By: Miranda Babbitt
Dear Overhyped Technology,
I’m speaking on behalf of all of those who don’t live under a rock and are held subject to the absurdly frantic hype over what is called the iPhone 5. Apple fanboys have been lighting up cyberspace with mock trailers for months, spurring intensified critique of the current iPhone 4S, and spending 98.7 per cent of their time dreaming about their new life, so radically changed with this new phone.
The new design has been deemed “revolutionary,” a complete “breakthrough” and “lighter and skinnier than ever before.” But am I the only one feeling that nagging sense of déjà vu: haven’t they called every redesign thus far revolutionary? Each one poised to simply knock your socks off? Sorry to inform you, Apple, but I can confidently say that my socks are snugly on my feet. I have never awoken to a newspaper article featuring the newest design of the iPhone and consequently fallen from my chair in sheer sock and awe. And to anyone who has, you may want have your inner ear checked, because you’re clearly imbalanced.
How am I so stonehearted, you ask? How are my nerves made of such steel, nay, titanium, in the face of such ground-breaking design? Well, fellow consumers, it stems from the irrepressible irritation created by the incessantly repeated “updates” to an identical phone! In a sense, it seems as though the inner snob in all of us is elucidated when we can feel the newest iPhone in our pockets, as if it was the ring from Lord of the Rings, power pulsing through you, seeking envy in the eyes of those you speak to. Conversations ensue, and it becomes a challenge to drop the fact that you have the “game-changing” phone by your side, acting as though the phone from three generations ago is almost the same thing as an infamous Nokia brick. The iPhone 4S will now be met with an “oh, cool,” escaping from their subtly condescending lips, as if you just told them you prefer mailing letters via pigeon carrier. In actual fact, that would be far cooler than any phone on the market. Who wants to bring back pigeon mail? Nokia, this is your chance to shine!
Now I hate to sound so brash. Admittedly, I have tapped into some of the beauty of Apple on my own. I’m the proud owner of an iPhone, a MacBook, and some family member down the line has an iPad, I’m sure. I know others who have virtually every product released by them, and others who stick to simply one. Regardless, it is undeniable that Apple has made a permanent mark on the consumer world, and it has come out of repeated innovations that have literally changed the dynamic of technological products. No longer are these advancements confined to the awe of the nerdier elite of society, but it has stretched over the world to an unfathomable degree. It is something to be feared though, when people will sacrifice all logic for an obsessive frenzy over the release of a product that really doesn’t seem to be that innovative on its own anyhow. How much is marketing and how much is true innovation? How desperate are we to be a part of this advancing technological world that we will buy the newest products every time, not questioning their value but simply praising their name?
I know we love to pick on our old fogeys of parents, pointing out the flaw in their story of the trek to school being two hills up, chuckling at their confused faces as they attempt to send emails, feeling all high and mighty when they ask you how to add a friend on Facebook, but what were they waiting in line for, camping out for in the prime of their earlier years? Legendary rock festivals, like Woodstock, which gathered 400,000 people, or tickets to Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin. The phenomenon of being the die-hards for a certain niche of the entertainment world came from genuinely sick things you could go to. Not for some game that you’ll hide in your basement and play, or for a phone that you paid someone to stand in line for (oh, the things that could go wrong there). And it’s not like after we get the iPhone, we rush home and do crazily innovative things with it, like solving world hunger with an app, checking out some x-rays as though we were McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy, being Picasso for an afternoon whilst using your finger to draw a stick man – let’s be real. We Instagram, we tweet, we Facebook, we game alone on the bus.
Essentially, phone companies of the world, you’re making us less cool than our parents, with their hipster records and vintage photos of their afros gleaming in the sun. And as impossible as that sounds, it’s becoming a tragic reality. Stop the hype. Let us be cool again.
@FedUpWithPhoneHype #whenwillitend #hashtag