I have a confession to make. I don’t think I can live without my iPhone.
You may say the same thing about another Apple wonder or small device from a different manufacturer. It doesn’t really matter; if yours has a shiny screen you can endlessly paw at, you know what I’m talking about.
So what? Right. That’s not really a confession, more an admittance that I’m a citizen of 21st century western civilisation. But I have another confession to make – aha! Caught you there. And that is, I don’t think I’ve really been using it properly.
On the one hand, I really can’t stop fiddling with it. Have I got another email? (I turned off the notification noise – still hasn’t stopped me checking.) What temperature is it in Stockholm? What are the symptoms of arsenic poisoning? Can I get all the rings on classic Sonic Green Hills Zone level three?
It’s bad, it’s compulsive, it’s conditioning. I’ve spoken about this before in earlier blogs. If you didn’t read them, the point was that we all really should stop obsessing over our devices and talk to each other.
But stuff like the calendar and synching it with the rest of my digital ecosystem… Nah, haven’t done that. I can’t be bothered. Yep, I can’t be bothered to spend two minutes putting in reminders for all my appointments, deadlines and so forth. You know, the important things.
I can, however, be bothered to read a ton of articles. That’s my vice. What’s yours? Funny videos of monkeys? Naughty pictures? Endless Facebook updates? I have several very good apps on my iPhone – heck, there are several very good baseline functions that I don’t use and I should. I have resolved to change.
Last week for the third week in a row I forgot that Friday was library book drop-off day at my son’s school. I also forgot a dental appointment, but that’s by the by. It was mainly the torrent, and I do mean a torrent, of my son’s school things that need dealing with that changed the way I use my tech.
He started school a couple of months back, and I wasn’t ready for how involved I had to be. I thought you took your tot there, and they learned stuff and did potato prints while you went home and slept. But no: books, parents’ evenings, meetings, cake sales, bonfire days, plays, ingredients, costumes, potatoes for printing with…
For years I’ve tried my damnedest to remember where I should be, what day of the week it is and who I am. Diaries went unused. I called it memory training, but it was just idleness. Still, I did a reasonable job.
But now? Info overload. I just can’t stand the pitying looks I get from the teachers when I forget to launder the little man’s gym kit. Again. As I work at home, I’m one of the few dads dropping off and picking up their kid every day. I must be special. That’s what their eyes say – special in the worst kind of way.
To avoid being reminded of my specialness, I’ve decided to properly utilise the calendar function on my phone – that’s this cool thing with dates on it that tells you what you should be doing and stuff. It’ll even remind you with binging noises. It’s awesome. I discovered there’s also a low-tech paper version on the wall in the kitchen on which my wife writes things. I didn’t really look at it before – to be honest, William Morris wallpaper is not my thing, and I didn’t notice all the words and numbers underneath. We overlook the less flashy parts of our technological world at our peril.
Now with these two pieces of IT working in conjunction, the world’s my oyster. At least, it will be next Tuesday. That’s what the calendar on my phone tells me, anyway.