The sheer depth of my dependence on handheld electronic devices was revealed to me recently. It was, to say the least, a disturbing incident. Not so much because of what actually happened but more so because of how I reacted to it.
There I was, late on a Sunday evening, getting ready for bed. I had just finished texting a friend, and was about to check my calendar, or the weather, or something on my iPhone, when this message popped up: "No SIM card installed". WTF? At first, I didn't pay much attention to it. I was in the midst of downloading updates to my Angry Birds app, and it didn't seem affected by this strange message.
However, I sensed something was amiss. Again, the message popped up. Then, I noticed the name of my cellphone carrier had disappeared from the top left hand corner. OH HOLY JESUS WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY iPHONE! I then proceeded to check my settings and the phone was disabled. Can't make any calls without your cellphone carrier.
This is when I started to freak out. What do I DO? Why isn't it working? I didn't do anything to it! What's happening? Why God, WHY? As I'm unraveling, my boyfriend is looking at me with some concern. "Why don't you call the carrier? They have 24/7 technical assistance." "They do?" I respond. "Yes" says my boyfriend. "Ok, yeah, that's a good idea. I should call them. I NEED to call them."
So, I call the cellphone carrier's tech support line, and was put in touch with a very friendly tech dude who walked me through what could be going wrong.
He indicated that my SIM card may have gotten displaced or may have an error. He told me how to pop it out, give it a clean, readjust it and pop it back in. Once this was done, I turned on my phone again. I remember feeling like the heavens opened up and legions of angels took me into their arms. It worked. All was right with the world again.
Turns out it was a fairly simple problem, and if what I did that night hadn't worked, all I had to do was go to one of the carrier's stores and they would install a new SIM card. Problem solved.
Once this was all over and I hung up the phone, my boyfriend was looking at me, with a hint of a smile. "What?" I say. "I don't think I've ever seen that look on your face before. It was all contorted" he says. "Oh, like that girl on the Bachelor, who made those clownish faces all the time? And it was really funny?" I say. "No", he says. "Like a serial killer." "Oh", I say.
The irony of this whole situation is that the feature of my iPhone that was momentarily disabled is the one I use the least, the actual phone part. But the idea that I could be cut off from my iPhone world was unbearable. I lost my shit. If I hadn't figured out what was going on immediately, I wouldn't have slept that night. Seriously.
The degree of my dependence on this device is concerning. I suppose it was Apple's goal to make their products seem utterly indispensable to the smooth functioning of our daily lives. They have succeeded. I drank the kool-aid. Why not just insert an Apple chip directly into my brain. Or have they already...