I have this routine, you see. Every night after brushing my teeth, I get into bed and set three differently timed alarms for my morning wake up. It has become natural, an instinct even. I slide open the lock screen, type in my four-digit password, and flip to the second page of the home screen. By clicking the top right corner App, I access my “Utilities” category in order to get to the “Clock.” I never set an alarm ahead of time; it’s become part of my sleep routine for it gives me peace of mind.
Where is the logic in this? The Apple product is advanced enough that it allows you to preset alarms at different times for the days of the week – yet this is a capability I choose to overlook. After listening to Mr. Daisey’s monologue, I am concerned by my need to be in touch with my iPhone, an object, before I am able to rest. It’s as if once my phone knows I need to be up at a certain time, my brain registers that it can shut down to sleep. What does that say about me? Have most people adopted this same routine? Are people ditching their real alarm clocks for their smart phone because it can be tucked underneath their pillow? The realization that the thing I want close to me at the end of a long day is my iPhone, terrifies me – more than a little bit.
As I observe my peers at the computers in the library, I see that most of their iPhones are placed directly next to the mouse pad. How strange it needs to be out when the computer in front of them is the only thing they need in order to do their work. Like me, with my phone snuggled up next to my pillow, it seems like everyone needs their phone to be in a certain spot in order to feel a sense of calm. The chances that an extreme circumstance will arise with only this iPhone as a way of necessary communication are very slim. This feeling of needing this object close to you at all times is unrealistic and a construct. Even so, people like me are panicked when we cannot find our phones and given a sense of calm and reassurance when we know that our little iPhone is right there next to us. This week’s podcast and assignment forced me to question when this form of behavior became commonplace. Without my knowledge, my device has become the thing that puts me to sleep at night and gives me a thumbs up to go ahead and start that paper. I pose this question despite learning how some of Apple’s subcontractors treat their employees. Why would I, and many others, be so attached to a brand that morally may be questionable? Yes it is wrong that this monster of a company does its best to hide these truths in its brand’s shadow. Yes of course, the treatment of these workers is unjust and they deserve way better treatment but I, and the rest of this consumerist society, have developed an attachment to my device and the label that created it. I wish I could say that in recognizing this issue I want to detach myself from my iPhone but the attachment is to strong and I cannot severe the electrical umbilical cord that connects me to this artificial source of comfort.