The new iPhone 5 has arrived! You need to pre-order and then wait in line to be the first in your country to get one. The tech savvy consumer is feeding this frenzy seduced by its newest features “the thinnest, lightest, fastest” instrument of all time.
The iPhone 4 could do most of what the new version does (speak, text, e-mail, Internet access), but this incarnation has better photo and video qualities. So, in addition to being able to tell your friends where and what you’re eating, and how many times you’ve gone to the bathroom, you can now also treat your friends to TV quality videos of these precious moments.
I haven’t pre-ordered my iPhone five (and I don’t have the iPhone 4); as a matter of fact, I have never owned a cell phone and may be the last man standing. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the magic of the computer (I could not function easily without mine). But the price I’d pay for a cell phone is too high…it’s simply too intrusive.
I don’t know anyone over 12 who doesn’t have a cell phone, and they carry it with them at all times. The phones are placed on dinner tables like a guest who might arrive later, and will demand immediate attention. It doesn’t matter if you are eating, talking, taking care of business, or making love, it will take you away from wherever you are. People say they can choose not to respond, but the buzz, ring, click, or vibration always gets attention, and even if you don’t respond it’s an intrusion that’s taken you someplace other than where you were.
In this culture we have become accustomed to instantaneous access to everything from facts to goods and services. If you are not available at a moments notice you could miss something important, more important than whatever you’re doing in the moment.
Gandhi’s advice for living a life of joy was that if you were going to be somewhere then be there; we live in a culture that is the antithesis of that perspective. It’s hard for us to really be where we are because there are so many other places we might also want to be.
I don’t want to be that available, so I’ve drawn the line. It’s not that I wouldn’t use the iPhone 5, because I would; the wonder of it (I could give up lugging my computer in a backpack), the ease of it (I can’t find public telephones anymore), the the seduction of it, and then ultimately the dependency.
I’m passing on the iPhones, because the price is too high. I need to get away, I don’t want to be that available. So to those who love me, and fear for my safety when I meander, love me enough to leave this last man standing being where he is.