Saturday, July 14, 2012

My iPhone Has Fallen and It Can't Get Up

My iPhone hasn’t worked for the better part of two weeks now. That single event has changed my life.
It’s quiet now. It’s peaceful. I don’t automatically reach for the phone, looking to check to see if I got an email or a text message. Looking at Twitter to see what’s trending now. The iPhone is the epitome of instant gratification for a neurotic. And the lack of it is very freeing. I have to sit still, maybe read that book I’ve been saving. Actually sit down and talk to people.
Yeah. I hate it.
I can’t believe how addicted I have become to this little instrument. You know, during my three months on EXODUS at SFO in 1989, this is the kind of technology I would have prevented the Russians from getting. Now, everybody’s got a smart phone. And, once you get one, you can’t let go.
I blame Customs for teaching me to want to be constantly busy. I was on the manifest desk at Satellite 2 at LAX, telling airlines where to put their baggage (there were only two possible carrousels in those days), receiving manifest documents, answering the phone and directing calls. And then I was the Adjudicator for one full year, constantly working to keep up with seizures and transfer of seized goods. I never sat still, even when the others had breaks. I liked the constant motion, the in-and-out of inspectors and airline employees telling me their stories on a daily basis. It was adrenaline. And, now that I’m retired, it’s as if the smart phone has replaced that activity. It’s my cocaine.
So, my friends, if I don’t answer your phone calls or your emails right away, it’s not that I don’t love you. It’s just that I’m off in a corner reading some book. I hate books.