Did the iPhone simplify or complicate my life?


iphoneA few years ago, I thought I was simplifying my life by getting rid of all of my electronics and replacing them with one simple smartphone.

Because of my iPhone, I no longer wear a watch, have an alarm clock, a land line telephone, a camera, a stereo, or a paper calendar. I read less paper books and listen to more audio books. I rarely stop to think of an answer (that is probably in my head). Instead, I rush to google. I hardly talk on the phone, text is so much easier… and, I have basically replaced my television set (including VCR and DVD players) with my iPad. Thanks Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime. I get all my news from Twitter and Facebook.

On the days when I want to take an Internet break I still need my iPhone for a clock and to run the sound system in my house. I tell myself I am just going to turn on the music or switch songs and inevitably find myself lost on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or responding to a text message.

If I don’t respond to a text message in a timely manner, I may get an email asking if I have new number. (This actually happened today.)

I hoard digital pictures. Basically my iPhone has also replace my photo albums.

Also, my iPhone has replaced sleep. I do exactly what the experts say NOT to do when I am having insomnia. I pick up my phone and check Facebook.

I feel trapped.  I can’t just turn off my phone and walk away from it. My inner neurosis starts the following conversation: What if one of my family members or a close friend has an emergency? What if I don’t know the answer to a question? What if I got another ‘like’ on Facebook? Did that person ‘like’ my photo or post yet? How many people read this blog?

I often consider throwing my iPhone out of the window and getting an old flip phone; replacing the dead battery in my watch; purchasing a basic alarm clock, a camera, and a used iPod to store my music on and keep it next to the speaker that is dependent on one of those devices in order to play music. Only check email and social media when I am sitting at my computer. Thus, dedicating more time to breathe, read, hike, spend focused time with people, relax and roller skate! But then I wonder if I am actually capable of breaking this addictive, dependent relationship I am in with my smartphone and I am not so sure I am.

To answer the question proposed in the title, I think the iPhone has complicated my life.

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