So I finally did it. After a two year, and I might add, unhealthy relationship with BlackBerry we finally broke up. It was an uneventful breakup. There was none of those “It’s not you, it’s me” or “I feel like we have grown apart” bullshit. I just finally one day grew tired of my BlackBerry freezing up, having to reboot the piece of shit and going without reliable service. So when it was time to upgrade it was a no brainer, I switched to iPhone. And I must say iLove it so much that I also forced hubby to embrace Apple like a sex starved bandit! But being now fully connected in the iWorld with my iPhone and iPad, I could not help but notice how certain apps (most of which are free) could seriously cause problems in your relationships. So please bear with me as I explain.
After we got back from New York I wasted no time in acquiring my brand new iPhone. I was like a five year old child at Christmas time, all excited even though I knew exactly what I would be getting. Yes, I was one of those children that had an internal tracking device for hidden Christmas presents and I was also quite efficient with opening presents and then wrapping them again without leaving any traces that the presents were disturbed. When I arrived at my service provider I told the lady that I was due for an upgrade and told her what I wanted. In her very thick African accent she said “Eish, OOOKy. We only have the white one, you still want it?” To which I responded “No, I want my BEE phone, I am NOT a racist!” which she did not find amusing at all, but I thought it was hilarious.
After about 20 minutes of paper work and some technical magic, my address book was transferred to my iPhone, my new simcard activated and my BlackBerry was no longer operational. The poor thing looked sad as it knew it was destined to go into that drawer in the dining room where old cell phones go to die. It’s like an electronic retirement village for old phones, iPods, displaced chargers and other unspecified electronics. It is the kind of collection that hoarders keep for in case there is a zombie apocalypse and only old Nokias, BlackBerries and old digital cameras would be the tools that will help them to survive in order to save humanity from extinction.
Seeing as I have had my iPad now for a while, getting use to my new iPhone was a breeze. They work exactly the same. During this time I also was blissfully unaware that there were certain people who were frantically sending me BBM’s which I obviously were no longer getting. “Did I do something that pissed you off?” the one private message read on Facebook “Why are you ignoring me?” read the other. Clearly nobody knew that I have dumped my BlackBerry and they were taking my lack of replying to their BBM’s very personally. Even worse were those friends who are fiercely loyal to RIM and who after learning that I got divorced from their product only replied via text message with “Oh, I see... Hope you are “happy” with your new iPhone and Whatsapp”. Their sarcasm was almost tangible.
Why people take the abandoning of a brand so personally I don’t know. Did they not get lost in a strange town because their Garmap refused to work? Did they not also go a week without service due to a server clusterfuck last year? Do they not get annoyed when their handsets freeze up and need to be rebooted a couple of times a day? Do they like that BlackBerry’s Application World was inaccessible for the last six months that I had my phone? I guess not. Brand loyalty can only go so far before you get so sick of shit not working and you decide to move on. And this is exactly what I did. It is true that iPhone has some amazing apps. But there is also the not so much talked about darkside. iPhone and certain apps have taken stalking and lack of privacy to a whole new level!
Take the Find Friends App. Just this weekend I downloaded it to my iPhone. On the surface it looks like quite a useful tool for checking up where you friends are (Like in physically. Like in their actual accurate location within a 3 meter radius) After downloading the app I turned to hubby “Honey, I want to send you an invitation to a new app that I just downloaded, which email address should I sent it to?” I said in my sweetest and most innocent voice. He gave me an email address and within minutes he turned to me and said “Are you serious?! I am NOT accepting this! What about my privacy, you may as well insert a tracking device into my arm! WTF?!” Visibly shocked and disgusted with technology he asked me if this was legal, to which I said “Of course it is legal! You would not be able to download it if it wasn’t” To which he responded “But you made us register our phones to Botswana because South Africa is blocking too many apps, I am sure this is NOT legal”.
After some debate and talking about issues of trust, hubby finally accepted the request. I mean honestly, if you can take a shit while your partner is brushing his teeth in the same bathroom, the issue of privacy becomes a little complicated to define, don’t you agree? So, hubby became the first person I could track on my Find Friends App, and it works really REALLY well! Coincidentally, hubby “forgot” his phone at home today. I guess he wanted some privacy, after all he is not under house arrest or correctional supervision and he does not need full time monitoring – he is my husband and not my prisoner! At least not this time, but I don’t speak out of the bedroom…
The Find Friends App really raises some important questions though. If you have this app, is it morally correct to use it on your spouse? If your spouse refuses to accept the request, do they have something to hide? Does this cross the line and create the impression that you don’t trust your spouse? All of this is something to think about while you search your spouse’s exact location and check if they are where they are suppose to be.
I no longer use the Find Friends App because even though it works really well it isn’t actually right, in my opinion, to spy on your husband or friends – people that is why we have Facebook! If you have children, then that is a whole different story though because then you can rationalize it by saying it is a “Parenting Tool”. Technology has really made some great strides since the days of those huge cell phones people carried around in the 90’s, but as I learned this week, technology can also cause some serious problems especially in relationships. I have come to realize that you can choose to use technology for either good or for evil and sometimes the lines appear to be quite blurred. I guess the moral of this story is don’t let your iPhone lead to an iBreakup. Use your iPhone wisely.
Till next time.