Like millions of other people I have been waiting on the Verizon version of the Apple iPhone. Like millions of others, I grumbled about the long wait, while simultaneously anticipating the glorious day when I would get my own iPhone. Well, the day was yesterday- I finally got my iPhone, only to re-learn that stuff really doesn't ever change our life.
While the iPhone is a great device that may make me more productive or even dare I imagine, more organized, it will probably not change my existence. Stuff rarely ever changes our lives the way we anticipate they will. New cars, new technology, new clothes, new phones, even new houses are all things we look forward to; we even start to believe the advertisements that shows us happier for having it. In the end we realize that our stuff is not us.
Instead for most of us, these material changes just represent one more thing. I know that there are places in the world where any of these acquisitions may well change the fabric of people's lives. But those same people aspire to much simpler acquisitions – things like daily food and water and medicine for their children for preventable diseases. Sure, these places and people might be fascinated by our stuff, but it isn't really what gets the bell ringing there compared to drinking clean water or finding medication for your kids.
It has been a while since I bought something that I was so long anticipating. I was shocked at how quickly the ease and excitement for the new device was replaced with the high learning curve of getting the thing to communicate. Face time might be a fun and innovative new way to reach out, but all your friends have to have the same phone for it to work. It would be a nice way to see what my teenagers are up to...although they would know how to screen calls sooner than I would.
That said – the iPhone 4 is all things they said it would be. It is a remarkably intuitive, user-friendly device that can probably order lunch for you by itself... I am excited about all the things that will sync up my life to this new device, but I am also happy to admit that getting the stuff we want or think we have to have is not where our real happiness shows up. Ironically, it is often in the hard work of connecting without devices. The messy intimate connections that the iPhone is supposed to enhance are what we really want and that are maybe better served without them.
Will keep you posted, now I have no more technology blocks to getting my new video blog going. I only have to stop worrying how old and tired I look on Photo Booth.