Thursday, July 09, 2009

the paradox of choice

OMG, you guys, I could have an iPhone.

Do you know how cool I think iPhones are? They're like puppies. When I see someone else with one, my eyes get wide with excitement and misty with sentiment and I ask if I can play with it.

The trouble is, I do not believe I am cool enough to have an iPhone. I cannot tell whether this is a logical impulse, being that the following things are true: I do not have the money to support an iPhone in the manner to which it is accustomed; my own lifestyle does not call for one; I might worry about it too much to enjoy it.

Or is the impulse plainly silly? Is it reasonable to be intimidated by appliances?

The back-up potential gift is an iPod because, believe it or not, I don't even have one of those. But they've been out long enough that I think I could swing having one, though I'd still know, in the back of my head, that it is more attractive than I am. Any over-thinkers out in Internet-land have an opinion?


Nathan said...

I actually get what you mean about the iPhone. My lifestyle does not call for it. There are some really cool apps out there, but those are mere peripherals. I basically need a phone in my pocket that can call and text, maybe snap a grainy photo if my government unexpectedly oppresses me.

On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason not to have an iPod. Simply put, I could not go back to not having one. Even if there are other MP3's out there with more storage / cheaper prices, everything you've heard about the slickness and ease of the iPod+iTunes interface makes it totally worth it. I love music, but the most glorious use I've gotten out of it so far is with podcasts. Subscribe with one click, and updates automatically. This American Life! Slate's Political Gabfest! I used to be stuck at my computer for these, if I ever listened to them at all, but now I'm listening to it in the car, while cleaning house, while running, whatever. I've cut the cord to my cable company because of it, because the brainfood/entertainment-to-noise ratio is so much higher through my iPod than it is through basic cable.

Get the ipod first. Clearly I have strong feelings about this.

Emily Douglas said...

Well, here is what I said to the author via gchat. "why would you ever not get an iphone? you are quirky and cool, with great outfits. it will accentuate your coolness, not detract from it."

Admittedly, this is an entirely style-based critique of the situation.

I don't have a smartphone, and I desperately want a way to be able to check email all the time. It seems insanely inefficient that I can't. But, most of the time I'd like to do that for work. So if your work doesn't call for it, maybe it doesn't matter.

The iPhone does seem to have incredible apps for navigating; that's the other reason I want one. And I agree with Nathan, you would love the podcasting function of an iPod. Maybe that's enough.

Nava said...

iphones are expensive to support (like $30 extra on your phone bill)-this is why i don't have one. i did recently acquire and ipod touch, which i'm pretty excited about. it's got a lot of things the iphone does, minus a phone, a camera and that everywhere internet (just picks up wifi). one of my favorite things to do with it is check my email in the living room when i'm too lazy to go up to the 3rd floor. this might be less useful in a one bedroom apartment, but it works in coffee shops too-and then people look at you and think you have an iphone, which might make you feel cool. so i dunno, maybe $30 is not so much in new york $ especially if you have a job. get something, you'll like it.

bec said...

like my email said, i have an ipod touch, and i love it. the problem with the iphone is the extremely expensive service plan, which will run you at least $150/month. meanwhile, i bought my ipod touch for $160 used off of eBay. when wireless is available, it does everything an iPhone does except make calls and texts. When it doesn't have wireless, you can still use a lot of the apps, and it's better for viewing movies/videos than most other devices, which is good for traveling. i did almost all my email on it while i was traveling over the past month, which was a lifesaver.

Rebecca said...

when is self-deprecation going to go out of style? it's so early 90s. in a post-9/11 world...

ester said...

i'm not being self-deprecating; i'm being honest. but i understand if it's hard to tell.

ester said...

oh and thanks everybody for your thoughts.

Stephanie said...

I already said this to you, but get the iPhone! I, too, thought I had a life not befitting such technological horsepower and 24/7 connectivity, but after a week and a half of owning one, I can say it's fantastic!
Touring around with out-of-towners last weekend on the unfamiliar Upper East Side, I grabbed the iPhone to locate a cafe. (Note: there were no wireless connections available so I would have been out of luck with a Touch.)While waiting for tardy friends to show up to dinner--and without my customary book--I caught up on the news and watched Sarah Palin's resignation speech. And just this afternoon I helped a friend find the restaurant she needed to get to and found out what movie was playing in Tompkin's Square Park--where we were watching them set up the screen.
This may all sound fairly frivolous, but the point is that it's just so much easier to have information at your fingertips.
I also love the all-in-one quality of it. I have my grocery shopping list all loaded up on the phone for tomorrow's errands, contacts I need, schedules, and email access. When I travel I can load songs and movies, be near my email, store travel information and other data I need, and leave my heavy laptop at home. Oh, not to mention, it's my phone, too, I get all of this in one piece of machinery.
Plus, my hair is suddenly shinier, my glasses look chic, and my shoes have a cool hipster air.