Our society has a number of terms and expressions for when someone is addicted to using their smartphone. My person favorite is when people say that a person has an “iPhone Infection.” We all know the look of people who have iPhone Infections, or whatever else we choose to call it – standing or sitting around, head down, staring at a glowing rectangle in their hand for much of the day. I’ve owned my current smartphone since 2013, and even though I seem to find a new use for it every month or two, I’m perplexed at how attached people can become to their phones.
While I was in Europe I got as close as I’ve come to an iPhone Infection, though in my case it was intentional and necessary (and temporary). My phone was my primary, and sometimes only, connection to the internet, and its GPS and compass functionality were used extensively across the continent. Every day I’d be pulling my phone out regularly to check email, take photos and later upload them to Instagram and Facebook, examine train schedules, look up sightseeing information, keep up with my online reading, and various other things. On one hand it was somewhat convenient to be doing everything on a device that would fit in my pocket, but on the other hand I didn’t like having to use such a small screen and a touchscreen keyboard. Having to charge my phone almost every day was also annoying, as at home my phone’s battery would normally last several days before needing to be plugged in, but in Europe it was getting so much usage that a full charge would only get me through one to two days. But, regardless of my gripes, I’m glad I brought the phone along with me and at many points in the trip it proved itself invaluable.
Now that I’m back in America, my phone has returned to its normal usage and the iPhone Infection is gone. I think the main reason I’m not constantly tethered to my phone is because most of the things that I could do on it are done easier and better on my laptop. A piece of writing, even one as short as this, is really hard to type out on a phone, and reading an article is a lot easier when you don’t have to be constantly scrolling down. If I find myself overseas, or on an extended journey without my laptop, then I guess the iPhone Infection may make a return, but until then my phone will keep to its normal routine of spending most of the day doing nothing.