warn me about the perils of owning an iPhone. “Careful. You’ll be an addict in no time.”
Silly man I thought. He doesn’t know me at all. I will never be one of those people plugged into their ianything all day. I will not care that I have instant access to everything I could ever want or need to know at anytime. I will never be one of those people clasping their little hand held key to the universe at all hours of the day. I will not sit at the dinner table and text. I will probably hardly use it. I will never be so shortsighted again.
I woke up the second night texting in my sleep. Yes, it’s true. I may actually be developing a case of carpal tunnel. But that is the downside. The upside, I am only five days in to phone ownership and it has already come in handy several times. For instance:
* Tuesday: When Emily was sick we perused the shelves at Walgreens searching for a device known as a ‘netipot,’ – recommended by my mother, and guaranteed to clear her sinuses. We overheard another gal talking to the pharmacist about a neti-pot but she had never heard of one either. Not knowing what it was exactly we were looking for, the three of us pulled up a picture on the iPhone and watched a video on Youtube explaining – in great detail – how to use it. And it was gross – and totally helpful.
* Wednesday: I got off the bus in Nopa and had no clue where I was or where I was going. I was supposed to meet my former roommate for dinner at his new place, but having no clue which direction to head north or south, I began walking aimlessly up/down? Broderick Street. Until I realized I was equipped with GPS. With one press of a button a tiny purple dot appeared on screen and showed me – me! The dot guided me all the way to Dave’s doorsteps like a virtual guardian angel. Magic.
* Thursday: I realize I may never have an excuse for being late again. As I was staring into my closet wondering what to wear to work, I pressed the MuniTime application on my phone and discovered my bus was coming in exactly four minutes. That left me one minute to change, pack my gym bag and run to the bus. It was close, but I made it.
Over the past few days I have also learned that there are dozens of seemingly useless applications on the iPhone that merely clutter your screen. I know I will never use that piano one. Or the guitar thingie. Or the camera one that takes four quick shots in a row. It’s the same photo but the last three are blurry – it seems … unnecessary. Part of me wonders if it is all a little too much.
But I realize like any new relationship – it takes time getting used to the other’s quirks, learning their flaws, and determining what is in fact a deal breaker. Looking back at that last sentence I realize I just referred to myself as being in a relationship with my phone. That is truly disturbing and a reflection that I have already formed an unhealthy attachment to it. I am putting my phone in my purse with one hand and typing with the other. We all need to have some boundaries. And I think I just reached mine.