Bad Girl, Good Business

“Just touch it…”

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“It’s so big!” I exclaimed.

No, that’s not what this post is about you filthy-minded reader! It’s about my conflict between my undeniable attraction to new technology and how I’m consistently seduced into something bigger and presumably better, while still fretting about my dependence on my gadgets.

I just upgraded to a Samsung 6+ Edge, which replaced my dying companion. The salesperson at the AT&T store urged me to handle each one of the smartphones on the display table, so I’d know which one was most compatible with my needs and desires. “Oooh…look how much memory this one has!” she cooed, as she set up my new phone.

I realized how attached many of us have become to our “devices.” A few years back, I wrote about my transition from my beloved Blackberry to the unfamiliar Galaxy. I also own some Apple stuff and have trained my eyes and fingers to adjust rapidly from one screen to the other. Yes…I’m sort of slutty when it comes to my technology.

Just as girlfriends dole out relationship advice, my friends all had opinions about the right phone for me. I am sometimes taunted that I don’t want the new iPhone. “You’ll love it!” they assert, as if they are trying to set me up on a date. When I took my phone out to capture a picture today, a stranger wanted to “meet” my new companion. (No one ever wanted to meet my typewriter or my rotary dial phone or my fax machine.)

I don’t like being so attached to a “thing” made of metal and glass (or a glass-like product). In the past, when you forgot or lost something, it was simply gone. You mourned and moved on. Now, we have all these passwords, documents, e-mails, phone numbers, pictures, videos, and apps. When we lose them, a sense of panic sets in. And then, when we upgrade to a new device, learning how to navigate a new device takes up hours when we could be interacting with friends and family and co-workers.

I rationalize every new purchase by telling myself about how much time it will save me. How I’ll be able to find my contacts so easily and “communicate” with them whenever I want to. Of course, it will make me smarter too — I can Google whatever I need, order-up a car or a meal, and save money by finding deals.

I love my new “boyfriend.” It has a big screen (which splits, so I can look at two things at once — who knew that I needed to do that?) I can talk to it and it understands what I’m saying. I can leave it alone and it charges without wires. It finds things I can’t remember. It feels light and comfortable in my hand. My old phone has been forgotten already.

But I still have some rules. My new lover has to sleep in the kitchen. Or it sits in my handbag or face-down on the table when I’m out with friends. It may be big and bold…but it’s still a machine.

And I’m still a human. Bigger doesn’t always mean better.



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