Huge week on deck, and not because I’ve got a six-pack of basketball games to cover and – Valentine’s Day reminder, fellas – one wife to woo.
Rather, I’m getting a new smartphone, an iPhone 4S, to be exact. Hear me out before cracking wise about South Dakota being stuck in 2007 in terms of technology.
I’m not just switching phones, I’m switching operating systems. Again. And that has become a big deal for most of us in 2012. In fact, just the other day I was trying to decide where a move like this ranks in terms of important changes in the life of a young professional. It’s not as big as getting married/divorced or having a child, but it’s probably no lower than third on the list of material acquisitions behind buying a new house and car.
And, to be honest, I’m less actively involved on an hourly basis with my house and my car than my smartphone. My current model is a Droid. Actually, it’s a Droid that has a little BlackBerry-style keyboard, a hint that my first platform switch was emotional. I didn’t really want to leave BlackBerry – that flashing red light brought all the comfort of a warm blanket. But the company just fell so far behind so quickly. It almost felt like brazen indifference. (To be fair, I’ve never met a cocky Canadian. Let’s hope they just hit their intellectual ceiling.)
Once I went to Droid, I began kicking myself for not doing so sooner. Way faster, way better Web. Apps. Solid. The speed seems to have slowed a bit over time – in my opinion, and I’m just guessing, too much info is stored on a server instead of being local to the phone – yet I’m still fairly pleased.
The Apple leap was sparked by a change at my workplace. It seems like a pretty sweet deal. Simple as that.
Except it’s not.
I’m not even sure what day my new best friend will arrive, and I’ve already worn myself out wondering how our relationship will go: Will I be able to type quickly on the touchscreen? Will my calendar and contacts transfer over? Will my non-Apple accounts work well or will there be sort of accidental sabotage? Will I find some cool new apps? Will I be left without some of my favorites? Will I start dumping my kids’ college cash into iTunes? Will she – Siri is a woman, right? – think I’m cool?
OK, maybe that last one was a reach, although Apple people do seem inherently hip. But I’m dead serious about how much time and energy we (or at least I) put into my smartphone – and am prepared to put into the transition. It’s incredible and/or absurd even though a huge chunk of that (maybe 85 percent?) is usage is for work. I once planned to count how many times in a day that I fiddled with my phone, but the project never got off the ground because I couldn’t put it down long enough to start a tally. Plus, the thought that I might purposely avoid a Twitter refresh or two for the sake of keeping down the count seemed like a poor trade. And while it’s almost certainly good for my work productivity, it’s definitely not making me a more attentive father.
I remember when The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, my employer at the time, got its first newsroom Internet line. Yes, just one. We had to take turns using it, not that we knew what to do or that there were many (non-adult) sites to visit at the time. And just a few years later, everyone (except Fury and Hayden Goethe) has the Internet and their office files and an arcade and every song ever written available on their phone. Messing with that indispensable item has become an exciting, anxiety-filled, weird and wondrous occasion.
Wish me luck.