It was on a night like any other. I was casually sitting back in my chair watching TV, perhaps it was Jersey Shore or it could’ve just been something a little more highbrow, like CSI (Vegas). I was engaged in conversation via text with a friend of mine. I don’t really recall what the conversation was about now, but I know that I managed to spell something incorrectly. The reply that came back was the same word, with a couple of question marks at the end. Clearly what I had said made no sense and in my effort to explain myself I dropped this line:
“Oh that’s my iPhone, damn autocorrect”
Little did I know what I had started.
While I’d left myself open she delivered the knockout punch:
“Why is it then when someone has an iPhone they have to tell everyone? Why can’t you just say “phone”?”
I had nothing. I attempted to laugh it off, but she was right of course. No one refers to their Sony Ericcson as such, or their Nokia. Though there are an alarming number of people who refer to their blackberry as a blackberry, if only to invite a sympathetic nod from others. The conversation quickly passed, but the effects lingered; I was now one of those people. The worst thing was I didn’t even see it coming.
I have a friend who loves Apple products, and I’ve laughed at her over the years for paying over the odds for something that’s aesthetically pleasing, but massively overpriced for what it is. But then one day, finding myself with money to waste, I bought an iPod touch. It seemed a fairly innocuous choice at the time, one born more out of neccesity than anything else. At the time I was listening to a lot of audiobooks and a lot of podcasts and at the time there was nothing that organised that stuff better than iTunes, so I downloaded that.
And I wrestled with it constantly.
iTunes is an awkward beast. I’m sure it runs smooth as silk on an Apple machine, but on a PC it hogs your resources, freezes for a while and then just crashes out on you. It’s somewhat akin to a toddler on a sugar rush. But you can’t help going back, you have to. It’s man’s duty to tame that which cannot be tamed and men have died trying. But while I had iTunes under some control my mp3 player just wasn’t cutting it. My poor Creative Zen, while it would play every file format you could throw at it, it couldn’t really organise things that well. So while I would put it on shuffle I would get chapters of Moby Dick read out to me in between songs. While it was nice to catch up with Ishmael and the boys, it was jarring to hear right after NWA’s Fuck Tha Police.
I held out for as long as I could, but at some point I decided that the iPod wasn’t enough. I would find myself looking at iPhone deals and scoffing at the price. Why would anyone pay this for a phone? It’s just a phone! All you need it to do is text and make phone calls (Oh and occasionally take rude pictures of yourself) all the other stuff is just bullshit. Fuck Apple and fuck the iPhone!
So I bought one.
Not only did I buy one but I had to make sure people knew I bought one. Hey guy I’m sat next to on the bus, let me just peruse my iPhone for no reason. I have no texts to send, no phone calls to make, I’m very happy with the song that’s playing on there right now so I’m not changing that. But secretly I want you to sit there and admire me, because clearly I got my shit together. Friends too were not saved from having it thrust unto them. Need to know the answer to something fairly trivial like did Sylvester Stallone really make a film with Dolly Parton where he plays a country singer (The answer is yes he did, it’s a movie called Rhinestone and watch it now because it is the shit)? Let me consult my iPhone. No please let me, let me wave this sleek black piece of superiority right in front of your face. Lord forbid one of them ever mentions a problem with their phone, because once you’re an iPhone user any complaint from friend, or casual aquaintence, or stranger that you overhear is met with nothing but a sharp intake of breath and the line “Should’ve bought an iPhone”.
The worst thing about all this is that I’ve seen my future. When I was outside of the Apple ‘Family’ (Much like Scientology is a family) I would laugh at those people in a Starbucks, frantically typing away on their Macbooks and making sure everyone in the building knew just how creative they are. As we all know, famous novels are only written in Coffee shops. Hemmingway? He totally loved Costa Coffee by the way. Slowly though my laughter as turned to a longing, like a homeless person stood outside a Restaurant watching the others eat. I’m fighting the urge people, really I am. But they’re so sleek, the battery lasts forever; plus if I get it I just know that I’ll finally write that famous novel like I’ve always wanted to. Plus I get to drink coffee while I do it!
Come join us, please, you know you want to.