It wasn’t hard to do. With their familiar white outercases, non-double clicking mice and hefty price tags, it was easy to ignore the iCult that is Mac.
Oh sure, I’ve had my share of iPods. As a matter of fact, I recently found my first gen iPod while packing up my house and which, incidentally, almost caused a fractured humerus from its heft — those things were ginormous! Even though I’ve owned several of them, I never considered myself a member of the iCult, as I affectionately call it. They were just too ubiquitous; too mainstream. A bona fide member, I was definitely not.
When I arrived in Canada two years ago, my assignment was originally only for 12 months. While this may seem like eons to some (like my parents), to the Canadian telecommunications carriers, it was far too brief a time to satisfy their lengthy contractual requirements. Yes, that’s right — the minimum cell phone contract in Canada is three years! Three. Long. Years. Also, no free nationwide long distance. A-hem. Moving on… Knowing full well that if I signed a contract, I’d have to pay a very large cancellation penalty when I moved back to the States, my solution was to get — wait for it — a prepaid phone.
My prepaid phone piece of crap was a cute little red thing that fit in the palm of my hand. Its best feature was the colour of the case. ;-) It made me feel so Tony Soprano. So gangsta-like. So enigma-ish. I could chunk it into the East River at any time and no one would ever know. My phone was so super cool and technologically advanced that I was even limited to 160 characters on SMS texts. I literally had to “type” my chats out old skool style where, for example, I had to push the “8” button four times to spell with an “S”. It made for some super fun, and mostly cut off, chats. If I ever get carpal tunnel, I’ll know why. My favourite part of my prepaid phone, though, was when it would die mid-conversation from lack of remaining time. Seriously. The time had come to do something about it.
I started hearing rumblings about a new iPhone a few months ago. While I was giddy about it, it also presented a dilemma: wait longer to be a big girl with a big girl phone and continue using my prepaid phone piece of crap, or ditch the idea altogether and get a regular ol’ cell phone. You know, the ones whose actual intent is to make a phone call? ;-)
I knew a ridiculously smart, way cool person who had an iPhone and I loved all of the available apps, especially the I’m-pretending-to-drink-beer-from-my-phone one. I realized that I could no longer be impressive with my POC and that I was, admittedly, shallow enough to pay an ungodly amount of money to be quasi-hip. So that’s exactly what I did.
I woke up bright and early yesterday morning (or 9am, as I like to call it) like I was a seven- year-old on Christmas morning. I’d been up late the evening prior, but that didn’t matter — nothing would stop me now! I assumed there would be a line, so I prepared myself with my beloved Diet Coke, reading materials, my current POC and a wad of cash sufficient enough to pay for the goods. When I walked up to the Fido store, though, there was no one there. I was the only person in the store. It was weird. Had they postponed the launch and I didn’t know? Had I gotten my days mixed up? Nope. They just weren’t busy. I marched up to the counter, decided on my phone colour — black ;-) — and it was official! I’m not sure if it was because I’m a wiley American with no Canadian credit (thanks, conservative Canadian banks) or because Fido’s systems were just really slow from the launch, but it took a while. The guy who helped me was ten kinds of awesome, though, and even though he had to physically fill out an Fido application for me, I was on my way in no time. Shout out Andrew! He didn’t even look at me funny when I giddily asked him to take my picture with my new phone for my blog. He was like “you have a blog? What’s it about?”, so I told him it was about a Texas girl’s adventures in Canada, natch.
Since getting my phone, I’ve basically just been staring at it and caressing it like a new mom. I even debated whether or not I should take off the plastic outer sticker for fear of scratching it up, but I’ve relented and it’s now been exposed to the elements. Thus far, I’ve only downloaded two apps — TwitterFon and Stitcher (Public Radio International to satisfy both my Ira Glass and Bob Edwards addictions) — but I’m planning to surf for some good ones this week. If anyone has any cool apps they love, leave a comment below so I can be hip like you.
I definitely have a giant techno-crush on my new gadget. I finally feel like a grown up again, not to mention connected to the world. I don’t know yet if that’s a good thing or not, but if/when you see me with giant black circles under my eyes from all the late night surfing, you’ll know the answer. :-) I love that I can walk around and stream my favourite podcasts. I love that I can send a text and not have to break my fingers doing it. Most importantly, though, I guess you could say I’m loving being a card carrying member of the iCult. Just don’t tell anyone.