Dear Apple,

People like me should not be allowed to purchase iPhones.

I am only two months into phone ownership and I already broke it. How? I have no idea. Pulling some amateur move trying to sync it I suspect.

But aside from the interruption to my day this has caused, something rather alarming occurred to me. In the past when my previous phones crashed I treated them all the same: I pushed some buttons. Then I pushed them harder and longer. Next I pushed more buttons in random sequences before finally resorting to slapping them around. Eventually, they seemed to come to work again. Not the iPhone. It’s frozen screen stared back at me unchanged after multiple efforts to reboot. It seemed sad. And annoyed at my incompetence.

While my instinct to throw the phone remains, I managed to hold back and try to troubleshoot the problem using online resources and email. Instead of cursing the phone, I began surfing CNET, blogs and the iPhone library to determine why this happened and how I could fix it. This is counter intuitive for me. I have to wonder if this phone is changing my behavior.

I also realized that for the first time I didn’t blame the technology – I assumed the problem was the result of something I did wrong. Why? Because this phone is smarter than me. It’s constantly working to improve itself. It reminds me of appointments I always forget. It gets me up in the morning. It tells me that I am late for my bus. (And the second bus.) It makes cute noises at me. And what do I do in return? I break it because I never read the directions.

So Apple, I am proposing something to you. Prior to allowing some random person off the street like me to purchase an iPhone, someone at the Apple store should hand over a list of things you should never do to your phone. And keep it short because I won’t read them if it’s over a page. You should probably use pictures too.

Also, every iPhone should come with a name and a birth certificate the user has to sign. Like Cabbage Patch kids dolls in the ’80s. That way I will be forced to recognize that I am not just entering into a contract with a new telephone company, but rather a relationship with it. Maybe then I would have treated my phone better. Maybe then I wouldn’t be staring at its sad black body strapped to my computer blinking in restore mode.



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