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iPhone, Therefore I Am

The search for Happiness 2.0

iPhone, Therefore I Am
Photo by Lars Leetaru (Illustration)

Breathless, my body trilling with excitement, I hold the small, sleek box in my hand. The sun breaks through the clouds and a choir of angels seems to sing as I open it. Behold! In the hands of this mere mortal—an iPhone!

No mere telephone this. It is an MP3 player, digital camera, text messager, calendar, GPS, voice recorder, tiny TV, and cell phone. You can check your e-mail anywhere, anytime! Clearly it is a wondrous and magnificent item because you must stand in line at the Apple store for hours to have one bestowed upon thee. It fairly sparkles as I hold it aloft. And for this one fleeting moment, I am modern. Dare I say I may even be…cool? Hear me, world! I have an iPhone!

Hold everything. Am I the woman who never even wanted a cell phone? Two days earlier, I would have been happy to communicate with two tin cans connected by string. Now I am cooing over this precious little miracle, oohing and aahing over everything it could do. It never left my sight. Had I not had one last filament of restraint left, I would dress it up in cute clothes and carry it around in a baby sling.
What happened?

I have always been a latecomer to everything. For one thing, I tend toward frugality because I think that most of the stuff we “need” is superfluous. But mostly, my overriding philosophy can be summed up in the words of the Marx Brothers: “Whatever it is, I’m against it.” Because I am afraid. Every new iteration of the once simple telephone seems like a testimony about technology as a whole, and I cannot keep up. I have seen the tip of the iceberg and I’m overwhelmed. (Granted, this is coming from someone who thinks an ironing board is an engineering marvel.)

It had become rather a point of pride that in resisting the forces of progress, I’d actually circled ’round and become radically progressive in how far behind I was. After all, it was only three years ago I finally acquired a cordless phone after the ancient cord phone finally gave out. Everyone I knew had cell phones, and here I was marveling at the newfangled device that permitted me to move about freely in my apartment and converse—at the same time! This was that “technology” that people were talking about! Maybe the lemmings were on to something!

Whatever it was, I wanted to be part of it. Just being an average American, I am part of the modern age, whether I like it or not. And so I managed to incorporate computers and the information superhighway and even electricity into my life. It was time, I figured. Who knows, maybe it would even be somewhat helpful to be somewhat less un-current?

And then I got the iPhone.

Like any convert to anything, my addiction to it is now full-blown. With my new state-of-the-art productivity tool, I can do things I’d never planned or wanted to do, like watch YouTube any time I want. The GPS tracks my progress walking to the coffee shop I go to every day. I can take photographs of my home and send them instantly to my husband—who lives in the same home.

And what is this vague feeling of smugness when people are impressed with the contraption? Why, I’m so in love with the thing I barely have time to register my disgust with myself! Isn’t technology amazing?

I know that this mere thing cannot bring me happiness (I suspect they’re still working out the kinks in that application). But for this flash of a moment, I feel in step with the rest of the world. Even a little bit, well, progressive.

And…there goes the moment. It was fun while it lasted.

Sent from my iPhone.
 


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