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.