Drop It!

December 05, 2008

It struck me the other day how I am endlessly interfacing with gadgets for most of the day. And among those, the iPhone is such a mixed blessing. I have learned to really, really appreciate and voraciously use the Google Maps app on my oldskool iPhone. When driving cross-country, it was indispensable as a makeshift GPS and guide to motels and restaurants. I did not plan for my trip besides a quick glance at a map, because I knew I’d have so much information immediately available at all times (minus the few times I dropped out of cel coverage, an entirely separate ambivalent rant I’ll save for later.)

Sidenote: I sure find myself using the word ambivalence more and more as I get older.

And now, dropped in a random neighborhood of a new city, I use it while walking around to find grocery stores, banks, thrift shops, and cafes. The ability of the iPhone to locate you without real GPS (I have the old one) using triangulation of cel towers is almost always dead on. It’s almost creepy how quick and accurate it is.

Sidenote: I had a very 21st century human moment while driving at 75mph on my way to Chicago in the nether regions of the midwest, suddenly wanting the voicenote ability on my iPhone. I opened up up the app store, searched for “recorder,” and moments later after downloading an app, I was recording a note. (While narrowly avoiding veering off route 66.) Apple has sneakily and whole-heartedly revolutionized what it’s like to have a mobile phone. I can clearly see my idealist 20-year-old self looking at my current, gadget-drunk 33-year-old self writing this and scoffing. But goddamnit, I’m absolutely sure there was some skeptic scribbling this very same note after making a telephone call to his grandmother across the country in 1905. I bet he wasn’t paying the equivalent of $70/mo for that call, however. And if he wanted to take a note while driving his electric buggy, he was shit out of luck.

Sidenote of sidenote: I had no idea AT&T, American Telephone and Telegraph Company, has been around since 1885.

What the hell was I talking about? Oh yes, eternal gadget distraction. I need to pile up the Nintendo DS, iPod, iPhone (well…), and laptop, cover them with some sort of smelly, nausea-inducing blanket which makes me want to run in the opposite direction, and get the pen to paper. First step: end this blog entry.