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Monday, December 15, 2014

Two hours without an iPhone (First world problems)

Last week I brought my iPhone 5s to the Apple store for the 4th time. Since I upgraded last June, it had been dropping calls non stop, crashing apps like a drunk driver and having touch screen issues.
During the first few visits, the Apple "Geniuses" told me to try a few tactics to get the phone to work better. I tried turning off location services, deleting useless apps, and doing a full restore to original settings. My little iPhone 5s was still pissed as fuck and refused to work properly.

So, I dragged my ass for a FOURTH time to the Apple store. This time, the "Genius" ran all in-depth diagnostics, told me the operating system was basically crap and that they would replace it. I was super relieved I wouldn't have to make a 5th trip to the Apple store. I literally would have lost my shit if I had to wait in line with one more tourist trying to buy an unlocked iPhone.

So, genius typed in all of my info and said-- "Well, it looks like the wait time to take the phone into the back to take it apart to check it for 3rd party apps is two hours."
Third party apps?
TWO HOURS!!!?????? My mind was racing for a moment trying to imagine two full hours disconnected from the world.
How would I see how many Instagram likes I had? See what the people I met once on Facebook were doing? See who followed and liked me on Twitter?

This may have been the first moment since the miracle of Easter Jesus invented the iPhone, that I would be disconnected for hours.

I took a deep breathe and deleted all content from my old phone, cuz you know the most entertaining thing those Apple geniuses get to do all day is go through people's selfies and texts. I handed over my 5s and headed into the world for the first time in years, disconnected.

I opened the glass doors of the Apple mecca and felt the crisp Winter air hit my face. It was like being born into 2003. I was unarmed in NYC. I had nothing to pretend to look at to avoid crazy people, homeless people, perverts, or annoying tourists. I felt naked.

I decided to do some Christmas shopping and errands to kill the time without my phone. Then an NYPD ambulance went by with its blaring sirens. I started to think about what would happen if I had an emergency with no phone. What if I had a heart attack? A stroke? Got hit by a car? What if I got attacked because I had no way to avoid eye contact with crazy street rapists!?
The possibilities of danger without an iPhone were endless.

I had to ask myself some serious questions. First of all, how does anyone survive finding where to eat without the help of Yelp reviews? If I don't check in on Foursquare, did I actually go somewhere? If I don't log my run onto the Nike App, do I still burn calories? What happens to my candies if I don't crush them for two hours? What would happen if Lady Gaga left her house and I didn't see a photo of what she was wearing within 30 minutes!? Anyway somehow in 2004 with my Nokia 2610, I managed to get around the city without the help of Exit Strategy or Google maps. It's no wonder I got lost so much.

Going without my iPhone for two long hours made me see NYC in a whole new light. I had to LOOK at people on the subway and on the street for the first time in awhile. I had to know my way around without the use of any Apps. I had to live life without getting instant likes on Facebook and Instagram. This was all a shock to my system. I survived my two hours without an iPhone with flying colors. I had a new zest for life, and felt much more free than usual.

I realized how futile our current reality is, living in this instaworld, where I often see children with iPads as entertainment instead of Little Golden Books. It made me a little sad to think children in our world will never know life without Twitter and Facebook. That they will never get to experience the thrill those of us 80's kids did hearing the sound of dialup connecting to AOL for the first time. They will never even know what it is like to hold a cassette tape recorder to the radio to record your favorite songs.

When I arrived back at the Apple store, my "Genius" came to my table with a new iPhone 5s, all sexy in its plastic wrap. I connected to iCloud via wifi and my entire life and favorite music was quickly back in order on my tiny device.

I was back, back in the New York groove. And I had actually missed two very important business emails and job opportunities. I left with a new lease on life -- as pathetic as that might seem.

So... I challenge those of you reading this to two hours without your smart-phones.
No -- this doesn't mean when you are at home or sleeping and don't really use it! Actually go OUT into the city, to work, or your town with no connection. See how much more you connect with people and the world around you, and search for a meaning in life that you cannot find on Google.