Bound by <a href='http://www.leahyerpe.com' target='_blank'>Leah Yerpe</a>
Bound by Leah Yerpe

I love my iPhone. I hate my iPhone. My iPhone has saved my life. My iPhone is stealing my soul.

The attractions are so clear. The loathing so ready.

It is stealing my soul: whole swaths of my life are in that cosmos of a machine. Names, addresses, phone numbers, messages of friends and frenemies and others are secreted away in it. It’s connected to a “cloud” and would make Jung blanch at any claims to synchronicity. After all, how could he have dreamt (yes, dream) of connections rendered with such ease, such style, such ceaseless seduction?

Ease, style, and seduction are surely part of the package. The sleek form lets us forget that with every tap someone is watching us, following us, tracking us. With each update, our frustrations with technology evaporate until the next glitch, until the next excruciatingly slow download. The delight at the sight of that silvery once-bitten apple makes the mind go blank to the very worldly reality of the hands that put the little machine together, and the corporate interests that want us wanting more. We get to leave our pathetic “dull” phone selves behind when we secure the services of the wondrous iPhone.

Sure my iPhone will give me the false confidence that I can do anything. It’s supposed to give me superpowers – or at least apps that make me feel like I have superpowers. Look: I can read your mind (or at least Google info about you)! Look: I can see the future (or at least tell you what the weather will be like for the next few days). Look: I hear voices! (sure, it’s the iPod or a voice memo, but still….). I am lost, and now I am found (well, I’m still waiting for Google Maps to load…). It’s not the stuff of gospel songs, but it is surely amazingly graceful.

My iPhone is magical, it connects me to a cosmos. And yet, of course, it constantly frustrates my desires to connect. For every wish I make to and through it, it reminds me of my all-too-human longings to be somewhere other than where I am at the present moment, to be with folks that are not the ones right by me, at my side. I am looking at a screen not quite 5 inches tall and less than 3 inches wide for hope, for possibility, for a little info on salvation. How can I not help but feel that it takes a little piece of me, of my soul, of my spirit with each gaze into its bright, shiny glare.

What to do with this magical device that makes me ask questions I didn’t know I had or needed to ask? Why keep touching that screen of desire, that pad of delights?

What will it give me? What will it keep taking from me? Too much, I’m afraid. I hate my iPhone. I love my iPhone. I kinda want my life back.

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