As a person with no life who works at home and also doesn’t have a televison, I spend an inordinate amount of time online. And I have noticed that tops among internet topics is the iPhone. I don’t have an iPhone. I don’t want an iPhone. I know if I got one I’d never figure out how to use it — and it would embarrass me how rarely I’d have occasion to take advantage of its capabilities. No one ever calls me. Like, ever.
On the other hand, I am a complete e-mail freak. I check my email about 4,000 an hour. And I’m definitely keen on owning a phone-camera combo. I’m so techno-Amish that I’m still using the cell phone that ten years ago came free with my service contract. That thing couldn’t take a picture if you strapped it to a Leica.
Now that I think about it, I think my real problem with buying an iPhone (beyond the price, of course) is that I have issues with Apple-chic. Whenever I go into the vast, gleaming Apple store near our home, I feel like I’ve entered some kind of Geek Revenge Zone. It’s so self-consciously hip, it’s trying so hard to be Cooler Than You, that to me it just feels alienatingly vacuous. That whole “Welcome to the Future!” nonsense that corporations do in hopes of generating a “I must catch up!” response in people drives me crazy. It’s so transparently manipulative, so aggressively nonchalant. And, of course, it invariably fails. “Corporate Execution” and “Look How Cool the Future Is!” go together like “Vote for Me!” and “I’ll never sell out!”
Maybe I’m just getting cranky. I am, after all, turning 50 this month: the classic crank age. I know growing older doesn’t help with the whole “Let’s Buy the Latest Techno-Innovation!” I’m still bitter about having to lose my VHS tapes. And my awesome collection of cassette tapes. And my amazing collection of LP’s. And all my 8-track tapes.
Okay, I never had any 8-track tapes. Even I could see those clunkers were on the short road to obscurity.
I think iPhones are mostly yet another way for people to avoid Actual Thinking. But now that I think about it, what has thinking really ever done for anyone? Besides, maybe, if at any moment, anywhere I am, I could receive an e-mail, listen to a song, surf the web, or snap a photo of something, I would finally have that rich, fulfilling life I’ve been meaning to acquire for … I don’t know … fifty years.