Avoiding Smart Technology: Why I Don’t Want the iPhone

The Struggle to Understand the Appeal of the Latest and So-Called Best New Phones


Colleen looks with horror at the iPhone as she grips her lifeless flip phone, which remains useless and abandoned in her right hand. (Mario Weddell/The Observer)


For six years I had a flip phone. My first little beauty was a round, silver, high-tech (for 2005) thingamajig made noteworthy by the little picture screen on the font. I’m not sure it could take photos, but it had those nice generic kinds one finds pre-programmed, such as a red rose or a golden sunset over a misty mountain.

Colleen looks with horror at the iPhone as she grips her lifeless flip phone, which remains useless and abandoned in her right hand. (Mario Weddell/The Observer)

My second phone was bona fide cool, a Chocolate. Sure, I could have gotten a free upgrade to a Blackberry at the time, but that just seemed so modern. Emails? Facebook notifications? Sent to your phone? Who needs that? My pale blue Chocolate was just lovely. Sleek, razor sharp and it could take pictures. What’s not to love?

My sturdy flip phones were dropped, soaked in waterreated with the kind of respect you’d expect from someone of our generation who takes technology for granted.

I looked with disdain on those people who dared to whip their Blackberries out at every available moment. The iPhone just looked complicated. And in recent months, this whole Droid phenomenon reminds me more of a Terminator movie rather than a step in the right direction.

Yet even I can’t run from modern technology forever. After three years, my Chocolate phone seemed to be reaching its end. Although I replaced the battery, it would always die after just a few hours. I often didn’t get text messages until much later. And when people sent me lengthy texts, they arrived out of order. Eventually my keypad randomly broke down. I would have to let my phone “chill out” for a while before I could type on it again.

This summer I finally decided it was time for a new phone. But a smart phone? Me? Ulgh. The horror. After much debate, my parents convinced me to buy an iPhone. Yes, that’s right, my parents asked me to try a snazzy, expensive, heavily marketed phone.

I dragged my feet to the Verizon store. I lamented as I watched the employee start up my new iPhone. I don’t even own a Mac. Steve Jobs, to me, is a snooty, little, gray-haired man who’s slowly taking over the world. I didn’t want to give into the Apple marketing scheme. I felt myself above all those “If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone” commercials.

Frankly, I didn’t want an iPhone. The selling point, however, was the fact that I could put my iTunes on the little slender device. Of course, I had to lose my iPod about four months ago on a plane. Thus, I was sold. There’s only so many more months I could take of music-less commuting on a packed subway.

So, now I have an iPhone.

And I simply don’t get it. I don’t get why people lined up overnight to buy them when they were first released. I don’t understand why kids beg their parents for them. I don’t understand why Steve Jobs is so filthy rich.

I just don’t get it.

You can’t text on this thing. The touch screen keypad practically begs the user to make errors so it can show off its autocorrecting skills. Autocorrect, in this case, however, is relative. Let me just say that it has led to some awkward sent text messages.

And what’s the fuss about Angry Birds? Am I just an anomaly? It is not that fun. I know Angry Birds isn’t an iPhone-only app, but its appeal is just so mind-boggling I had to mention it.

I had my email on my phone, too. Tried that for a few weeks. It’s now off my phone. The last thing I want is to see a glaring red number on my phone showing me all the work I’ve been ignoring. Who wants that in her life?

I suppose someone used to carrying their laptop with them at all times would love the iPhone, but I still take notes on a cute little spiral notebook.

But isn’t it great having the Internet right at your fingertips? Don’t you love Google maps? It’s called planning ahead and carrying a map, people. If you just tried a little, you’d realize life is quite passable without the iPhone.

Yet I won’t be returning my new hip phone anytime soon. Because if I did that I’d have to buy both a new cell phone and an iPod. More money wasted. Curse you, Steve Jobs, for thinking of everything. You would predict that I would lose my iPod and be desperate for an Apple device that would enable me to listen to my ’80s classic rock playlist once more.

So here I am. Stuck with an iPhone. I feel selfish, spoiled and conceited, all because I don’t want this phone. Alas. #whitegirlproblems