On November 10, 2021

An apple a day: How iPhones shift our lives

By Dom Cioffi

I knew the first time I saw an Apple iPhone that it was going to change my life.

I was one of the people who tuned in to that now-famous Jan. 9, 2007, Apple event where Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, claiming that it was a “revolutionary and magical product” that was five years ahead of any other mobile device. He also said it would change the way people lived.

He was right.

Submitted – Click here to watch the trailer

In just a few short months, Time magazine awarded the iPhone its invention of the year. Five years later, 200 million people would own one. And today, Apple Computer is the most valuable company in the world, valued at over $2 trillion dollars.

There are a lot of moving parts that helped make Apple this valuable, but the iPhone remains the main cog in their product wheel.

Up until the unveiling of the iPhone, I had been a flip-phone user who sporadically texted. I mostly used my mobile phone like a phone and occasionally played around with the limited technology, but I found the rudimentary interface and restricted capabilities boring.

The iPhone, however, was a gigantic leap forward — truly the first time that the power of a super-computer was portable in your hand. I saw the ownership of this device as a way for me to get a leg up on my career and personal life and become better positioned for the future.

I wasn’t wrong.

The iPhone did cause a paradigm shift in my life, but I never saw the downside of the device lurking in the shadows.

The smartphone did allow me to do my job more effectively, but it also allowed my job to creep more and more into my personal life. I now work more and longer hours than at any point in my career and that, in large part, is because of the iPhone.

I work before work starts; I work during lunch; I work when work ends; I work on weekends; I work while I’m lying in bed; I work while I’m waiting for my son to get out of practice; I work while I’m in the grocery store; I work while I’m in buses, taxis, and airplanes; I’ll even work when I’m in the bathroom.

I work all the time because the iPhone makes it easy to work. I’m also the type of person who hates to see work build up, so when a task pops into my inbox, I feel compelled to complete it.

Now, you could argue that it’s a positive thing to get ahead in your career through efficiency and increased production. I wouldn’t deny that. What bothers me more about the iPhone is how intrusive it’s become in my personal life.

My iPhone has also become my go-to entertainment center. I use it to catch up on news, listen to music, study new tech, watch movies, connect with friends, and be creative. If I’m not careful, the iPhone and its ubiquitous apps can easily commandeer all my free time.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have one device exerting that much control in my life. That’s why I go to great (and sometimes painful) lengths to excise myself from the device whenever possible.

I have a few rules to assist in this effort. One is that I don’t allow any games on my smartphone. I saw early on how addictive iPhone games could be so I made a personal vow that I would never allow one on my phone.

I’m also 99% against social media and engage in those activities on an extremely limited basis.

Another rule is that I’ll never pull my smartphone out during a meal, whether it’s at home or a restaurant. I also work very hard not to ever look at my mobile phone when someone is talking to me.

This week’s film, “Love Hard,” dives into yet another smartphone arena that can commandeer your time (and that I, thankfully, don’t have to deal with): dating apps.

“Love Hard” follows the story of two online daters named Natalie and Josh who develop a deep and powerful connection through a popular dating app. Natalie becomes so enamored that she flies across the country to surprise Josh. The only problem is that Josh turns out to be a bit different than his profile.

I didn’t realize I was watching a Christmas movie when I started this film, but that’s exactly what it was. Obviously, the holiday season is fast approaching, but I’m not sure I was ready for full immersion.

“Love Hard” was exactly what I thought it was going to be after the first 15 minutes. Even still, it was a fun little seasonal romcom, that oozed Hallmark Channel.

Check this out if you want an early jump on the holiday season. Otherwise, wait a few weeks until things get a little more festive.

A cheeky C+ for “Love Hard,” available for streaming on Netflix.

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at moviediary@att.net.

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