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Well that was pretty miserable.

I sort of feel like the author has entirely surrendered to the ennui he describes, but he doesn't have to. He doesn't have to tend to his Vine profile, he doesn't have to accept the implicit delegation of tasks to him by email.

Particularly in the social media areas, the claimed obligation is really nothing more than vanity. It doesn't matter in the slightest if I am popular on Instagram - to attempt such a thing would only be an exercise in self-gratification.

I also have a fundamental problem with claims of planned obsolescence (all of the devices that run last year's Apple OS upgrades will run this year's. Talk to some Apple engineers about how much time they spend trying to make things work for users on older devices - this is done not for evil reasons, it's done because they care).

Looking back and panning the original iPhone as being crude and slow seems somewhat unfair given the vast increases in hardware performance that have happened since. Yes, the iPhone was pushing the hardware limits in 2007, and yes it was a primitive product compared to what we have now, but all phones back then were slow - the difference was that the others were ugly and ill-conceived, as well as being slow.

It seems very strange to me to claim that the purpose of the iPhone was to teach us how to accommodate treating a tiny device carefully. The only way to make a networked, general-purpose computer fit in your pocket, is to make it the size of your hand, which means it's small, its components are small, its case is packed tight with hardware, and its input surface is small. If the author feels this can be fixed, he stands to make a considerable amount of money, presumably by inventing holographic UIs, or direct brain interfaces. Otherwise, I will continue to think that the purpose of the iPhone was to put a computer in my pocket. That it is fragile and needs to be used precisely, is a necessary compromise for its form factor.

Is it possible to unwittingly make yourself a slave to the technology? Of course, but it's possible to unwittingly make yourself a slave to almost anything. I think that is the key failing of this piece, it seeks to place the technology at the centre of the argument, with Apple standing above us, herding us into digital stables. Instead, we are at the centre of the argument. We control how obligated we feel towards any ephemeral, abstract collection of bytes.

So, delete your Facebook profile and go for a hike. Or, don't. Either way, own your choice and never submit to ennui. You chose, not someone/something else :)




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