iPhone: the opportunity cost


I bought the iPhone for $200 from Apple, I know now it sells for $100 at Walmart now – don’t rub it on me that’s electronic product depreciation.

iPhone had advertised that I can do turn by turn directions in NY, so behold I was headed for a destination I had never bothered to check the directions with my host. As I walked in the village to arrive at his home using my guide; suddenly dropped the bars to none. There I stood at the corner of the Manhattan busy crossroads, people pushing and shoving me to make way for themselves while I hunted for the coveted signal raising my hand high up in the air. No bars but the yellow cabs did arrive at my footstep. Sardar cabbies zipped by calling me Sardar. Then a beautiful crossing guard came by me noticing the traffic jam I was causing.

“What are you waiting for sir?”

“Err, I am waiting for my phone to catch the signal so that I can get my directions”.

“Where are you going sir”, she shot back with frustration.

“95 Morton!”

“Walk up to the next block and make a right – that’s 95 Moron – i mean Morton”.

That’s when it occurred to me that I could have asked anybody instead of waiting there to get the signal. Now it all makes sense that cabbys called me Sardar – reminds me of the joke where the Buntas family got stranded on the escalator.

It was that get-together where my friend who was quick to name the movie, singer and musician for the song hummed by anybody in the group. Any song where they had no answer looked up to her to fetch the results, she quite often did by relating the song to the musician by the tune and then associating the singer to the song and finally the movie itself – it took a minute sometimes but she would get the answer, then there was huge excitement – moment we found the solution with the anticipated wait but this time it was my turn to slyly pull my iPhone and google the song and bring up all the information in seconds and all they said was “aww that’s right” and I am the one who once asked what’s the meaning of Arth while playing dumb charades.

Life has become very easy for me these days, never have to scratch my head (good this may lead to the cure of alopecia) for not remembering anything, everything can be googled that very instant. My memory has grown inversely proportional to the iPhone memory. My very best train buddy now does not speak to me anymore as we are both sitting next to each other while chatting with some distant friend. The only time we talk is to curse the network which gets dropped intermittently from MetroPark to Newark. Apparently this is good in cases when my wife calls and the call drops or so do I say to her all the time.

I was watching a baseball game of my son – with my SLR camera set on to capture the best shot he can give. Then my iPnone beeped, there it as a tweet from my friend whom I had never met. I popped open the tweet to read his message that today he had huge problem using the bathroom as his toilet clogged. That’s when my wife yelled that our Sunny had hit a home run, was so engrossed reading his tweet, did not feel the slap on my wrist either. Looked up after the huge commotion my son was running down to the home plate. Excited I yelled at him good job and asked him to pose for the camera, say cheese!

Having repented missing my son’s first home run, I googled to find what were the chances that I would catch a glimpse of my son making yet another home run, the results came back – with the ball coming from the coach pitching machine at 30 mph with the same hyperbole and my son making the contact at sweet spot with his optimal swing and full energy level in the game; the chances were 0.007 for this season – there I had missed my perfect shot; yes there is an app for that!

Finally I was practicing catch with my son on the baseball field, was getting impressed by his throws and catch he caught in his little mitt ball after ball. That’s when, you guessed it right, my phone buzzed, as a humble slave I picked it up yet again, scrolling through my email, heard by son  yell ‘heads up papa’, smack came the ball on my nose, landed up in the emergency room escorted by my family with a bloody nose and ruptured cartilage. I recovered from the ordeal of pain and pain-killers – my son stood on my face as I watched through my swollen eyes ‘Sorry papa! I missed it’, I think he wrongly phrased the sentence, but I asked him anyways with guilt “Did you mean the iPhone?”

p.s: No iPhones were hurt in making this story.


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