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I seem to have acquired an iPhone. It isn't really *mine* -- it's on indefinite loan from a very kind friend who ended up with an excess number of the beasts for work-related reasons -- but, still, it's sitting there on my desk, all black and shiny (though with some distractingly obvious fingerprints on the screen), just begging me to surf the Internet or call someone long-distance or check the local weather forecast or take a picture of my cat or something.

I've never had a cell phone before, let alone an iPhone. There have been moments when I thought it would be handy -- walking miles to a location, then realizing I didn't bring the precise address with me; planning to meet someone somewhere, but not knowing precisely what time (or where) each of us will be available; seeing a billboard and wondering, "I know I saw that actress in something else ... but what was it?"; going to meet someone at a cafe as arranged and not knowing why they don't show up -- but I'm only now realizing how much I like my solitude when I leave the house. I don't really *want* to be more connected to the entire world all the time. I don't really *want* to have 24-hour access to the Internet. And I'm a little nervous about carrying someone else's very expensive little piece of hardware around in my backpack.

But tools are what we make of them, right? And a cell phone might sometimes be useful. I don't have to become a slave to it. I don't have to mainline Wikipedia everywhere I go. It's my choice.

I mean, just because you wisely don't want to take up the devil up on his offer of all the information and power in the world, doesn't mean you shouldn't just take him up on that one little favor. Right? It doesn't *have* to be a slippery slope.

(I think there were too many "nots" in that last paragraph. My head doesn't like doing that many linguistic u-turns so close together.)

So I'm figuring that for now I'll work on getting used to the *idea* of the iPhone. I'll leave it sitting very conspicuously on my desk, where I will see it a gazillion times a day, and contemplate the ways in which it could be useful to me without insidiously taking over my brain. I must remain strong. I have the power. Is the iPhone the master in this relationship? No, it is I. Repeat as often as necessary.

- - -

In other news, yesterday I was walking down Telegraph Avenue and saw a twenty-something panhandler sitting on the sidewalk with a cardboard sign in front of him that read, "I rely upon the generosity of others." Okay, not so weird, right? But the kid was typing on a friggin' laptop while he sat there. Sheesh! That must be some impressive generosity!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
When I get a new phone, I use it a lot the first week, and then go back to not really using it at all. But I'd go crazy not having one at all. I don't believe in having to be connected all the time, but I enjoy the comfort of knowing I could get in touch with someone if necessary. To let the hubby know if I'm running late so he doesn't worry. So he can text me when I'm out so I know I need to stop at the store. Etc.
Nov. 24th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)

Right. A mobile phone gives you the _opportunity_, not the obligation, to be connected. Just like your home phone, a mobile phone belongs to you, not to the caller, so you can turn it off any time you don't want to be disturbed, and be selective about whom you give the number to. I've had a mobile phone continuously since 1997 and really like the freedom and flexibility. I've had an iPhone since mid-2009 and love playing Scrabble on it.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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