Today: Jun 16, 2024

‘iLove’ is consuming the world people live in

SABINA WALTERS Special to Southern News

Last week I lost my iPhone. Well, I didn’t really lose it; it just slipped out of my pocket under the table and was hard to see against a busy carpet pattern. But I didn’t know that at the moment, and for 20 minutes or so I thought I lost it forever, which put me in a state of sheer panic; an anxiety attack, almost. My palms got sweaty; I had difficulty breathing. I swear I had a hot flash or three. Anyway, the whole nine yards.

photo courtesy Kottke.orgIt wasn’t so much about the money and having to buy a new one, although I don’t have an extra $200 lying around anywhere, I checked. But at that moment I realized that besides my husband’s digits, I didn’t really know any of my friends’ or family members’ phone numbers. For almost two years now I’ve dialed them by tapping on their names in my contacts. What about all those text messages, hundreds of them, that I was so reluctant to erase because some of them were really funny or motivational, and I liked to read them once in a while when I felt lonely or needed that quick pep talk. And by the time I realized most of my pictures and videos were not saved on my computer, and my husband would have a good excuse to do his “I told you so!” spiel, all I wanted to do was curl up in a fetal position and just weep!

           

But this story has a happy ending. After a frantic search for what felt like hours, I was lucky enough to finally find my beloved gadget, right under the table I was sitting at. I must’ve produced the loudest sigh of relief in the history of humankind, and I think I even kissed my phone couple of times. But I didn’t care, I felt so extremely happy that if I was at the bar I most likely would’ve shouted “Drinks for everyone!”

A couple of days later I came across the New York Times article called “You Love Your iPhone. Literally” written by Martin Lindstrom. It explains through scientific research that what people feel toward their iPhones can’t be qualified as an addiction, but rather love. You know, the one The Beatles sang about; the “all we need” one.

 Me? In love? With a phone? Why, of course!

Lindstrom conducted an experiment in which he recorded a brain reaction of men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 to the audio and video of a ringing iPhone. Lindstrom writes: “But most striking of all was the flurry of activation in the insular cortex of the brain, which is associated with feelings of love and compassion. The subjects’ brains responded to the sound of their phones as they would respond to the presence or proximity of a girlfriend, boyfriend, a family member.”    

         After reading this article I agreed that, yes, maybe, perhaps what I feel toward my ridiculously convenient and nearly irreplaceable hand held device is a great sense of fondness and almost loyalty, but love? Not quite. I know for certain that I am in love, not with an iPhone per se, but with the people it connects me to. I love the way my phone rings when my husband calls me. I love when he sends me pictures of our 2-year-old and the funny faces she makes, or the videos of her dancing to Justin Bieber’s songs (she doesn’t get her taste in music from me, that’s for sure!) And I love how at the end of the day, I can curl up with my 4-year-old son and watch him play “Angry Birds” and cheer him on as he unlocks more levels. Those are the things I love, and if that means that I’m also in love with an iPhone, so be it, I don’t mind.    

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