Monday, July 26, 2010

Next Update: Installing a USB Port in My Neck and Bluetooth in My Head

When my iPhone 4 died last week, I thought a piece of me died with it. I walked around for two days without the alerts, buzzing, and special rings that had become as commonplace to me as the sound of my own heart beating...perhaps even more commonplace. I was envious when I heard other people's phones ring with familiar sounds and when I was stuck waiting in a line, I had nothing with which to occupy myself during the unexpected wait.

My iPhone has become indispensable to me. It evolved from being a sometimes useful, always entertaining novelty into my Swiss Army Knife for life. There are apps I use to countdown upcoming events, trips, and conferences; apps for tracking my time spent on projects, and regular access to all the social media tools I have come to rely upon for timely information on what is happening in my industry, circle of friends, and from thought leaders around the world. How quickly the world has changed without me even realizing it.

When I was in grade school I recall a teacher railing against the use of calculators. "Pretty soon," he said "no one will be able to do any kind of math without one!"

I was scared when he made such a grand statement, but also thankful I was around for the calculator since my forte was not in arithmetic. I was thankful for my digital watch and thankful for my time spent in the hallway playing "Oregon Trail" on one of my school's few computers. I had special privileges to use it and did on a regular basis. I quickly adapted to what seemed normal around me with only irregular outbursts from people like my teacher who predicted the downfall of intelligence based on the little machines we used to practice our multiplication and spell out "boobs" (60065) upside down.

But then my iPhone stopped working as I was driving home and suddenly I felt vulnerable. What happened if my child's daycare tried to reach me? How could I access my next appointments? How would I find the address to the next meeting? What the hell was my husband's cell phone number?!?

That's right. I don't even have my own husband's cell phone number memorized. We have been married over five years, we have a daughter, and share many responsibilities...yet, without my cell phone I have no idea how to reach him.

I love gadgets and technology and web tools and all of the nifty things you can do to use and re-use information. But was my teacher right all those years ago? Am I useless at doing things now without my SmartPhone? How quickly we adapt!

Maybe it isn't as bad as it seems...

Redeeming facts:
  • I can now donate to worthwhile causes from my phone
  • I can now book a doctor's appt for my daughter on my phone
  • I can avoid forgetting where I parked in a garage because of my phone
  • Unless we all still had rotary dials, I never had a chance of memorizing my hubby's number
  • I'm not good with numbers...period.
  • I can track what's happening at work while stuck in a line or waiting to meet someone at a restaurant.

Sometimes when it rains, I like to turn off everything and just listen to the quiet. This doesn't happen much anymore because usually I have a two-year-old running around me, but occasionally I still find these odd pockets of time in quiet. And I feel centered. I take account of where I am in life and I take a deep breath and feel really happy.

When the rain stops, the phone begins to buzz, and I come back into my usual noisy life; I realize that I don't give a damn that I need a calculator when I balance my checkbook. I don't mind taking advantage of the handy devices created to help and entertain us all. As long as my math skills are good enough for me to calculate 20% off for sales and I keep a card with my husband's number secured in my wallet (and car console, and jacket pocket, and dropbox) I will be just fine.

I just pray my iPhone doesn't fail on me again...


  1. We are connected - and the iPhone is one of the best ways to stay that way. My daughter was traveling back from Orlando to Harrisburg, PA, and I could help her along the way (find rest stops, restaurants, hotels) - even though I was traveling from Orlando to San Fran.
    Thanks for a great post.

  2. Great article, I have often wondered how I can live without all this technology we have been accustomed to. I remember when my phone died on me too a couple of months back. I was about to lose my sanity because, like you I had relied on my phone to keep details of my daily life! I was off balanced that day, but amazingly I was able to work my way thru it all.

  3. Some days I grow tired of my phone buzzing non stop and I crave for some quiet time without anything electronic around me. I picture the times of olden years, centuries ago when the only means of communication from afar was smoke. Then I snapped out of it and say to myself..."Man, that's gonna be hard!"

  4. LOL @ Art.

    Yeah me too. But I really can't imagine myself without my iPhone with me. I just got so used to the convenience of having it with me.

  5. This post made my day. It reminded me of that frustrating day when my phone died on me as well. I was literally catatonic and lost! I relied to much on my phone, now I know its not good.

  6. That's a cute photo. Poor little teddy!

    Sometime I wish to stuck my head to the CPU just like Teddy over there. With the ease and convenience technology brings, it also is frustrating when it doesn't work the way it should be. So KiKi, did you get a new SmartPhone?

  7. OMG! I remember my high school teacher said that as well. Oh wait, did we go to the same high school? LoL. Kidding aside, as a self confessed iPhone addict I kinda picture how you felt when yours quit working. If that happened to me I'd prolly go nuts!


Thanks for your comments!