The dangerous, jealous bully & passionate attention seeker
When you first introduced your new iPhone into your life all those years ago, you were probably unaware of its darker motivations and long term plan to consume and dominate your life and destroy all competition.
The iPhone (like other so-called smartphones) is like a jealous bully and passionate attention seeker.
No other object has ever had this much impact on us and how we live our lives.
Read carefully and consider how much this little device has taken over so much of our lives.
The Ecosystem of You
Your life is a delicate ecosystem of people and objects. Each person and entity you know or have has a role in your life. When a new person is introduced, for example, that person has an effect on the ecosystem of your life. Perhaps the most striking example of this is when your best friend falls in love with someone and spends all their time with them — instead of you — leaving you alone and shut out. Or if you fall in love, get addicted or take up new interests — the rest of your life is put on hold — or shoved to the side.
For many mothers, having the kids leave home and go to school leaves them with an unusually empty, quiet home that they’re not quite used to. This void leaves many parents feeling lost and depressed. Another instance may be when one person in a relationship has a secret affair and the relationship then feels somehow different, but it’s not clear why or what happened.
Everything we introduce to our lives — people, foods, ideas, things and technologies affect other aspects in our lives. Everything you own, all your belongings, compete with each other for attention. If you buy a new outfit, the existing ones will likely be used less. If you buy new teas, the existing ones will be pushed to the back, barely visible and forgotten about.
Most people have had the experience of doing a spring clean, where they pull out the stuff that was at the back of the cupboards and are amazed at some of things they find; “Oh my God, that’s where this is! I wondered where it was. I love this.”
We only have a limited amount of time, energy and capacity to connect with other people and make use of our belongings, so the more we have, the less other things get used.
The big question we need to ask and answer is: What are the handful of people and things that bring us the greatest benefit, happiness, well-being and success? And direct our focus on them while removing those that may either clutter up our lives or harm us.
With this in mind, let’s return to the iPhone — that wonderful little device.
Quite unlike any other object we’ve ever had (except maybe drugs), the iPhone has single handedly demanded an enormous amount of our energy and time by destroying many other technologies.
The Strange Story Of The iPhone
As soon as it arrives, it swiftly begins executions and demands on our lives.
First off, it shoots down the landline. Batatatat. Why would I need that ugly old thing?
Next, it executes its older brother, the iPod, and steals all its songs.
Each of its victims is either thrown in the dungeons of an old drawer somewhere, given away, sold or thrown away or simply left to rot in plain sight. In any case, they have been cast out from the kingdom of your life, all the while enhancing the power of the smartphone — like a dictator — hungry for more and more power, more and more control.
Not satisfied, next it goes after your camera. Why do I need that? You are cast out!
Then it kills your video camera.
Worried about any other competition, it mercilessly shoots down the other phones — boom. “Only me, none other!”
It attacks your alarm clock; “I am the first and last thing you should see each day!” Boom!
It kills pens and paper; “All lists and notes must be in me.”
It kills calendars and maps; “Mine, mine, mine!”
It also kills or delegates other kinds of media too, CD players, record players, etc.
It kills your books and magazines; “Fill me up instead!”
It kills phone book lists.
It kills recipe books, phone books, and instruction manuals.
It kills timers, clocks and watches.
It goes on a rampage killing as many things as it possibly can and consuming all the power into itself.
“Me, and me alone!!!”
“I alone am your world!”
It even does its best to kill your TV and laptop. “Watch your news, movies and games on me, Do your work on me.”
Some things it has a hard time competing with, but it still steals as much attention as it possibly can.
Just consider all the other things you used to have that have been shot down and replaced by smartphones — those smart little dictators.
It may seem convenient at first, until you realize this smart dictator has been attempting total control of your life.
Next, the device is still not satisfied with destroying all the current aspects of your life that you used to enjoy with your full attention — it now chooses to come after you and your energy.
It demands you play with it, all the time.
It demands more apps — highly addictive ones.
It demands accessories so you can protect it and listen to it on a sound system in your home and in your car, anywhere you are.
It demands access to your house, replacing your locks and keys with its smart home system.
It demands to know where you are exactly, all the time. Everywhere you go; it goes with you and tracks your every step.
It demands access to your video camera and microphone so it can record everything, all the time.
It demands, repeatedly, you set up notifications on your most used apps, and if you refuse to, it makes sure to remind you to do it over and over and over.
It demands you look at it whenever you get a notification.
It demands you respond to everyone right away and look at all the latest notifications, even if you’re busy, and even if they are not valuable to you.
It demands your fingerprint and wants to recognize your face.
It demands you connect your bank account to it so you can spend, spend, and spend some more, anywhere and anytime.
It demands unlimited data. “Feed me, feed me.”
It demands subscriptions to various accounts.
It demands high monthly fees.
It demands to be updated on a regular basis.
More, more, more. Update update update.
It also demands a whole new body upgrade; as soon as the new phone is available or you’ve paid off your current one, it demands you upgrade it.
The phone is the same; you just pay for its cosmetic surgery and pay to give it more speed and power.
More, more, more.
Next, it starts taking over your computer.
It demands you set up all your accounts on it; so instead of sitting down at the computer to do your work, you can now work from anywhere — all the time. Gone are the days of having a work / play balance.
Work is never ending.
It demands email, Skype, IM, and Social Media.
There is no time for you to ever be alone.
It demands you search for any random idea you think about.
But this is not enough.
The main thing it wants is not just to destroy other technologies and make you dependent on it, but it wants YOU and your undivided attention constantly.
It now comes after your time, energy and relationships.
It demands you spend every waking moment with it close by.
It demands you look at it in bed, the last thing you do at night.
It demands you sleep with it.
It demands you look at it first thing in the morning.
It demands you take it into the restroom to have some private time.
It demands you look at it and not at your family and friends, who are also with you but looking at it too.
It demands you talk to others who are not with you, on it, so it becomes indispensable.
Without it you are all alone and cut off.
It demands you ignore the life happening around you and create another life on it.
It demands you take pictures of yourself and your life and post them online.
It demands you engage in a popularity war of likes and clicks and views and shares.
It demands that you shall never leave the house without it. Or you are irrational, irresponsible and rude.
It gets you hopelessly addicted to the point that even the idea of not having it seems absurd.
And frankly, impossible.
Never question why I am here and what I want.
Never wonder about who is benefiting from this.
Don’t worry about your privacy or your peace of mind.
Don’t give any thought about wasting your life.
Don’t worry about your relationships and spending more time with them — they all have a phone to entertain them now.
Don’t worry about your kids and what will come of them.
Don’t worry about harming the environment or the underappreciated workers who put it together.
The iPhone has taken over our lives. It does offer some useful features, but at what cost?
Take another look at your phone…
You were born without a phone and will die without one.
Humans didn’t have smartphones until recently.
Remember who is more powerful — you or your phone.
And if you’re ready to reclaim your power — then consider de-cluttering your phone.
It’s your life. Stay happy and do what you (truly) love.