The iPhone is a wonderful device that has an app for practically everything running, in the works or being dreamed up. I’ve seen people tackle tough business with them. I’ve seen people manage social lives across several networks with them. I’ve seen them used for status, used for silly games, used for managing life.
Then I saw this.
It really came home to me then that for all the apps, abilities and adaptability of the iPhone, I hate it.
This isn’t a Mac/PC thing or a Geek vs. Style thing. It’s a simple matter of information permeation. I use Twitter while in the office and at home. This has served me well in making friends, keeping abreast of blogging and in the industry I work. Knowing anything about Twitter while working in Market Research (even if I am the monkey) is gold. I use Trillian at home to tie together two MSN accounts, a Yahoo that I no longer use nearly as much, an AIM that I never really understood why I had and IRC networks. I blog on blogger, I blog on Wordpress (when not lazy) and I have Facebook and other social sites. For all intents and purposes, I am almost always connected.
That all said, I enjoy my commute home where unless someone rings me in a desperate rush, I can read my book and be away from the wired world. I enjoy my lazy weekend mornings where until I turn on the computer, none of you are in my home and the greater world doesn’t exist. I do love the internet and I’ve met many wonderful people online and in person due to it. I do love being able to blog, to search for numbers when I need them and otherwise worship at the altar of Google. I just also like time to myself.
This is in fact less about the iPhone itself, though such a target it is, and more about any device that ties me more to the internet. You could change it to Palm Pré or Google Nexus One or the Droid with the only difference being that my stories are incorrect.
Someone upstairs in work is considering getting a new phone. I’ll be the one who has to set it up, iron out any problems and be ready with a quick tutorial. I dread the day where they hatch the plan of giving me one. Scarybooster wrote a NaNoWriMo book on his iPhone and with the death of his computer it is his digital umbilical keeping him in touch with the wider world and the weight of information flying through the airwaves.
For me, given how I’d be compelled to make the best use of the device for work and home, it’d not be a digital umbilical but a digital noose. Goodbye problem solving or basic memory, hello iPhone and whatever app I’d need for that.