I work at a pretty cool place. As with anything else, of course, it’s not without the occasional challenge, but that’s beside the point. Today’s point is that it’s cool because everyone in my department gets a Blackberry, paid for by the company. In general, I like stuff I don’t have to pay for; gadgets that I don’t have to pay for are some of my favorite things on the planet.
A few of my coworkers, though, have, for various reasons, chosen to carry an additional, personal phone. At least three of them have iPhones. Now, no matter what Crackberry people try to tell you, the device simply does not compare with an iPhone in the areas of design and ease of use. The Blackberry is an incredibly useful tool; the iPhone, however, is a piece of technological art.
One night last week, disaster struck. One of the iPhoneys*lost the use of her favorite Apple device. I won’t go into details of exactly what happened beyond simply stating that there may have been a ker-splash. Since then, the poor girl has moped, whined, and complained daily about how horrible her life is without her precious lifeline to the greater online world.
Quite frankly, I’m tired of listening to it.
Every day, she tells me how she’s suddenly deaf, blind, and mute without her iPhone. No mobile facebook (gasp!). No email (egad!). No instant access to the internet (oh, the humanity!). I’ve tried and tried to tell her that the Blackberry she keeps on her desk, alone and forgotten, can do 90% of everything that her iPhone could do. Apparently, though, it’s not Apple. Worse than that, there’s no touchscreen, which means struggling with a trackball and physical keyboard like it’s some form of medieval torture device.
“What will it be for the prisoners today sir, The Rack, or Iron Maiden?”
“No, no, Igor, get me (ominous music) …the Blackberry!”
Yesterday, after complaining again that she was losing touch with all her friends because she couldn’t check facebook, I pulled off the proverbial padded gloves and told her to quit whining and just use the Blackberry’s Facebook app. You know, like the rest of the poor, iPhone-less schmucks do it.
She replied that I was dead to her.
Ok, so, I’m willing to admit that maybe I could be a tad more sympathetic. After all, I’ve lived in the modern world all my life. I barely remember what it was like without word processing software; I wouldn’t want someone telling me to wheel out the 1972 Smith Corona and get typing just because my Windows PC showed me the Blue Screen of Death.
Here’s the thing: there’s one
very personal reason that I’ve have no sympathetic capacity for someone living briefly without an iPhone.
I’m 17 shades of envious green over the office iPhoneys.
There, I said it. I want to be an Apple-ite. I want to worship at the altar of Steve Jobs. My car should sport some cool apple decals! I want an iPhone and an iPad and an iMac so badly I’ve considered offering one of the kids in trade at The Apple Store. I mean, I can make more of them and the Puddinette’s always wondering what it’d be like to have another baby anyway.**
I want to be able to sync with iTunes and get the App for that. Yes, sure, the Blackberry has apps. But not the really, really cool ones. And I want my mobile facebook experience to be cool, just like using it on a PC. The Blackberry app for facebook is clearly a red-headed step-child.
I want to be able to send text messages too. I can’t text, and it’s shameful. The company doesn’t pay for it. And no, I can’t pay for my own texting; I’ve asked. So while all the rest of the civilized world sends texts flying back and forth like tennis balls, I have to sit in the dark and wait for someone to shoot me an email…how quaint. Kids walking past me at the park ask their parents why that old-fashioned man is sending lame emails from his phone. Parents wisely shush them politely and hurry them past me, to get them away from the creepy man.
The Puddinette can text, and she refuses to learn how our remote control works.
My DAD can text.
So. There, I’ve come clean. I used to be the guy that would cheerfully drop unspecified wads of theoretical money for the newest, cool piece of technology. Along the way, I’ve somehow become a luddite who refuses to carry more than one gadget in my pocket and is too chea…chea…frugal to pay for the phone service I really want because there’s a perfectly good (free!) phone given to me by my gracious employer.
I think there must be some kind of mathematical formula where one’s willingness to spend foolishly declines as the number of his or her dependents rises. I bet there’s even a graph available to show me exactly how that proportion works out.
In fact, I bet there’s an app for that, too. Too bad that can’t help me out.
*I just decided this is a word. I will be using it frequently.
**just kidding. Mostly.