Anyone who knows me will tell you I cannot live without my phone. It virtually holds my life together. But instead of an emotional ode to my iPhone, I thought the best way to truly show you how attached I am to it is to take you through a day in my life.
11am: iPhone alarm rings. I suppose I could have used an actual alarm clock, but I can’t eyeball my email on my alarm clock, can I? (Note that I didn’t actually say “read” my email; I just like to skim the subject lines to decide how guilty I should feel for not actually reading them.)
1pm: On the way to work, I’m struck by an inane thought. In the past, I’d keep it to myself, or use as small-talk. Now? Out comes the phone, and inane thought becomes an, er, “insightful” tweet.
130pm: Arrive at work. Instinctively use foursquare to “check in” and share the fact that Ravi Has Arrived At The Office with the world. Co-workers give me funny looks.
230pm: Suddenly realize that I’ve probably just blown past my monthly allotment of free text messages in a single day. Switch to WhatsApp and continue swapping messages without guilt.
330pm: During the News Stream show meeting, someone asks a question about Denmark that Wikipedia definitely knows the answer to. I immediately begin looking it up on my iPhone... sending the meeting into an awkward holding pattern as we wait for Wikipedia to load on a really, really slow mobile connection in that particular corner of the office.
5pm: Time for a quick food run! Joined in elevator by colleague who I do not interact with enough to form coherent smalltalk with. Reflexively pull out phone and pretend to send a text message. Hope she doesn’t realise there isn’t any reception in the lift.
6pm: Suddenly realise I haven’t filled out my Fantasy Football team this week. Decide to do it with the iPhone app because it’s easier to hide from the boss. Something must give me away, because he promptly comes over anyway to ask what I’m doing. “Sending a, uh, work tweet,” I say, in the least convincing voice possible.
8pm: The TV show I produce, News Stream, airs live. I go through the entire hour without touching my phone. Don’t be too impressed: It’s charging about 25 metres away from me.
9pm: The phone rings. Someone actually wants to... speak to me. This is suspicious.
902pm: Turns out it was a friend who wants to know if I’m free for dinner tonight. I want to know why that wasn’t conveyed in a text.
930pm: During the walk to the restaurant, I look it up in Google Street View to see what it looks like. This turns out to be a dumb idea, because the restaurant is too new to be on there and I actually already know what it looks like anyway. Just seemed like it’d be a decent way to pass the time while walking.
945pm: Waiting for friend to turn up. I’m not just using the phone to pass the time; I’ve already answered two emails, checked in on foursquare, tweeted about my boredom, and bought and downloaded a game from the App Store that I will try once and never play again.
10pm: Dinner happens with phones on the table, and conversation peppered with pauses to answer various messages, be they email, SMS, Twitter or Facebook posts. Neither party sees this as rude, but as accepted behaviour.
Midnight: Minutes after physically saying the words “Bye, speak to you tomorrow!” with my mouth, I send the same friend an SMS. And then discover they’d sent me an email seconds before that.
230am: Time for some football! One eye is on the TV. One eye is on my stat-tracking app on iPad. And one is is on Twitter on the iPhone for up-to-the-second analysis and instant snark. I’ve realised that I cannot actually watch a sporting event without watching something else, be it statistics or the conversation unfolding on Twitter, lest I think I’m missing something.
5am: Football’s over and it’s time for bed. iPhone is slipped into the charging dock about half a metre away from my head.
During the course of the day, the hour where I produce my show is the only time my phone is in a different room from me. It stays with me because it keeps me connected to everything I need to be connected to: Friends, sports scores, news of the day. The genius of the modern smartphone is that it is so much more than a phone; it is a truly personal computer.