iChallenged

It scared the crap out of me when it lit up all of the sudden and vibrated while playing a snappy little tune. My brand new iPhone was informing me (just in case I wanted to know) that 60% of Americans believe the US will be better off at the end of Obama’s second term. Well, actually CNN told me because I’d signed up to receive breaking news alerts but the phone was the vehicle used to convey the message. And I have to tell you that I am completely and utterly confounded by this slick, little rectangular device. How can something so small and seemingly innocent hold so much power?

Yes, I just got an iPhone. I know, I’m a little late to the party as far as many of you out there are concerned. Some of you have had this thing for all five of its incarnations. The television has been doing a fine job in letting me know exactly how behind the times I’ve been with it’s “Everyone has an iPhone!” campaign agenda for well over a year now. Judge me if you must… but I only got mine a week ago. Before garnering this “smart” phone I had what I like to call a “semi-smart” phone. It offered me semi-reliable access to the internet with a semi-glimpse of Facebook, email and movie showtimes — but that’s about where its “smarts” parts ended.

It had no Words with Friends or Angry Birds or the ability to crop and color-correct photos. I couldn’t identify a random song I heard playing on the radio by artist AND album release date or find out where in the world 75% of the gold used to make jewelry is mined. I wasn’t able to map my exact location at the drop of a hat and determine whether gas was going to be more or less expensive by the time I was ten miles away from said location. I know what you’re thinking… I KNOW! How in the world did I survive for so long without the use of such valuable tools and information!?! The mind reels at the very contemplation of such ghastly things.

Yet somehow I managed. But then… enter the iPhone. I had no idea what I’d been missing. In fact, ever since the geek at Best Buy handed me the thing I have been virtually unable to put it down. Once—over the holiday—I had to keep it in the car so that I wouldn’t keep picking it up and looking for new apps to download. My best friend (already in possession of her own iPhone) stayed with me for the weekend and we “caught up” with one another by organizing the folders on our phones and finding new e-gadgets, doo-hickeys and thing-a-ma-bobs to install. It is insane, this thing and what it can do.

I realize when I hold this device in my hand, that I’ve literally got the world at my fingertips. And my aim—for the seven days that I have had it thus far—has been to organize that world… my world into neatly labeled and arranged folders. In addition to some of the features mentioned above, I am thrilled that I can also use my iPhone as a mirror, a flashlight, a timer, a dictionary, a compass, a bartender and a jukebox to name a few. Ironically, the only issue I’ve had with it has been using the “phone” part. Yes, you read right. I have been able to do ALL these wicked-cool things quite proficiently with my new phone except to use it as an actual PHONE.

Lee had to show me how to make and pick up a call. My nephew had to show me how to listen to my voicemail and my bff had to demonstrate for me how to readily access and retrieve aforementioned voicemail. Apparently, my friends, as much as it pains me to admit it, the upgrade from a semi-smart phone to a full-fledged smart phone does not guarantee that one’s semi-smart abilities will likewise be upgraded.