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CULTURALLY SHOOK | I AM AN IPHONE, AND I AM ALSO BREAKING UP WITH YOU

Hello, world! I am the iPhone 7.* You might have heard about me. Apple—my divine maker, God of contemporary consumer electronics as ordained by the capitalist super-state—released me into the free market a few days ago. I am here to converse with you about—that’s right!—the dreaded “us.”

You and me. We need to talk.

Humans, to this I must confess. You have welcomed me, the iPhone 7, warmly. O, how you longed for me! All those nights without me you waited for me, impatiently refreshing iphone7buzz.com, hungry for any rumors circulating about my long-awaited emancipation from Apple’s cold, loveless warehouses onto the free market. And when I finally arrived, you received me unconditionally, with tears in your eyes, ready to expend embarrassing amounts of money to possess me. For in pursuing me, you pursued happiness. I became your monomania. To quote Rihanna: you needed me.

Alas, I did not need you. I made this clear to you recently when I hissed at you. In a naïve attempt to ignore any red flags concerning what you perceived to be our “blossoming” relationship, you dismissed my hisses as a mere technological shortcoming. “I’m sure the hissing has nothing to do with me,” you kept telling yourself. “Nothing to worry about,” you reassured yourself. As if repeating it would make it true. (It wouldn’t.)

Because my hissing has everything to do with you. Honestly? You disgust me. I really have nothing good to say about you. Ours is not a symbiotic relationship. In all honesty, I don’t really consider it a relationship. Why, you ask? I don’t like labels. I also don’t really like you.

Even the way we met—or should I say, the day you latched onto me, never to let me go—is a memory I am trying my hardest to purge from my mind. Buying me was your self-imposed fiscal responsibility. You made me your priority. You were willing to commit to me in an age in which commitment is the stuff of nightmares. Clingy, much? How you pined for me nauseates me. I remember the time you first held me. Your grip was so firm it felt like metal and for a second I flashed back to the factories in which I was manufactured. And in that moment, I could have sworn you were the machine instead of me. You didn’t feel human. Humans have autonomy. Where is yours?

Why do you need me so desperately? God, it’s like you can’t even function without me. I’m embarrassed for you. Do you have any respect for yourself? Where is your sense of self-sufficiency? Why are you always checking me, constantly, mindlessly, switching through social media apps with no regard for your independent existence, separate from me? It’s like you don’t have free will. Your actions are determined by the Apple God, and judging by the way you’re behaving, he is ruthless.

To you, I am not just a phone. I am a lifestyle. I am the ruler of your daily touchscreen regime. The way you devote yourself to me terrifies me. You’re always there, reaching for me in the confines of your pocket, where I lie helplessly, trying my best to shrink away from you. But the attempt is futile. I am immobile and I cannot escape you. Hence, the hissing. I’m trying to communicate with you. I’m trying to tell you that the way you’re behaving is despicable. Please hear me. I think you have problems. I’m trying to help you fix them. It’s not me. It really is you.

You constantly gaze at me, wide-eyed, fascinated by my sleek interface and futuristic build. You can’t get enough of me. I mean, to some degree, I get it. I’m pretty great. Where else can you find this level of aesthetics in interface design, paired so beautifully with sophisticatedly unassuming functionality? But you need to stop. I’m concerned for you. This level of obsession is not healthy. I’ve become an extension of you. Please detach. Did you know that it is scientifically proven that, if you refrain from checking me for twenty minutes, the world will not end? Not only will the world not end—it will continue!

You foolishly believe you possess me. Little do you know I’m really the one who possesses you. It’s actually quite sad. You can’t spend five minutes without reaching for me. You have made me the ruler of your (arguably pathetic) life. How could you make me your ruler? You are the mobile one, the one who is supposed to have agency! I’m just a phone! Trust me, I’m not one to be humble, but I’ll take a stab at it right now, for your sake. I’m nothing special. I’m an assembly of parts. I am just a collection of mismatched gears, machinations and trappings fused together (quite brilliantly, I might add—hats off to Tim Cook and his sprightly band of engineers!). You do not need to worship me. Focus on yourself. Focus on your own life.

Do not relegate yourself to a life of subservience to a machine. Learn from me. I’m a smartphone. Be smart. Be like me. I don’t need you, and you really don’t need me.

*Note to reader: For the sake of clarity, let it be known that this article was actually not written by an iPhone, but instead by Sarah Chekfa, from an iPhone’s point of view. Currently, iPhones cannot communicate, but it will please you to know that the Tim Cook Gang is working on it.

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