The iPhone and I
By Mark Bazer
Well, it was nice knowing my family, but now I've got an iPhone.
For the uninitiated, the iPhone is the cell phone + iPod + organizer + portable game console + friend when you're at a party and no one is talking to you and you've already peeled off the label on your beer. Or, if you want to ruin my joy, I suppose you could call it a regular handheld with colorful buttons.
There are, though, certain things the iPhone can do that I'm pretty sure most other handhelds can't do: measure your heart rate, level a picture, run out of battery power quickly.
The main things that distinguish the iPhone are the "apps."
These apps consist of everything imaginable -- from a Major League Baseball app that allows you to listen to Nationals-Pirates games anywhere in the world to the Pandora radio station app that allows you to destroy the music industry. Also: Tetris. Yes, other phones may have these things, but they're not called "apps," so they're not as good.
If any of my info here is wrong, please accept my apologies. This world of fancy handhelds is all completely new to me. Until last week, I had a basic cell phone that literally had fewer options than the toy cell phone someone bought for my son when he was a baby. Plus, you could chew on his.
But I finally broke down and bought one, figuring if I'm going to get brain cancer, I might as well do it with some style. The iPhone has also solved one of my main quandaries in life. I eat a lot of meals, most of which demand to be tweeted about. The iPhone makes this possible.
Follow me on Twitter and you're now guaranteed three square meals a day of delicious tweets.
Breakfast: "Way, way too much cream cheese in this individual tub of Philadelphia Cream Cheese! Bring me your bagels." Lunch: "Currently having sandwich pictured in photo." Dinner: "Need more chips and salsa. Wish waiter were on Twitter."
Twitter capability on my phone, incidentally, has also proven a great way to show the world how much time I spend with my family. "With my family right now!" "My son's trying to say something to me. Wonder what!" "Need salt passed. Wish wife were on Twitter."
Family time has, yes, taken a hit. As good as the iPhone is at being your friend or family member when none are around, it's even better at taking you away from your friends and family when they are. There is, simply and honestly, little my three 3-year-old can do that my iPhone can't. And, I hate to say this in public, but the iPhone is cuter.
Clearly, this is the honeymoon period. But it's hard to picture a day when I'll tire of spending 99 cents at several points during each day for apps I'll never look at again.
In fact, I am already so attached to my iPhone that I'm working on my very own app.
It will have my iPhone automatically launch into the tearful E.T.-Elliott farewell scene the moment someone on the subway robs me of it.
For the second year, Cramer-Krasselt has published its Cultural Dictionary of the zeitgeist-iest words and phrases, pulling together the slang, puns, put-downs and freshly minted coinages from the white-hot furnace of electronic culture. It's pretty hilarious.