A Brief Life History As Told By My Phones
I kind of miss the LG 8300.
Recently I opened a drawer in my room and found my old cell phones. (Turns out you can sell or donate them!)
I decided to write a retrospective of the last 6 years based on my memories with these little hunks of glass, metal and plastic.
Favorite features: the shape and weight. The sweet mirror around the screen. The fact I could text with one hand without looking.
Memorable text I sent to my dad: "I made it!" - 2008.
I had just arrived at New York Penn Station on the Greyhound bus. I was in a rush because I was looking for a hostel in Chelsea and I started my internship at a television production company the next morning. This was the first night I spent in New York as a "resident." I was unbelievably excited about my life.
Memorable photo: Lower Manhattan before One World Trade Center started to rise.
Favorite feature: the articulating screen meant you could snap a photo at many different angles without moving the phone.
Memorable text I sent to my dad: "Threadless is buying one of my designs!" - 2010.
After working as an intern, then production assistant, then associate producer, I was given a chance to produce an episode of a show called Mystery Diagnosis. But what I was most excited about was my art career - I sold a design to the t-shirt company, Threadless. The design was essentially LOST fan art! Man I miss that show.
Memorable photo: This 2010 street ad for a new device Apple called "the iPad."
Favorite feature: the size. I know screens are getting bigger and bigger, but I loved the size and weight of the iPhone 4.
Memorable text to my dad: "Okay. Thank you. I love you." - 2013
That was the text I sent back to my dad when he sent word that my Grandpa had passed away. He and my mom and several family members were still in the hospital, so he had to send word by text before he could call. I was sitting in a coffee shop in Tribeca and staring out the window. One of the worst parts of moving to a big exciting city is being so far away (and surrounded by strangers) when you and your family go through a loss.
Memorable photo: One World Trade Center was now soaring above the West Side Highway on the first day of fall, 2012.
Favorite feature: the ability to take photos while recording video.
Memorable text sent to my dad: "!!!!!!!" 2014
My sister Sarah had just given birth, and my dad sent a photo from the hospital. I texted exclamation points because it was 5:47 am and I wanted to express excitement but could not actually form any thoughts before I fell back asleep. It would be another 3 weeks before I got to meet little Roman.
Memorable photo: My first time holding my nephew, Roman.
Conclusion: I place too much importance on my phone sometimes.
Phones seem like such important things when you are using them. I'm constantly looking for my phone, and I spend half my day just trying to keep it charged. But as soon as it is replaced, it is forgotten. A phone's true importance is tied entirely to its ability to keep me connected to the people I love.
In 5 years I'm not going to think about what phone I had or what new features I was so excited about. Because in my increasingly digital world, the best moments are still going to be anchored in flesh and bone and real things.
And from a bigger perspective, I'm super privileged to own as much as I do. I have gone through several phones in 6 years and I rarely think about how remarkable that is.
As I get older I want to be more thankful and less obsessed with my phone.
I also briefly had a Droid at one point but I can't remember when or where I put it.
As for many people, I've found replacing phones in some cases is actually more cost effective than repairing an old one.
A few texts were reconstructed based on my memory.