Monday, January 30, 2012


Confession: I have iPhone envy.

It's my dirty little secret. I know it's ridiculous. When I was fifteen it was Doc Martens. Now that I'm thirty, it's a phone. Same idea though. It seems like everyone I know has one and I don't. I understand that a phone won't make my life any better. Really, when I stop to think about it, I don't even want one, which brings me to my second confession: Sometimes I treat not having this phone as my cross to bear.

Have I judged you for your iPhone? Ninety-eight percent of the time, no, but I wouldn't put it past me. I do apologize for this. Sincerely.  

It's not even about the phone. So what if there's a woman who can search the web to answer any random question that my three year old may have during the day. Yes, it would be nice when Emma wants an explanation for everything, to hand her the phone and say, "I'm not sure Em, just ask Siri," but then my child would grow up as the dumb kid because Siri seems to be operating a couple fries short of a Happy Meal if you ask me.

Now Instagram, that's another story. The fact that friends near and far are always posting their sweet pics and liking and commenting on each other's makes me feel like I'm on the outs.


First world problems at their finest.

My husband has an iPhone, which is even connected to my twitter and fb, so I am essentially on Instagram. But it's his voice, not mine. He chooses the pictures and the captions. Not me. And well, he tends to overpost. I knew I had a problem when we were at Disney the other day and I found myself getting annoyed at him for Instagramming- and it wasn't a matter of him being fully present. It was that he was controlling what was presented about us to the world. 

Completely childish, indeed. I should roll my eyes at my pettiness and move on. I just want to live free though, and I don't think you can really live free until you identify the root causes of things even as silly as coveting a hunk of technology. It's times like this that make me step back and take inventory of my life and ask, "What the heck is wrong with me??"

I'm part of a generation that prides itself on being real and authentic, yet we hold so tightly to controlling how we are perceived by others. I want to connect with people in deep, meaningful relationships, which I feel like I am doing in many ways. It just takes so much time and cultivation. Sometimes it's not fun. People make things so darn complicated. Communication isn't just accepted at face value. Apart from sorting through what is said or eliminated, you have to figure out what is meant by tones and expressions.  Then when you add several people to the mix, the challenge becomes keeping all these different personalities and people with preconceived notions about each other happy. It just gets tiring. Social media makes it so easy to pull away and yet still give the illusion that you're connecting. It's so much easier for me to be content looking at my friend's kid playing with bubbles, leave a witty comment, and never call her up to hear what's going on in her life. Real life relationships are slow. And deliberate. And can't be contained in 140 characters or less.

Really, my iPhone envy is about me letting go of the desire to control the circumstances that lead to (nonexistent) perfect relationships. Whether that's controlling what others think of me based on silly things I post, or keeping up with every mundane event of a friend's Tuesday afternoon, it doesn't matter. Real relationships are formed by saying the wrong things and having to apologize for being insensitive. They're strengthened by hearing each other's laughter, not seeing their LOL. The relationships that see you as you are, not the tidy online version of yourself. The people you choose and who choose you back. A phone won't make it any easier to connect with those that I love. It'll just make me compete with my husband to make our family look hip on Instagram, which would only confuse people since we have very different definitions of cool. I'm sure the iPhone is a great tool for many. Probably not for me at this point though. So, if I'm ever frothing at the mouth staring at your phone, do me a favor and punch me in the face. I'll sure I'll thank you for it later.


kathleen said...

im laughing at loud over here. i basically felt the exact same way and then, oh yes, i got one. and ill tell you, my life doesnt seem like it is infinitely enhanced, though it is fun :)

meg said...

love it kel! and you're not alone... i don't have an iphone either. don't think i'll be getting one any time soon and i really don't care; until i feel like maybe i should care, or that i am somehow "less than" about 75% of america that has them! oh well. i can totally relate to this post... thanks for your insights!

Kelly said...

Seriously Kathleen- I kind of feel betrayed...but as long as you Instagram my kids every once in a while I think I can forgive you. :)

Meg- You may have an advantage living in Maine. I feel like you all would be the last to crumble under societal pressure. Too busy shoveling snow and trying to keep warm. Better watch out when the weather gets nicer though. :)