Thursday, 5 August 2010

On iDependence

My ongoing battle with my iPod has been well documented, but I've always been fond of my iPhone, with which I've experienced very few problems. At times I've even been proud of the little fellow; as I was when it transformed a dreadfully ordinary daytime shot of the Thames into the psychadelic masterpiece above. Alas, it would seem that this period of plain sailing has been nothing but a honeymoon period. The calm before the storm. There isn't actually anything wrong with my phone - my worries stem from a concern that it's too advanced. It knows too much.

Yesterday was a prime example. Having reconciled with my great love, Beer, and put our lovers' tiff behind us, I rang N after work to see if he fancied a pint. "Sure," he said, "where?" I was in Farringdon, N works in Old Street - there was about a mile between us. I said I'd come to him, as his office is in close proximity to très-trendy Shoreditch. Alas, I then made a grave error; I muttered the moronic phrase "I'll use my map app to figure out how to get there." BOOM. I had exposed my vulnerability. My iPhone, realising my pathetic dependence on it, swiftly - and smugly - switched itself off. The official reason given was low battery - but I know this to be untrue. The iPhone knew that without its knowledge of life, the universe and everything, I was up shit creek without a paddle.

My desperate attempts to turn it back on failed and I descended into a blind panic. My vision blurred, my head was pounding with the noise of other commuters chattering into their better-behaved mobile phones. Cursing the phone with a string of four letter words that turned the air around me blue, I darted towards a phone box; a red beacon of hope, so often ignored. I threw the door open, grabbed the phone and inserted 50p.
"60p minimum", said the little screen. "YOU BASTARD. YOU BIG RED GREEDY BASTARD." I thought. There, under the gaze of several prostitutes staring down from postcards stuck on the walls, I rifled through my ManBag for change. Success. Another pound. I rang N. Typically, there was no answer. As the money remaining decreased at an incredible speed, I left a rushed message explaining the situation and asked him to be patient - I would get there, I needed the beer - but I might be late as I had no idea where I was.

Leaving the phonebox behind, I began my trek. I happened across a streetmap showing my current location and I did something I haven't done in a long time - I read the map and, not knowing where the next map would be, I commited the street names to memory. It felt strange - I may as well have been using a compass or navigating my course by the stars. But I did it. Despite having to revert to such primitive techniques as using my own initiative, I found my way to Old Street Station where N was waiting with a pint of sweet amber nectar.

So in your face, smug iPhone, in your face. I don't need you. I love you, and enjoy having you - but I don't need you. Now, kindly update me on what's been happening in the world, check my e-mail, warn me of any tube delays and suggest a decent restaurant within 2 miles. Much obliged.
PS I've just responded to about two weeks' worth of comments on previous posts - sincerest apologies, I wasn't ignoring them! PROMISE!


  1. High five for independence without technology! It terrifies me sometimes that I have no idea how to read an interstate map. But that doesn't mean that I would ever give up my phone or GPS.

    P.S. Gorgeous picture!

  2. Kudos for finding your way without the map application! I am way too dependent on that app and on my iphone in general. I had to go without it for a couple days earlier this week and it was scary how difficult that was.

  3. I left a really awesome comment before but technology has failed again! I told you a boring story about getting lost driving to the zoo without a GPS. Anyways - you'll just have to trust that it was an awesome story and move on.

  4. My, my. Look at you being all survival of the fittest!

    Finding Change in ManBag skills? Check!
    Ability to find alternatives when all goes to shite? Check!
    Ability to read a map correctly? Check!
    Ability to commit road names to memory? Check!

    You're definitely on a higher evolutionary plane to mine!

    (I want a photo of that ManBag. Put your iPhone to use and snap one!)

  5. I had that issue with my blackberry. So I switched to a dumb phone, and told that smart phone to shove it up it's ***. :)

  6. I'm really starting to think that technology has something against us. Glad you have beat it. I wish I could say "in your face" to my camera phone, too. The phone works but the camera no longer does. I've got to find a way to take pictures without a camera. There's GOT to be a way. (Right? :p )

    P.S. I'm so proud of you!!!

  7. I'm kinda envious of iphoners (that's now a word, honest); I tend to navigate London by knowing vaguely where tube stations are. Anything more specific, and I'll have to memorise a googlemaps page. That's why I'm perpetually lost, unlike my iphonista friends.

    That said, I'm really impressed you remembered your friend's number without your phone. I can barely remember my own house number, let alone someone else's mobile.

