Monday, February 25, 2013

Why I Do (and Don't) Want an iPhone

I nearly spent the entirety of last Saturday by myself, save a few brief encounters with my housemate, a half hour conversation with my mom and a trip to the hardware store. Saturdays like this are both the benefit and struggle of single adulthood. The difference between feeling blessed or cursed depends on my life perspective on that given day.

On this particular Saturday my perspective was narrow and my day penetrated with the pervasive fog of loneliness. Despite this cloud, my day was infiltrated with beauty.

Such is the mark of grace...I suppose.

I made two dozen beet muffins, an experiment (a successful one I might add!) in order to use up a frig full of these winter roots.

I balanced my checkbook and thought about doing taxes. I think I'll wait a month before the pressure really kicks in.

I bought potting soil and seeds and planted herbs, onions and spring greens in my newly built cold frame. I must say, doing this task on a cloudy day, both in weather and spirit, is a significant victory for a dreamer like me.

Usually a productive Saturday spent baking and gardening is a balm for my wearied spirit. But on this day, each completed project just emphasized that dull ache--the desire to share this moment with another. Yet to my surprise, instead of desiring the presence of a dear friend or family member, I longed for digital access to everyone.

I longed for an iPhone.

As I pulled out a tray of fresh, pink beet muffins, I saw them in my mind's eye as a white-framed vintage Instagram.

I sowed eight rows of herbs and veggies, covered them lightly with soil, gently watered the rows and created little signs out of old clothespins. When my work was done, I stepped back and thought, "I wish I had a smart phone."

On my way up to my attic room I spotted an atrociously large, gas-guzzling vehicle on my street just in time to watch its twin pull up two cars behind it. "What is this? A Hummer convention?" I quipped aloud to myself. I chuckled and daydreamed about how clever I would sound if only I could let my social media network into this joke.

In a normal, albeit lonely, day of simply pleasures, my good, natural desire for companionship twisted into a longing for a few thumbs up of affirmation. 

I need people. I need to be known. I need to share experiences.

But on a day when tears came quicker than smiles, all I wanted were disembodied profiles, approval of my choice of hobbies and a moment alone made public. On days like this I prefer absent-minded 'likes' to calling a friend because I know she would hear that ache through the phone. And then...

Then I'd have to look at it.

She'd ask me questions and make me cry.

I couldn't hide behind the instantly nostalgic photos of my muffins, garden or tax form.

I'd be loved into honesty.

Naked. Vulnerable. Exposed.

God, I want an iPhone!

Author's Note: Please read this post as a reflection on our temptation to escape pain, not as commentary on modern technology. I'll be the first to admit I often err on the side of technophobia, but that is not the intended angle of this post. Thanks!


  1. This post is a poem, Lisa. I loved reading it. So many juicy bits in it--so honest! As for the planting pictures, they were rather shocking from my snowy part of the world. Is it truly spring already somewhere?
    Thanks for your lyrical, yet raw, point of view,

  2. Thank you for your kind words, Tricia.

    Spring is toying with us here. I hiked in my Chacos yesterday and now they're calling for snow again. My father assured me it was late enough to plant in the cold frame. I hope he's right! :)