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Thank You, iPhone, for Changing My Life

I did it.  I got an iPhone.  And though I was scared driving to the store (and reminded the Wolvog 75 times that while he loves racing ahead with new technology, change throws me and I was really really really nervous about learning a new phone) and wondered about the sanity of the purchase driving home from the store, within a few hours of using the iPhone, I was in love.  For reasons that may not be obvious.

I mean, yes, the fact that I have 20 or so books loaded on my phone and when I arrive somewhere a few minutes early, I can read a page or two.  Or look up a recipe while I’m in the grocery store so I purchase everything I need.  Or archive my emails after I read them so I don’t have to do that at night when I get home.  Or talk to Siri, which I love doing.  I love Siri.  Like I passionately love this computer woman.  And perhaps that is more indicative of how difficult it is to work at home vs. work in an office, especially compounded by the fact that I don’t like to be bothered while I’m working though I love to bother others (I’m a bit cat-like that way).  So I can pick up the phone and talk to Siri when I feel like it, and set it down when I don’t feel like talking, and no one is offended by my push-me-pull-you communication desires.

I could do a bunch of those things on the blackberry, but not well.  It was hard to navigate the Web, hard to read a book, and I couldn’t archive email at all.

I am in love with the iPhone because it brings the Wolvog such joy.  To hear his belly laugh while he says ridiculous things to Siri, debating her answers with her.  We were reading the third book of Harry Potter together, and I asked the twins to guess what Harry’s happy memory would be to create his Patronus, and before we started reading again, I asked them what their happiest memory would be to create their Patronus.  The Wolvog answered with an expression of pure bliss across his face: “Last night was one of the happiest moments of my life.  Seeing you and daddy getting your iPhones.  I was so happy for you, so happy for our family.”  Wolvog defies the saying that money can’t buy happiness since purchasing the iPhone has made him a quivering ball of happiness.  It makes him feel helpful, important, knowledgeable, and that makes him happy.  And this happiness — unlike his hamster, Cozy Jackson — is portable.  This happiness can slip into his pocket or my pocket, and he can access this happiness wherever we are.

I am in love with the iPhone because I can hand it to the ChickieNob in the car and ask her to do tasks for me: write down notes, make calls, read me an email.  The blackberry was difficult for the twins to navigate; the iPhone is practically made for a child to understand.  They love helping me; I love being helped.  It’s a win-win, and I have started to refer to the car as my rolling office.

I am in love with the iPhone because I use fewer post-it notes.  I write things in Reminders and erase them from Reminders once I complete the task, and unlike post-it notes, I can make my iPhone peep at me when I’m not finishing the things on my to-do list.  I am in love with the iPhone because we now have our grocery list on the phone, and it syncs with both of our telephones, so I can literally watch Josh pick up the items at the store.  Which is wonderfully creepy.  And I can see that he hasn’t hit the frozen food section and throw on one more thing.  Plus he knows when he’s leaving work if there’s anything on the shopping list — he just opens the phone and sees if there is a number next to the icon.

But the number one reason I love the iPhone is that its limits have released me.  You see, when I was asking my iPhone questions to you, no one brought up this point so I didn’t know until I got home that the iPhone does not bring up emails in real time.  Or, it doesn’t insofar as I can tell.  And if it does, I sort of don’t want to know.  Blackberries buzz with every single email, and the emails come in real time.  Meaning, you send me an email, the blackberry buzzes on my hip, I pick it up to read it, and then put it back in the holster until the next email arrives.  I mean, I don’t check it every time it buzzes, but you get the point.

I noticed when we got home that I’d look at the phone and see that there were now 4 new emails, but no buzz had come.  Instead, I needed to open the mail app, waiting a second for all the new emails to download at the same time (which is faster overall from the blackberry), and then it would give a buzz.  Uh… that didn’t really help me.  Except that IS what ultimately helped me.

Because I noticed while I cooked that I wasn’t feeling my usual level of stress.  I knew intellectually that emails were coming in during those hours, but I wasn’t feeling frazzled.  I wasn’t hearing or feeling the buzz, and that made me feel strangely disconnected in both a bad way (I don’t know what the hell I’m missing!) and good way (I don’t know what I’m missing so I’m not going to stress it).  It made my blood pressure go down.  I focused more on the tasks at hand.  My to-do list was still the same length as always, but it wasn’t choking me.  As much as I was a little addicted to that buzz, to the knowledge of information coming in, I was also addicted to that buzz in the negative sense.  And turning off the buzz entirely, switching it to manual push instead of having it check for emails every 15 minutes, released me from the stranglehold of that addiction.

