I like Apple but I don’t love it. I liked my first iPod, but I surely didn’t love it. I like my current iPhone, but I don’t love it. As much as technology makes my life easier, I don’t love it. I like the way my iPhone can store a solid chunk of my music library and still work as a phone, though this does not make me particularly love my iPhone. I like the way my MacBook can download public access books off the Internet, but I don’t love my MacBook. I like techonology, and I’d really like to love it, but what I love more is the things it’s trying to be.
The iPod, iPhone, and iPad are all ambiguous objects. They are devices that give one the ability to access anything they’d ever want to access, and in this way they feel derivative. I like my iPhone, but I resent it. I like the fact that I can shuffle my entire music library, but I resent the fact that this technology facilitates my “musical ADD”. Too often have I skipped a song, just five seconds into it, because it wasn’t catchy enough at the time. Too often have I downloaded five books at a time, for free, and read about ten pages of each before instead playing Fruit Ninja. The new technology that Apple creates is genius, but also detrimental in my attempt to grow as an individual. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad are all tools to discovery, and should be treated as such. If I loved my iPhone more than I loved the music I put on it, that would be like loving a hammer more than loving the house I built with it. This is the problem with technology today, it craves too much attention; new technology desperately wants to be loved for just a brief blip of time before its inevitable uselessness in comparison to the bigger and the better.
I will always love the vinyl records I’ve bought and collected. These are objects that every time I pick them up I can love them for what they are. A record has one single function, not unlimited like an iPhone. A record is something you can hold; it is something that fundamentally requires a human touch in order to function. A record does not enable one to change songs so easily, it invites one to sit down and listen. That is the purpose of music, to listen, to empathize, to feel. There is nostalgia and feeling within each record I own, yet there is none in my old second generation, 20GB, iPod. I love that when I spin Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago record I am instantly transported back to when I first purchased it and how I felt at the time. I like my second generation iPod in a novelty item sort of way, but it reminds me of nothing but of how I used to use it. I have no idea where that iPod is right now, it could be sitting in a drawer at home or I could have sold it on eBay; I’m afraid my iPhone4 is destined to a similar fate. Although my record collection has far less functionality than an old iPod or a current iPhone, I’ll love them forever. Technology is useful, but I will never love it as I love the things I use it for.