  8. And so i thought the high and mighty iPhone doesn't have flaws that i wanted one for myself (i can't afford it though hahaha!. Good thing you made me realized all i need is to be content with my Samsung Star which is ever dependable. It's my official camera now too. (may my canon digicam forgive me for saying this).

    Glad to hear you and beer reconciled already. Hmmm, i can hear cheers :D

  9. Oh iPods and beer, such a life we lead with out technology and our booze. But the important thing is that is a pretty bad arse picture in the top of yoru blog. Very cool. VERY cool.

  10. I'm constantly fiddling with my iPhone--checking my emails, reading tweets, texting, checking the weather even when I'm outside experiencing the weather. It's a horrible addiction and kills my battery. But, and most people don't believe this, I think that I've actually been able to will my iPhone from shutting off. Like, I've gotten to "low battery" but the thing has never completely forsaken me. Sometimes, I notice, that the amount of battery life will increase if I concentrate hard enough.

  11. Thomas. Tommy. Tom.
    You need to post more often.
    I'm experiencing major withdrawal symptoms like refreshing tbr-tangential every thirty seconds.


    @ Alison - HIGH FIVE BACK. Connected. In this day and age, are printed maps not obsolete? As much as the decline of an entire section of the publishing industry saddens me, I'd never even think to buy an actual map. Such is the hold Apple hold me in.

    @ Lauren - I feel your pain, honestly I do, but the very fact that you made through with catastrophe should show something for the resilience of the human mind. I'm considering one iFree day a month.

    @ Allison - technology is so complete rubbish. I've had enough - I'm going to write to the Technology Powers That Be and demand that they reinstate your interesting comment! Huzzah! There will be no moving on until this is done.

    @ Risha (both comments) - I refute the statement that I'm on a higher evolutionary plain than you - this is complete bollocks, and you know it. Pic of ManBag - you have requested this before and I will upload one soon - I fear you'll be disappointed though; it's not much to look at. I shall endeavour to write a new post tomorrow. The advantage of having been out on the lash means that I'm full of ideas (that I'll no doubt forget tomorrow).

    @ Ambiguous Geek - I'm jealous of your will power, which seems immense (correct me if I'm wrong). As much as my dependence on my phone, I don't know that I could get rid of it. We've been through so much together, you know? How could I throw all that away?

    @ Gnetch - your pride warms my heart. It's knowing that I had the support of people like you that kept me going through my difficult technology-less time. I see you have already found away to solve your lack of camera - Father Christmas. Good plan, well thought out.

    @ leaveaspaceblank - iPhoners is indeed a word, I completely agree. And APPARENTLY they get more sex than people who use other smart phones. So I hear, anyway. Certain numbers are marked indelibly into my mind - for the majority I only know the last three digits, which is useless. I agree re: tube stations being useful for finding your way around, except I'm piss poor at that too. In theory it works, in the drunken state I often find myself, it fails miserably.

    @ Mish - I would not be surprised if you did hear a few 'cheers' tonight. Regarding your phone (with camera that works) keep a close eye on it - Gnetch is on the look out, and I think she'd probably steal it if she had the chance. Be careful, that's all I'm saying.

    @ Boomka - I know, right. The header is excellent and I can claim no credit for it whatsoever, should anyone else want one though e-mail me and I'll hook you up with the design genius who did it for me! Unless you were talking about the picture I took on my phone, which is also amazing and I will claim complete credit for. Either way, there's something cool on this page somewhere.

    @ Amber - YOU'RE SO LUCKY. Mine is always dying. It's such a hypochondriac. Honestly, I sneeze and it turns itself off. Maybe you're linked to your phone, actually linked, with a wire. Could this be the case? Could it? Are you a human charger?

    @ Risha - stop it, you're making me blush.

    Oh dear. I'm supposed to be up in no time at all. Wish me luck :(

  13. I love it. I fully approve of your drinking nights and commenting whilst inebriated. You're a man after my own heart. <3
    awesome sauce. xx

  14. I am no thief but I can make Mish's Samsung Star get inside my bag without me touching it. I'm THAT powerful.

    (And to those who are not familiar with my humor, I'm only joking. Just saying.)

    Oh, and I agree with Risha that you should post more often. Tommy. :P

  15. @TbR...Hahaha!

    @Gnetch...could you teach how to do that girl? That would be fun hahaha.