It was about one year ago that I capitulated to the i-phone culture. Reluctantly, but the tipping point was having it available to capture certain moments in the music class and having more storage space for videos and photos. I was determined to be in charge and not be enslaved by all its dazzling features. So how’s it going one year later?
On the pro side, here are some things I’ve enjoyed:
• The aforementioned photo and video moments, while still resisting the urge to document my meals and post them.
• Useful moments with the GPS.
• The occasional Uber or Lyft (though still trying to support the occasional taxicab ride).
• Occasional looking up a tune’s chords on the electronic Jazz Real Book (while still using the paper versions)
• The alarm clock.
• Getting paid through Venmo or Paypal and occasionally paying others
• Quick messages with groups through What’s Ap
• Occasional Facetimes with the grandchildren (still mostly use Skype on the computer)
• Texting people picking me up at airports
On the con side, a few things worry me or drive me crazy:
• The What’s Ap groups. While extremely useful for large group communication during the Jazz Course with all the uncertainty of the tropical storm, it quickly became, “Who’s going to Frenchman St.?” “I’ll meet you in the lobby.” “Hey, great food over at this restaurant!” etc. etc. Knowing that some messages might be actually important for all, I had to read all of them zipped back and forth between 45 people. Then again during the Orff Summer Course, now with Orff Interns. If everyone agrees that this is the way to communicate more than phone calls, e-mails or just arranging meetings and such ahead of time, it means you must be on 24/7. That’s precisely what I’m trying to resist.
• Already have the sensation that I can’t/ shouldn’t go anywhere—a walk, a bike ride, a drive in the car—without my phone (though I actually get very few phone calls). Which also means always being aware of having it charged. I can feel it creeping into the forefront of my life so that I might eventually join the mainstream opinion: “How did we live without it?”
• The more photos and videos I have, the more time I need to organize them, arrange them, figure out the best place to store them, etc.
In short, I seem to be enjoying the benefits without being wholly overwhelmed by the dangers. I don’t take it out often in public, certainly not while walking down the street or in the park, not at airports or bus stops, I don’t feel compelled to immediately check it after the movie to see what I missed, etc. I don’t check e-mail on it or Facebook except occasionally (saving both for private time at home with the computer), but I can definitely feel the pull. I certainly will never testify “OMG, how did I live without it?! This has changed my life!!” My life was working just fine before I got it (just one short year ago) and to my knowledge, I never missed work opportunities, incredible discussions, vital information.
I’ll check in again this time next year to see if I kept some sense of balance.