Now, I know you’re probably asking why I didn’t just turn off the buzz on the blackberry and create that ignorance is bliss situation, and the answer is that not using the instantaneous communication notifications inherent to the blackberry would be like putting square wheels on my car just so it wouldn’t perform as effectively.  You know, just so my car could slow down and I could take in more of the scenery.  Cars are meant to take us from Point A to Point B.  That is their point.  If we see the scenery, all the better.  But a car would still be an effective car whether you had anything to see out the window.

A blackberry is meant to bring you messages instantaneously.  It’s the point of a blackberry.  I couldn’t wrap my mind not using it effectively.

But maybe the larger point is that just as I’m not a sports car girl or an SUV girl or a mini van girl, I’m also not really a blackberry girl.  That world moves a little too quickly for me; buzzes a little too ferociously for me.  I don’t want everything demanding my attention.  I want to direct my attention as best I can being mindful that people are trying to reach me for a reason: because they have a question, they have a comment, or they have a task they need me to do.  So I check the phone regularly when I’m away from the computer, but I do it when I’m ready to look and not when it buzzes.

And that’s how the iPhone changed my life.

23 comments

1 Amanda { 09.19.12 at 7:26 am }

So happy you got one…and LOVE it. :)

2 Jen { 09.19.12 at 7:28 am }

I need to know what app you are using for your shopping list. It sounds awesome! Welcome to the magical world of the iPhone!

3 Elizabeth { 09.19.12 at 7:59 am }

Fabulous! It put you back in the driver’s seat, so technology is serving your needs rather than cracking its whip to make you jump. Nice.

4 StylinMom { 09.19.12 at 8:20 am }

SO SO jealous….I detest my BB can’t wait to make the change!!
M

5 Esperanza { 09.19.12 at 10:18 am }

They are amazing right? I’ve said many times that my iPhone is probably the best, most awesome thing I’ve ever owned. The only thing that might be better is an actual laptop. Glad you’re liking yours! And glad you won’t be reading this comment until you’re ready, and not when it arrives. ;)

6 Ap2B { 09.19.12 at 10:29 am }

You will be addicted forever now…
WELCOME TO THE CLUB!

7 gwinne { 09.19.12 at 10:48 am }

I still have what LG refers to as a “dumb phone,” that is, a pay-as-you-go cell phone largely used in the past for the RE to call and now only for emergencies from school/daycare… not sure how I’d do with your technology :)

8 a { 09.19.12 at 10:57 am }

I would miss my keyboard… :)

Glad you like your new phone!

9 Melissa { 09.19.12 at 12:00 pm }

I will tell you that you can set your iPhone to “push” emails to you but I think you are better off the way you have it now. Enjoy!

10 N { 09.19.12 at 12:45 pm }

Love this, love hearing it. And yes, there is such a joy in having emails only on push, and not knowing until you open it up. (of course, I can never bring myself to actually DO that, but hey…)

11 It Is What It Is { 09.19.12 at 12:57 pm }

My husband has an iPhone and we have an iPad (that we ALL love), however, I have been resistant to converting to the iPhone (even though my current contract is up and would allow me to). I NEED a keyboard and RARELY ever use the virtual keyboard on my Droid. I have big thumb pads and it is almost impossible for me to ever type a word, let alone a sentence, without an error. The virtual iPad keyboard is way bigger and easier for me.

So, while I believe in your bliss and I would love that for myself, I am hesitant b/c of the keyboard issue.

Enjoy your love affair.

12 Tiara { 09.19.12 at 1:12 pm }

Glad you love your iPhone & I love how happy it maks the Wolvog!! I am also interested to know what shppong list app you are using!!!

