I remember when I was a kid, starting in maybe 4th or 5th grade, I began to develop brand awareness. The "cool" kids wore things like Starter jackets and those t-shirts with Looney Tunes characters dressed like gang members. As I moved on to middle school there were JNCO jeans and Airwalks, by high school it was Abercrombie and Fitch. And all the while, through the ages, I knew I had to have a Jansport backpack or I may as well walk through the halls with a "Kick Me" sign on my back.
So yes I was always aware of what I was supposed to be wearing, but there was little I could do to keep up. I knew my parents would never hand over enough money to buy all of these name brand things that I wanted, and to be honest I sort of saw their point. Once I had a part time job, I realized just how many hours I had to work in order to afford some hideous sweatshirt with GAP written across it in giant letters.
And so it went that someone could look at me and literally see, right away, that I was not to be taken seriously. I was tragically uncool.
Thankfully this stopped bothering me somewhere around my senior year of high school, or I would've been a wreck come the North Face jacket and Tiffany chain necklace phenomenon of 2001.
What does this have to do with my new phone? Well, simply that I thought by this point in my life I'd no longer feel pressured to have the right things to fit in.
And then the blasted iPhone was invented and I realized that nothing has changed since 5th grade. We just needed the right motivation.
The iPhone began as a coveted and difficult to obtain device. But as time went on, they became readily available and everybody jumped on board. The fact that they were so popular made those of us who did not own them stick out like sore thumbs. How did I become a giant nerd again?
And iPhone owners liked to tell me, SHOW me, about their iPhone ownerness. "You gotta get one of these," they'd say, putting it in front of me. I'd look at the glassy surface, shmeared with finger prints and face grease, and watch, mildly interested, while they used their finger to pull icons across the screen. Then they'd zoom in at some corner of a webpage by moving their thumb and middle finger out away from each other in a movement that struck me as creepy. "Cool huh?"
Yeah, I guess.
"And there are all of these great apps. This one tells me how to speak Mandarin, and this one farts when you press a button, and this one helps tune a guitar."
"But I really don't need to speak Mandarin. And if I want to hear a fart, I could just fart. And I don't own a guitar. And neither do you."
"Well...look you can flip it on its side and the screen flips with it."
"Fine, you want me to say I want one? I want one. I'll get one. Now please just leave me and my real-button phone alone."
So for a few weeks I told myself I'd get an iPhone, once I had the money and the time to deal with it. This meant ignoring the fact that everyone who had an iPhone said the coverage wasn't good, and that once the iPhone was available outside of AT&T, they'd switch back. It also meant convincing myself that even though I had always liked Verizon, I'd have to leave them. And that I'd have to go through the hassle of signing a new contract.
Wait, why do I want an iPhone?
Then on Saturday, Devin and I went to Verizon to see if we could get on a family plan together to save money. Two very long hours later, we each walked out with the Blackberry Storm.
Here's something about iPhones - they aren't buy one get one free. And Blackberrys are. Score!
I haven't totally figured out how to use it, yet. And I can't get the hang of pressing non-existent buttons. In fact, I'm starting to get a fat-finger complex.
But hey, it's new. And fancier.
And just like it's owner, it's not the coolest, but it'll be just fine.