One Thousand Words on My iAnniversary

I have an important anniversary coming up.

It’s not a celebration of a marriage or job tenure or sobriety. On April 10th my iPhone and I will be celebrating our first year together.

Yes, I know the actual date I bought my iPhone and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

My iPhone and I have become very close in the past twelve months. Sometimes I worry that we’re too close.

The first thing I do every morning and the last thing I do every night is look at my phone. I check email, Facebook and Twitter. I see how many hits I’ve had on my blog. I read the news. I see what the weather is going to be and review my calendar for the upcoming or next day.

(Now that I think about it, my calendar doesn’t change overnight so there’s no real reason to check it before I go to sleep AND after I wake up. Oh well.)

I am trying to cut back on the pre-sleep phone use, though.

I usually write, then read until I am sleepy. But I’ve started picking up my phone after putting my book down and I find I’m wide awake again after ten minutes of surfing.

I guess those reports on how your sleep is affected by using screens before bedtime are true.

Once I woke up in the middle of the night and found my iPhone clutched in my hand. I always put it on my bedside table before turning out the light for the night and I must have reached out and grabbed it while I slept.

I hope I didn’t call, text or tweet anyone without knowing it. That would be embarrassing.

Now I put my phone in the drawer each night so I don’t sleep-phone again. Not only might I call or text someone, I could roll over on the phone or drop it and break it if I try to use it when I’m unconscious.

One of my very favorite things on my phone is my contact list.

I know, all phone have contact lists, but mine is special.

First, I have pictures my contact entries. Not everyone, of course, but a bunch of them.

Sometimes I ask people if I can take their picture, but some don’t even know I have their photos on my phone. If I come across a picture I like on Facebook or someplace like that, I steal it for my address book.

Wait… Is that creepy? Am I iPhone photo stalking people?

I hope not. But either way I’m not up to anything evil. I just love it when the picture pops up when the phone rings. It makes me feel cool and tech-savvy.

And, speaking of rings, that’s my other favorite thing about my contact list.

The people who call me regularly each have their own unique ringtone. And they are all television theme songs.

One person has the Friends theme song, another has The Office. I’ve got Facts of Life, Mad Men, The Monkees, The Muppet Show, Seinfeld.

I get a little nervous that people will call me when I’m sitting next to them and get insulted by my choice of ringtone. Not that any of them are offensive. It would just be awkward to explain why the Looney Tunes or M*A*S*H theme song made me think of them.

And then there’s the texting.

For someone who dislikes talking on the telephone, texts are a godsend.

I hate the phone so much that I changed my voicemail at work to say, “Please feel free to leave me a message after the beep, but I’ll probably get back to you quicker if you send me an email” and I tell them my email address.

I’m not sure that message is entirely professional, but it’s the truth and better they know rather than wait for me to return a call.

And it’s worked. I’ve received message that just say, “Ok. I’ll email you.” And they do.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of putting that in my message sooner.

Texting is great because it’s immediate like a phone call, but doesn’t require any of that annoying preliminary chit chat. There’s none of that “Hi. How are you” crap. It’s quick and to the point.

Many of my friends don’t text, though. Some of them even call me to respond when they get my text.

That’s one of my biggest pet peeves, when someone responds to an email or text with a phone call. If I wanted to talk to you, I would have called.

Isn’t there some modern day etiquette that says you should respond in the same medium used to contact you? In the olden days, people didn’t respond to a letter with a telegram or by jumping on their horse for a visit.

Of course, it hasn’t all been good times with my iPhone.

There was the screen shatter incident. That was tough.

And just recently I attempted to change the plastic screen saver for the first time (they did it for me when I replaced the screen so I hadn’t needed to do it until a few weeks ago.)

It took me three screen savers to get it on well enough that it wouldn’t drive me crazy every time I looked at it. And there’s still a cat hair stuck under the plastic. But it’s at the bottom and hidden by the edge of the case. Mostly, at least.

All in all, it’s been a happy year and I’ve been trying think of an appropriate way to celebrate our twelve months together.

Ironically, the traditional first anniversary is the “paper” anniversary, which is sort of the antithesis of everything the iPhone stands for.

The modern anniversary gift is clocks, so maybe I’ll splurge for a fancy alarm clock app, or one that tells me the time all across the world.

After all, nothing says thanks for changing my life for the better like a brand new app.

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