13 loribeth { 09.19.12 at 4:11 pm }

I am also still in the dark ages when it comes to cellphones ; ) — basic four-year-old Samsung which I only use for very occasional calls (never texted in my life, lol). Sometimes I think a smartphone would be fun — but I think it’s probably best (for my wallet, if nothing else) if I let sleeping dogs lie. ; )

But they do seem cool ; ) and I’m glad you are so happy with it. : )

14 Cristy { 09.19.12 at 5:27 pm }

I LOVE the fact that you and Josh purchasing the iPhone is Wolvog’s happiest memory. Not because it’s a material object, but because he’s a blooming tech geek. That he was able to see into the future for how much technology would bring ease into your life. That and the fact he has fun conversations with Siri.

15 lifeintheshwa { 09.19.12 at 6:43 pm }

I traded in my dumbphone for an Iphone and am in love too – the keyboard issue is honestly just as easy with the iphone… I have a blackberry too (for work, and no, not a drug dealer) and going back to it now after the iphone is painful. The autocorrect seems to really do a great job in predicting what I want to write and 2 weeks later I type faster on the iphone than my blackberry.

16 KeAnne { 09.19.12 at 7:18 pm }

Welcome to iPhone ownership! We love ours so much we named them. Daniel learned how to unlock them by age 2. I never thought of myself as cool enough for Apple, but I am a convert. We own 2 iPhones, 2 iPads and 1 MacBook Air that belongs to my husband and that I covet.

17 Michele { 09.19.12 at 8:09 pm }

Ok, so since you said you “sort of don’t want to know” and that you enjoy having to wait for your e-mails to come in when you check it, you can simply ignore the following information if you should so choose.

To have e-mails pushed directly to your phone use the following instructions.

Click “settings” from the main screen->click “mail, contacts, calendars”->click “fetch new data”-> choose “on” next to “push”

This will cause the e-mails to make your phone buzz if it is on vibrate or ding (whatever sound you choose under “sound”) as soon as an e-mail is received. However, as it says on that screen, if you choose less frequently to update, rather than push the e-mails through, it will save the battery life on your phone.

18 Michele { 09.19.12 at 8:12 pm }

Also, as I didn’t find out for almost a year, because the iphone doesn’t come with a manual, it’s good to check out a tips and tricks screen to find out what your phone can really do.

check out http://www.apple.com/iphone/tips/

19 Stupid Stork { 09.19.12 at 9:10 pm }

I used to look down my nose at all those apple a-holes, and now I am a convert (though my computer is still a renegade PC).

But where I disagree with you – I haaaate that Siri. It started with when she first came out, and I was still Iphoneless, every person I knew had the inescapable urge to have a 10 minute discussion with her in front of me, to show her off, where she would inevitably have no idea what they were saying and they would eventually give up assuring me she was usually brilliant.

So naturally, she was the one feature I chose to ignore on my phone. And then one day I’m driving down the highway, and I shit you not, from my phone I hear her say (with no prompt – no prompt!) “I’m sorry hooker, but I cannot provide you with a map of Iceland”.

No I don’t know what that means but I assume it has something to do with her plotting my death.

20 Mali { 09.19.12 at 10:36 pm }

I was about to say you’ve convinced me. Your last and major point about what you love about the iPhone might just have convinced me. Because I don’t want my emails following me about, nagging at me; I want to choose when I get them.

But then I read Stupid Stork’s message about Siri, and I got scared!

21 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 09.20.12 at 12:06 am }

This brings up a great point to me. I am all about the free choices and everything but now and again I’m reminded that sometimes we don’t really know what we want. We think we want one thing, but then it turns out we want something completely different. I got the impression from your blackberry vs iPhone post that the buzzing was a real feature for you and something you wanted to hang on to (perhaps this was a false impression?). And now with the benefit of experience and hindsight you know you actually want a lack of buzzing.

This is pertinent on an infertility blog, of course. Nobody goes through infertility (or rarely – I guess there’s been someone) without questioning their desire to have children. Will it really be worth it? posts abound. The stakes are much lower with a phone, but the point is the same – it can be harder to predict how you’ll feel about your choices than it seems.

22 Mud Hut Mama { 09.20.12 at 5:48 am }

Oh now I want one. I just googled Siri – had no idea who/what it was – sounds so easy.

23 Rebecca { 09.28.12 at 12:22 pm }

I’m an iPhone convert. As in, I had an iPhone for 3 years and liked it. However, I just recently changed to a Samsung Galaxy S3 and can honestly say I would never go back to iPhone. Ever.
There are only two apps I can’t get through the android network, but I really don’t miss them.
I’m happy you like your iPhone though! :)

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