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Oct 25 2011

Sorry iPhone, I Was So Wrong

By at 10:57 am

Taken on my iPhone.

Often, if you think about it, we expect more from our children than we do from ourselves. “Tell her you’re sorry,” we tell our kids post-whatever-the-latest-problem-was, expecting them not only to feel badly about what they’ve done, but to have the natural inclination toward grace and equanimity as opposed to pettiness and grudgery. And I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty petty and grudgy, and I’m allegedly an adult. Like you, possibly, I also hate to admit it when I’m wrong.

So here goes: I. Was. Wrong. And. I’m. Sorry.

I wrote a post here about the ills of smartphones. I hated the little know-it-alls. I hated the way they reduced their owners to Pavlovian puppies who jumped at their little buzzing noises to check stupid e-mails. I didn’t see the need to immediately Google various idiocies.

I’m not sure if I would have gotten a smartphone had destiny not intervened. And by “destiny,” I mean “my dumbphone falling out of my sweatshirt pocket and into the toilet.” My husband likes to tell people that this is the fourth time this has happened to me. The more I think about it, though, the more I am convinced that it is only the third time. So there.

So we went to Verizon and I showed the unusually nice and well-informed guy there my phone. “Can I get another one of these?” I asked him. He looked at me with the look you reserve for someone who tells you that they can’t get their computer to work and it’s largely because they haven’t turned it on, i.e. “I don’t think so, Most Clueless Person Ever.” Apparently, my little dumbphone was discontinued right around when Charlemagne came to power.

I looked down at my sleeping baby, three and a half months old, in her little car seat stroller. I wished I could take a picture of her there, in all her sweetness. As a parent of three, I know how quickly things change and how I will forget what she looks like now. Wouldn’t it be great if I had a little camera in my pocket and could take a picture of this random, non-momentous moment, so that I could hold onto it, and her, for just a little longer?

Hmm. I looked over at the siren-calling display of old iPhones, newly marked down due to the imminent iPhone4whatever (you know, the one that would make kids’ lunches, get bikini waxes, and make peace in the Middle East for me). Maybe such a thing *was* possible.

Holding the iPhone, I felt like a little kid with a toy in a way that I hadn’t felt since possibly thirty years ago. It was so small and so…smart, like an unexpectedly witty dining companion. I’m not smart enough to use it – I hang up on people with my cheek almost constantly. But the camera element is amazing: I take beautiful, clear, crisp pictures and can send them to anyone I want instantly. I can see why people are into this.

And you know my concerns about the constant Pavolvian e-mail response? I turned off the notification feature. Now I only know if I have a phone call. And that’s just the way I like it: a smartphone that’s just smart enough for me to continue being a smart-ish parent.

“You’re going to have to write a piece on how you were wrong,” my sister said as I showed her my new iPhone that afternoon.

You know what?, I think, as I look down at the clear image of my little daughter’s face. I think it’s worth it.


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