Sunday, July 8, 2007

Technoholism

My name is Susan, and I'm a technoholic.

I admit it, I love gadgets--no, I adore them. There's nothing more luscious than the arrival of a new gadget. The pristine corners of the box. The wonderful smell of plastic and electronics. You open the box, and everything is neatly packaged--the object of your lust, centrally placed in the box, surrounded by accessories, instructions, the warranty card. You pull out the central gadget, wrapped lovingly in plastic, carefully pull open the taped end, and hold the virginal device for the first time in your hands. No fingerprints yet, just a gleaming, beautiful, techno-scented piece of equipment beckoning you to explore its wizardry (after, of course, you charge it, which seems to take endless hours as you wait in anticipation).

Over the past several years, I've suffered from technoholism. It started with a Palm PDA (I owned the original one). I've since succumbed to a Canon Elph, a Treo 600, a fifth-generation iPod, a Treo 680, and a Canon Powershot (well, the Canon Elph I had was only 3.1 mp, the Powershot is 7.1 mp!!!!).

And now, I'm ashamed to say, the iPhone is singing to me like a Siren. I've tried to plug my ears and eyes, but, alas, it's to no avail. I knew I was lost when I went to Apple's evil website and explored the iPhone's features. My husband caught me in the middle of this lurid episode--I quickly minimized the page, but too late.

"Susan," he cried, "No! Not an iPhone."

"I'm just looking," I lied, "I don't really want one. I mean, my Treo can do lots more than the iPhone. Pshaw, I'm loyal to Palm."

But as soon as he left, I maximized the page, ogling over all the amazing features. Sure, I keep telling myself that my Treo 680 is better. But as soon as I assure myself that the iPhone is evil, my Treo crashes (yet again) or refuses to let me answer a phone call. I skulkingly return to the Apple site and my fingertip reaches toward the computer screen and caresses the iPhone picture lovingly.

No, I wasn't one of the crazies, standing in line on June 29th to get the first iPhones, though, admittedly, I wanted to be. I read every news article I could find about the iPhone's arrival--brazenly using my Treo 680 to access them--oh the adultery of it.

And then, yesterday, I took the next-to-last fatal step. I visited the local ATT store, dragging my children with me, making them swear not to tell my husband where we had gone. We walked in, and, when a salesperson approached, I asked imploringly, "Do you have an iPhone I can look at?" The salesperson assessed me knowingly, "Ah, another one," she surely thought. "The display's over there."

And like Mecca calling her pilgrim, the iPhone drew me to her temple. There were three iPhones at the altar-just enough for me and my two innocent children. We walked to the shrine and dared to touch the shiny idols.

I knew I was lost the moment I touched the iPhone. It was smaller than I imagined and lighter. Its screen awoke the moment I touched it, and it whispered, "Slide to unlock." My finger swept the pristine glass screen, and, the beautiful icons appeared ready to be pressed.

I don't know how long I stood there mesmerized. But I tried several times to leave the display only to be drawn back--Apple's fruit seemed good to the eyes and useful for making one techno-fulfilled. The coup-de-grace was when I confessed to another salesperson how frustrated I was with my old lover (the Treo 680). I was told how simple it would be to dump it for the iPhone. "It's so easy," the salesman breathed, cunningly luring me like the serpent in the Garden, "You just buy the phone and Apple will do all the rest."

I left the store without a phone (I have no money, right now). But I am only one writing project away from being able to afford one. It's inevitable now. I've reached the point of no return.

The most lurid part of all of this is that my addiction is contagious. As we were leaving the store, my son (only a tender nine years old) said, "Mommy, everyone in my class has a cell phone--everyone except me. I need one, I really do. I only need $400 more dollars in my account, and I can get an iPhone!"


3 comments:

JC Baker said...

My name is J.C. and I, too, am a technoholic. Susan, you have spoken for us all.

Steve said...

You'll be glad to know that I'm a proud iPhone owner...it must be something in the HSU blood!!!

walt said...

Oh iPhone! Your curves are like fawns. Like fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.