Emancipation From iPhone Slavery

My iPhone died sometime early Christmas morning. I woke up at 12:23 AM and turned it on to check the time. When I woke up in the morning, I rolled over to turn it on and check the time again. But it wouldn’t turn on. Uh oh. I plugged it in, and it started going through it boot up procedure and it died at some point during that. I tried for an hour pushing buttons, holding buttons, doing hard resets. But it would only get to a certain point in it’s boot up and then die. Some piece of hardware had failed.

I messed with it for an hour or so, then went on a 3 hour kayak ride out to some islands. When I came back I took a buck knife and pried the back off the phone. I was partly thinking I should take it apart and get a look at just what the fuck was going on in there (as if I’d know,) and another part of me just wanted closure on this thing. So I pretty much destroyed that bastard while taking it apart. It came apart screaming. And I relished destroying this electronic gizmo that hadn’t been out of arms reach for two years, even as I slept.

When I got done, I laid all the parts on the table and took a gander. I thought, “Well, that’s that.” Then I threw the whole works in the trash bin.

I had been wanting to rid myself of that contraption for quite a while, but could never seem to do it on my own accord. It made itself a part of my life, almost an extension of my being. It was my watch, clock, alarm clock, address book, appointment book, calculator, map, camera, phone, mp3 player (300 albums,) email machine, facebook machine, web browser. The first thing I have done every morning for the last two years is roll over and turn that fucker on to see what time it was (provided it didn’t wake me up with it’s alarm.) I couldn’t go anywhere without it. Even if I was with people, I might occasionally pull it out to check my email. I secretly hated the thing. How many of you have spent time looking at your smartphone while you’re with people. If you’re my age or younger, probably all of you, and I’m telling you it’s insidious.

The moment after I finished destroying the thing with the buck knife I felt an immediate sense of freedom, even relief. The emancipation I knew I would find when I ditched that thing. I know how hard these kinds of things can be to give up, but I encourage anyone with the ability to give it a try. Your life won’t end, I promise. It will only get better because you’ll have more real experiences instead of virtual ones. Best Christmas present I could have gotten.

I sure do miss all that music though…

No more photos on the blog, as that was my only way to post them.

    • Todd
    • January 3rd, 2011

    hey bro,

    sorry to hear about the Iphone. I have a blackberry that’s unlocked for use in other countries. All you need is a prepaid Sim Card. If you want it let me know!

    • Laura
    • January 3rd, 2011

    Here here to having fewer virtual experiences and more real ones. This was my response to a co-worker who dissed my 8 yr old tracfone I use for only occassional communication. He told me he used to have one of those phones back in the day (this guy is 15 yrs older than me). I told him I wanted to live less electronically and he laughed at me.

    Go Kayak.

    • Andy Tauferner
    • January 4th, 2011

    John, I hadn’t checked your blog for a while so I’m pleased to hear that you are alive and well.

    I’ve survived almost 42 years without a cell phone. Most people can’t believe it when they hear that I don’t have one. I’m no luddite but I see no need for that level of connectivity with family, friends, the internet, etc.

      • jbemel
      • January 4th, 2011

      Andy, you’ve got the right idea. I see so many people with faces lit up by their smart phones, not living in the world. That screen has sucked them into another world. I was one of them for quite a while. It’s not healthy. Living in the physical world you inhabit, and making connections with real live actual people is healthy.

    • andrew
    • January 12th, 2011

    great blog. i wish to do something like what you are doing soon.

  1. Glad to know that you made this trip John. I am out in PA now on a whole different sort of adventure.

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