I got a new iPhone last week so that when I am at our stand at the Market, I can take credit cards with the Square. I spent a long time trying to figure out the best deal from the many companies, and frankly, it was harder than my first year of college! So when a friend said I should Google Square I did and was so happy that someone (one of the founders of Twitter) came up with this easy method that lets you take any credit or debit card with a smart phone. And the best part is that there’s no monthly fee or service contract. Another added perk is that customers think you are cool if you offer this, don’t ask me why! Kind of like if you’re the first kid to have the newest-toy-on-the-block sort of thing. It couldn’t be easier to use, and the money goes straight into your bank account. Perfect for massage therapists, artist’s, and small business owners. And it works with the Droid and the iPad too. Really, it’s great.
But getting an iPhone has made me cross the line from where I set my boundaries in my own personal comfort zone of technology. I mean, I don’t text because I find it kind of weird to type on something so small, and, I don’t have kids, which I hear is the only way to communicate with them these days. I don’t like to play games. I don’t really get lost, and if I do, I like to look at a map or even ask people for directions (I get a secret thrill out of talking to a complete stranger of the same species as me!). I don’t need to identify a song I like on the radio, I can just enjoy it as something new, and I will leave it to chance when I am on the road and am looking for a good place to eat. If it’s not good, I know it will be an interesting memory, or something soon forgotten.
So imagine becoming immediately addicted to something that I am a bit embarrassed to write about: and that is, checking my incoming email while driving! Can you believe it? It was as if some part of my brain took over and told me: ‘It’s OK…you’re just cleaning up any junk mail and looking for the important ones!” The bad part is that I wasn’t just doing it just at red lights. After catching myself doing it during a long stretch of the ride home, I vowed not to touch that iCrackThing while driving ever again. I don’t know what happened, but it was scary! No wonder Apple is now worth more than the oil companies!
My 10-year-old niece came to visit, and while driving together in the car to the horse ranch that she would be staying at with her Dad in the car ahead, the beautiful mountain views were truly something to behold. She sat next to me playing a game on her new iPhone4. “I love it!”, she says. I told her she can love it, but not while driving on vacation with her Aunt Sadhvi. I wanted her to find enjoyment in the ride and the journey and the wonderful views. She reluctantly put her beloved iPhone away.
Just to let you know, I also write her letters in cursive writing, on cute stationary and send them in the mail with stamps that I pick out, not the ugly Forever Stamps. I’ve heard they don’t teach cursive writing in schools any more, and I think that’s kind a real shame. That’s when I started to send her letters. So maybe my niece will be able to land a job someday because she knows how to read cursive?! No, I’m just kidding. I really just want to make sure she has some “human connection memories” instead of computer games that she’s become addicted to on her awesome iPhone.
Or just maybe all this tuning out and tuning into a hand-held computer that is so cute, sleek and even loveable is just a way to tune out the hectic energy of the world?
“Be careful not to fill up every moment of your life with “stuff”: things to think about, to react against, to worry about, be upset about, regret or even look forward to… There’s more to life. You don’t have to stop doing, but you can intersperse your life with brief moments of presence. Like now… allow everything to be as it is. Then become aware that there is an awareness here, a consciousness, & that THAT is more truly who you are than anything else.”