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  • Writer's pictureCleo A

From the archive: “It’s Called Progress”

FIRST PUBLISHED: 29th Jan 2014, aged 18 years old.

It's never too late to repost old blogposts from when you were 18 years old. What on earth could go wrong?!


Ok I’m not the most reliable person, as this blog probably shows but now I supposedly have answered my own prayers….I have got me self an iPhone.

This for me is a BIG thing. I have had the same rubbishy phone since 2008. It could text people (but no more than 3 people at any one time) and had the capacity to phone people. That was it. Well for everyone else that was it. For me it was exactly what I needed and by the end of its life, what I wanted. Now why was it so special to me? Well first of all, it had a specific type of shiny screen that acted like a mirror (very high school ‘fetch’) and it was a slide phone. Yes, a slide phone (You probably can’t even remember what they look like). It went from being 7.9cm to 10.5cm when slid open (my new iPhone is around 11.5cm). Also, it was fun and completely unbreakable- I threw it across rooms, dropped it and let it jangle in my pocket with keys, earrings and any other random stuff I had in there. Affectionately admired for its 1.2mp camera and inability to even comprehend the internet. It was christened ‘the Vintage’ in its later years. It also had a huge battery life. I would charge it about once a week and had it on all day, everyday while at school and this continued all the way until the end of its life. everybody with a new phone will be unable to comprehend this last fact. So was this upgrade really progress?

My initial reaction is yes, it has to be. The iPhone sits by my left hand at this moment, charmingly holding all manner of procrastinative ‘applications’. It is like growing a third hand, or finding chocolate on tap. You can’t stop and it’s always there and ‘what on earth was I doing with my life before this happened?’ Well to be honest, I was happy. Just as I am now. My social life was as it is now. My Facebook statuses were updated as periodically as I do now and Twitter still my filled time, as I search for what it actually is meant to ‘do’. Of course I couldn’t do all this as I sat on a park bench in the middle of a park or walking down the street but to be honest I never had an overriding need to do that anyway. I much preferred to talk to the person I’m walking with and sit and read my book on the bench.

I feel perhaps even less connected with people now I have this new toy, as the possibility of contact is continuously there but for most of the day it isn’t actually being used for this. I don’t know about other people and their uses but when I spend hours on my iPhone I am invariably not using it to phone or even text lots and lots of real people. I may be having a convo with say two people and a snapchat thingy-me-bob, but that’s still only three real people I’m interacting with. The rest of the time I’m listening to music (essentially alone), playing a game (again alone), surfing the net (alone), watching something (alone), stalking Facebook (alone and probably feeling insecure, angry or depressed). Is it just me or is this machine encouraging aloneness?

Even if you’re in a room with people but on your phone- YOU ARE DETACHED meaning unattached, meaning not together, meaning ALONE. This doesn’t occur to people (myself included), when you walk along the street and need to turn round or feel embarrassed or alone, we never reach for a goofy grin or a cute blush, nah, we wave our phones in our hands letting everyone know that we are actually ‘not alone’, when actually-in-real-life-basically-essentially-not-to-be-rude-but-we are alone……………  I’m not complaining about mine and others insecurities, we all have them; but when you’re with someone, people or in a conversation, why is a piece of technology more interesting? Make better friends, or do something that interests you more- why waste time pretending to be with someone when all you’re doing is being mobile-y detached. You can do that anywhere and probably somewhere of more comfort to you. Why waste yours and everyone else’s time pretending to like spending time with each other. Send each other a snapchat from the comfort of your bed looking impressively ugly or ‘super cute’ and let that be it. Or you could meet for coffee and say nice things and laugh and feel alive, but each to their own.

The new iPhone with ‘The Vintage’

So I guess that my phone is progress and well it is SO convenient, but I am aware that perhaps it’s not the ‘answer all’, that we think it is. And I’m not saying we should all go back to 2008 (I know, it’s not even that long ago, it couldn’t even pass for a ‘Back to the Future’ story line) but perhaps we need to emulate the essence of ‘the vintage’. The simple ways for complex people. Not the other way around. So here’s to technology and all its fabulousness! just use it wisely dear children, use it wisely.

C x

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