January 26, 2009

iPhone iNtervention

Do you ever see someone using a piece of technology so antiquated that you just want to take the person aside, wrest the brick phone from his or her hand, chuck it off a seaside precipice, and then march them down to the nearest Apple store to buy them an iPhone with your own money just so you no longer have to see the person suffer under the weight of their outmoded device?

OMG -- me too! (Except here at TEMPORARY RAGE, we do not endorse throwing electronics into the ocean. Littering is bad, mmm-kay?)

I've got this friend. We'll call him Bob. Bob's cell phone seems to have been manufactured circa 1989. Miraculously, it still functions, if by "functions" we limit our discussion to making and receiving phone calls and text messages. It rings only sporadically. Not to suggest that Bob is unpopular -- quite the opposite. But Bob's phone rings only when it feels like it.

In addition to its fair-weather approach to functionality, Bob's phone is fugly. And I don't mean fugly in the Go Fug Yourself sense where fugly is the new pretty. Oh no. This phone is bruised, battered, and appears to be held together with duct tape and rubber bands. Perhaps Macgyver could transform its raw materials into something useful to elude capture by the bad guys, but as it is...its only value appears to be comic relief at social gatherings, and perhaps in a few more years it will have resale value as an antique relic from the Days of Yore.

I'm not quite sure what bothers me so much about Bob's relentless clinging to his ridiculous albatross of a phone. Perhaps there is a name for it in the DSM-IV. I suspect it has something to do with my borderline obsession with my iPhone.

Yeah, yeah, you've heard it all before. People who heretofore exhibited the usual, comfortable level of indifference towards most if not all topics in life, suddenly transformed into Apple bumper-sticker sporting, iPhone evangelizing nutjobs after their first few hours cradling a shiny new 3G.

Don't get me wrong. I love my iPhone. I cherish it, I buy trinkets for it, I go on vacations with it. I have started a wave of iPhone adoption in the office and keep our iPhone team spirit strong with weekly emails about the latest, greatest new iPhone apps. I wouldn't say I'm *completely* obsessed, but I can see how someone who has never had a smartphone could forget to eat or bathe once they get started with an iPhone. And it's not that I wish that on Bob...dude needs to keep clean and well fed. On the other hand, just think of all the YouTube, Facebook, Urban Spoon, and Tetris he is missing out on!

Have you ever staged an intervention for a technologically backward friend, relative or colleague? (Or have you been the subject of such an intervention?) Share your story in the comments.

(Photo Credit: Motorola)


Jean said...

I'm the one for whom the interventions are staged. And I'm not sure I appreciate being called "Bob."

Cindy said...

I don't think it warrants an intervention, because I think it's hopeless and she's way beyond any sort of technological advice... but I'll mention it anyway. My mother is SO FAR from being computer savvy, it's almost unbelievable. Whenever we force her to sit down at a computer to read something, if she has to move the cursor or press any buttons, it practically causes a panic attack. For me, the funniest part is that when she moves the cursor, she looks at the MOUSE, not at the computer screen to see where the cursor is being moved to. She then moves her eyes back and forth between the mouse and the computer screen, to see what happened after she nudged the mouse a little bit. It's hilarious! (Maybe it doesn't translate well into a written description, but trust me - if you saw it happen, you'd snicker too!) Where do you even begin to help with someone like this?