The iPhone 5 and Identity Issuesby Denise Lee on Sep, 23 2012
The iPhone 5 was announced by Apple on the 12th and released this past Friday. Apple advertises it as “The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.” I liked that. Simple and not in your face, almost like it’s too cool to even have to try to sell the product.
The newest version of the iPhone has received mixed reviews (by my friends and the people with whom I’ve personally discussed about it): some say it is super cool and others say it is mediocre, disappointing, and that it doesn’t have enough new features that differentiate it from the 4S. I don’t know. I’m really not the one you should consult with about iPhones and other tech-related things. You could probably gather that from the following conversation:
“I’m going to go get the new iPhone this weekend.”
“Oh yeah? Did you pre-order it?”
“No. I’m just going to go to the store and get it.”
An off-putting glance is shot at me that reads, “Are you serious…?”
This was the conversation I had with about six people this past week. I noticed the recurring glance; I did not take it into consideration. Reader, you are already shaking your head, I’m sure. I went to the Apple store on Saturday afternoon. I saw the new iPhone and held it in my hands. The guy in the blue shirt raised his eyebrows at me when I told him I was there to purchase one and asked him to please get me one from the back. I don’t really want to finish the anecdote because it is mildly humiliating and not all that eventful. Suffice it to say I came home with a bunch of groceries, a baguette, and no iPhone.
I have never owned an iPhone before. I don’t currently use a smart phone. I’m not necessarily proud of that fact, and I’m not one of those pretentious people who are like, “Yeah I just want to resist succumbing to the technological, robotic lifestyle that has frozen over our civilization” (okay, I kind of am one of those pretentious people, but now that I’ve committed to the idea of getting an iPhone, I have to come to terms with my new “pro-tech, pro-robot” identity. Whatever.). But speaking of which, there is a level of commitment involved in being converted into the cult of smart phones: you have to pay up an additional fee for the mobile Internet every month and, not to be dramatic, you kind of have to adapt to an entirely new lifestyle. In anticipation for getting this phone, I feel as if I’m preparing to strip myself of my identity, by simplifying my life to revolve around one small hand-held device, and alter my interaction with the world, as I know it. I remember a simpler—or rather, I’d say richer and more fruitful—time when cell phones were really rare, and then there were pagers, and then my uncle had a Palm Pilot and I was like, “What. Is. That.” And now every single person I come across to has an iPhone. I would know because they are always on their phones during our interactions. I am on my way to becoming one of those distracted, over-stimulated people (but I’ll try really hard not to, I promise). And I’ll be honest, I really just want the damn thing so I can gauge exactly when the 51B is coming to get me from the grocery store so that I can decide whether or not I should start the slow walk home. Plus, it takes really cool pictures—have you seen the panoramic photo function? You probably have.
Apparently, I was supposed to pre-order my phone like two years ago to get on some waiting list or show up to the storefront with a tent the night before the day of release. I didn’t do either of these things and evidently I am still living in 2005, when my dad and I went to pick up a really cool, really exciting silver flip phone from the Verizon store on a regular Tuesday afternoon. I realize that times haven’t changed all that much and that this scenario is still possible once the novelty of the gadget dwindles maybe in a couple of months. I guess I will have to wait a little longer to sell my soul to the digital devil.