My Beloved iPhone
I am suffering from an existentialist crisis. I’d like to think that I am an independently acting and responsible conscious human being, but I feel like Steve Jobs is laughing at me from beyond the grave.
In January, I wrote about how much I love my iPhone. It’s unhealthy, I’m sure. I mean, it’s only glass, stainless steel, and plastic. And yet I love this brilliant little device that revolutionized mobile design, how we carry our music with us, how we photograph the world, and how we connect and share with others. My iPhone is my mini-computer on the go. I use it for texting, social sharing, photography, editing, keeping track of my calendar, storing contacts, finding directions, listening to music and podcasts, watching videos, reading, and blogging. Sometimes, I even make a phone call.
There are two ways to use your American iPhone in Australia for calls and messaging. One is to rack up obscene international charges, which I’m not willing to do. The other is to jailbreak and unlock the phone so you can insert a local sim card in it. Despite that many people boast that it’s oh so easy to jailbreak and unlock an iPhone, I’ve yet to find someone that can actually do it, including these braggarts and a few Asian dudes that hack stuff for a living. Apparently there’s something extra special about my version (5.1.1) and firmware (04.12.01).
I would like to continue using an iPhone in Australia, but with rumors about the release of the next version before the end of the year circulating, it makes more sense to me to wait than purchase a new one now, and since I won’t be able to use mine, there’s no sense in continuing to pay for the service. Yesterday, I went to my local AT&T store and broke my contract. I transferred my number to my mother’s dumbphone, which I converted into a pre-paid phone. This means I am able to retain the number I’ve had since I purchased my first mobile 10+ years ago, my mother still gets to keep a phone for emergencies, I’ll have something to use when I visit, and it all costs considerably less than what we had before.
My dilemma now is about what to do with the iPhone. I can’t make or receive calls and text messages on it, but I can use all of its other features via WiFi. I can still check email, access the web, use all the apps, play music, and use the camera. I’m just wondering if it’s worth it. Now is a good time to sell an iPhone and I’ve received a decent offer for mine. Selling it would be a good decision. Public WiFi doesn’t appear to be as readily available in Melbourne as it is here and it would be nice to have a little extra cash in my pocket. Without phone and messaging service and data, my iPhone is beginning to feel like little more than a pricey toy. The problem is it’s a toy I like a lot. There’s a battle going on between my id and my super-ego.
I’m not addicted to mobile phones. I couldn’t care less about my new dumbphone. I don’t answer my phone or text while I drive. I don’t walk and text. Though I like Instagram and checking in at certain locations, I avoid being on my phone when I’m out and about. Part of this is because it can be dangerous, rude, and because I want to be fully present in the moment. But I’m addicted to the idea of always having my iPhone.
What do you think? Should I sell my iPhone or keep it? How’s your relationship with your mobile phone?