June 7th, 2011

Bruce, Caroline

Taking the Plunge: Getting an IPhone

I've been doing a great deal of self-searching lately, trying to understand why I have resisted the current smart phone craze. In doing so, I've found a mosaic of reasons which probably add together to form the basis for my reistance.

Part of it was a point my brother made to Caroline: with my hearing problem, I have a little trouble with phones, particularly small cellphones. But headsets can overcome this, and I'm convinced that, if I look carefully, I can find a headset to meet my needs.

Another factor is the fact that I started using cellphones in the 1990's, the early 1990's, so there's a part of me that is still used to the "you pay a premium for absolutely everything" school of thought. When I got my first cellphone, you got forty free minutes a month, none of this unlimited stuff, no free evenings and weekends, so if you went over and beyond that forty minutes, you paid big-time. I was also on social assistance at the time, translating into a very limited income. My dad insisted that I get a cellphone after a getting-lost experience I had, which I might tell you about sometime.

I also do have some very real concerns about Apple, things I'm seeing and not liking. This flies in the face of most people I talk to, who seem to feel Apple can do absolutely no wrong, ever.

I also get frustrated with a subset of Apple users who not only use their Macs, their IDevices, and so on, but insist on always telling you that they're using it. Why do e-mail recipients care if the message was sent from your IPhone? Why can't Mac users just alk about doing something on their computer, it's always their Mac ... as if using Macs and IDevices somehow makes them superior people. And I just want to state again that I know that not all Mac and IDevice users fit this category, but the ones who do tend to make a lot of noise. When people try to tell me that my choices make me a lesser person, I tend to get defensive and stick to my guns all the more. If I turn into an IBragger, please tell me in no uncertain terms. I also don't want to start using applications that insist on telling the world the street address of everywhere I go, as I see that as a security risk to me and an Intrusion on everyone else who doesn't care that Didar's Grocery is at 110 Adamar Road in Winnipeg, R3T 3M3.

There's also the cost factor. With so many entities vying for my limited financial resources, is it worth shelling out the kind of money needed to make the IPhone a useful purchase?

So, given the above reservations, why have I decided that, when my current contract is up, I want an IPhone? Part of it is an acknowledgement that the IPhone is the way of the future. For how long? I'm not sure. My concerns about Apple still apply. But for now, if I want to be anywhere close to the forefront of technology as a blind computer user, I will have to join the IRevolution. There's simply no way around it. And I must admit that there is an allure to the possibilities that a smart phone opens up.

I'm hearing things like "I had no choice" and "I had to" from some quarters. I did have a choice, I do have a choice. If I were to choose another phone next year that just sends and receives calls, it's not the end of the world, I'll survive just fine. But this is a choice I have made for myself, and I look forward to taking full advantage of it.