Hereâs my side of the story: My iPhone is playing little mind games with me just to drive me over the edge. Oh, it knows exactly what itâs doing. Itâs just bored and hormonal. I got it in 2008, so I guess itâs going through its terrible twos. Every day itâs something new with this petulant adolescent of a smart phone.
âI donât feel like working today. Iâm gonna run out of battery in an hour because I need a personal day.â
âIâm just gonna stop. Goodbye. I quit. Donât try pressing any buttons because Iâm out for the day. No, Iâm not out of battery, but I am out of inspiration. If you really need me, then try charging me, but for now Iâm done. What? Why were you so scared? It was a JOKE, Iâm not dead forever. Learn to take a JOKE!â
âIâm gonna make my screen all white. What, white is a summer color, and itâs July! See how much button pressing it takes for me to reload. I hope it hurts your fingers, by the way.â
âOooh, guess what I just thought of?! Iâm gonna make my screen keep re-appearing even when youâve shut me off so youâll think someoneâs texting you and get all excited. Psych! Youâre not that popular.â
âIâm gonna make the volume signal keep flashing over and over again. Why? I donât need to give you a reason. Because I want to, thatâs why.â
Iâve tried reasoning with it. Iâve tried restarting it. And admittedly, sometimes I swear at it and then drop it on the floor accidentally/on-purpose. But itâs still rebelling against me. Tonight my iPhone and I are going to couples counseling â a.k.a. the Genius Bar at the Mac Store. Itâs worth a shot, I guess, to revive what was once a beautiful, meaningful friendship.
It was everything I wanted in a phone. It was intelligent â they donât call it a smart phone for nothing. It made me laugh by playing funny YouTube videos. And before it got the smudges and scratches that come with aging, boy, was it a good-looking piece of machinery.
We also did everything together, and we never left each otherâs sides. But maybe that was the problem. Maybe I smothered my iPhone, and now itâs rebelling. Itâs only natural, I suppose, to want to break free of a controlling, neurotic friend and form your own identity. Still, it doesnât have to play all these tricks on me. If thereâs a problem, iPhone, just tell it to me straight. Youâll find a way â you have millions of apps at your disposal.
So I think that Iâm going to spend a week without my iPhone. During that week weâll both do some real soul-searching â or, in the case of my iPhone, hard-drive searching â about where our relationship is headed. Maybe Iâll meet other phones â I always thought the Android was kind of cute. The iPhone will get some breathing space to work out all its little kinks. It can spend hours recharging its battery, which I know it enjoys â itâs like a spa treatment. Maybe, as a part of its midlife crisis, it will get itself a fancy new case and a free software update. And it wonât have to cater to my every eccentric whim â it resented that.
So Iâm not using my iPhone for a week. How could something that has caused me so much grief and anxiety be so hard to get rid of? A U2 song that Iâm sure my iPhone is sick of playing says it best: âI canât live with or without you.â So for a week Iâm not going to make calls, Iâm not going to text, or listen to music, orâ¦wow. Thatâs a lot of stuff I canât do. A Joni Mitchell song my iPhone is also sick of playing aptly explains how Iâm already beginning to feel: âDonât it always seem to go that you donât know what you got till itâs goneâ¦â
Can I do it? I really donât know. My hands will definitely be twitchy. Iâll reach into my pocket a lot to find that nothingâs there. Iâll take my notebook and absent-mindedly try to use it text someone. It will not be easy â no one said it would. But I think that if I can make it through this week, I will be a better person, my iPhone will be a better iPhone, and weâll all be in a healthier place. As an ABBA song Iâm a little embarrassed to admit I have on my iPhone said, âBreaking up is never easy, I know, but I have to go. Knowing me, knowing you, itâs the best I can do.â