Should We Celebrate the iPhone’s Tenth Anniversary?

This summer the world commemorates the tenth anniversary of Apple’s release of the first iPhone. That event changed the way people communicate. As a result, most Americans today own some kind of smartphone, which has become part of daily life.

However, some might ask if it is the case to celebrate this tenth anniversary. Study after study has shown that mental health is declining because of addiction to smartphone use. Many young people who have grown up with the phones have problems in developing their social skills.

 

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Granted, these are real problems, but many still maintain this important milestone should be celebrated. After all, they say, this is the twenty-first century. If there is to be some kind of celebration, perhaps it should be done in novel and imaginative ways that would address the major harm caused by the smartphone’s abuse.

Thus, here are four ways to celebrate the iPhone’s tenth anniversary. If you use these ways, then you can pull out all the stops. Give it everything you have. Don’t let this go by without making this an unforgettable occasion.

1.  Use Your Smartphone to Talk to People

The first way to celebrate is to use your iPhone as a device to talk to real people. This is not difficult. You will need to shut off all the apps that hinder this process. Don’t text. Don’t email. Don’t snapchat or tweet.

Then, do something that ever fewer people are doing with their phones—talking. Celebrate by turning your smartphone device into a real telephone. For historic effect, set up the ringer. The important thing is to go for the real thing by talking to a real person in real time without distractions. Engage in a long dialog with someone you love, let’s say your mother, for example. Develop the art of listening and notice the nuances of voice and the richness of words. Savor the time spent with those you call. Repeat often. (Note: this same process can be done on phones other than your smartphones.)

 

2.  Use Your Smartphone to Engage in Conversation

A second way to celebrate is to use your smartphone to engage in conversation. The process is also quite simple.

Get together with a good friend or close relative. Locate the on/off button on your smartphone. Turn it off. Look at the other person and start talking. Aim to develop eye contact. Don’t be in a hurry. Once the process is started, you will be amazed at how easy it becomes. This exchange of words will soon develop into a conversation, which you should seek to extend for as long as you can. You will notice a sensation of joy that often accompanies this exercise.

3.  Use Your Smartphone to Write Letters

Yet another novel way to celebrate is to use your smartphone to facilitate letter writing. This takes a little more effort, but it is well worth trying.

To do this, you will need to sit at a desk. Put your smartphone directly in front of you. Then, think of a person you would usually text or email.

Then turn the smartphone screen down on the desk to avoid distraction. Get out a pen and paper and start writing words directed to the person in question. Take your time in writing and expressing yourself. Be aware that not only what you write but how you write is communicated on paper. Be creative. Before you know it, you will have written what is known as a letter that can then be addressed and mailed to that very special person you want to remember … and be remembered by.

4.  Use Your Smartphone to Cover an Event

Celebrate by using your smartphone to remember a special event or concert. This will make the experience one of your life’s unforgettable moments. However, this does involve the use of the imagination.

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To do this, you will need to go to a special event you want to remember. Bring your smartphone with you. To cover the event, cover the phone’s camera lens.

Then, start noticing everything that is happening around you unobstructed by any electronic device. Imbibe the scene before you, engraving it in your mind without the aid of mediating gadgetry. Take your time to notice and take in sounds and smells. Observe the reactions of others—let’s say, an innocent child—and how their impressions compare to yours. Fully enjoy the beautiful things in the real world that is before you. Feel free to take notes or make sketches.

Later communicate to family and friends what you saw. Try to express your enthusiasm for the event. Use varied and rich vocabulary to describe and even embellish your experience. Invite others to tell of similar experiences.

Celebration Guidelines

These are four ways to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone. The list is by no means exhaustive. However, the good thing about these four ways is that they can be repeated often. They never become old. With enough imagination, you can even mix and match them.

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A note of caution is in order. With all of these ways, you will want to start by having your smartphone near you. Take advantage of your smartphone’s unique features to put yourself on a proper footing. As you gradually develop your festive skills, you will soon discover that you can celebrate without your smartphone. The important thing is to celebrate without inhibitions or dependencies.

One final benefit should be mentioned. These celebrations will improve your communication skills. As these abilities develop, you will start to acquire what used to be called social graces and culture. You will find pleasure in being with others, and they too will enjoy your company. In this case, you might want to consider extending the celebration of your iPhone indefinitely, beyond 2017.

 

As seen on The Stream.

  • Caroline Ritter

    Another idea is to use the app of the rosary and pray for our planet with Our Lady using the iPhone recording of the rosary. It is an unique contribution to make before Mass when people used to pray the rosary but now do not and to have it play and pray with it. Also, a recording of the St. Michael Chaplet and Pope Leo XIII’s prayer “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle…” which used to be said at the end of Mass in order to combat the devil’s attack on the Church is an useful way to bring us back to former times, with the iPhone assisting. I use my phone as a call to prayer and a prayer partner when no one else is interested. I heard Padre Pio, now St. Pio used ot say 30 or more rosaries a day and my phone is helping me aim for that goal.

    • Anonymous Catholic

      Padre Pio had a form of promise to never say anything under than 15 15 decade rosaries every day. He apparently often went over 30. Normally this would be not possible, as a 15 decade rosary takes usually at least 45 minutes or so, but Padre Pio was blessed with the ability to pray while doing other mental tasks. He also developed a way to keep his fingers on the beads of the Rosary in case he fell asleep while saying it, to keep track. I am glad you are aiming for such devotion! I wish to work up a similar passion for the faith! May I ask what is this “rosary app” you speak of, by the way?

      • Michael

        Rosary app for iPhone. I use Laudate and Mary from Marian Fathers (can’t close the app). There are a lot of them.

      • Caroline Ritter

        The one I have is called Holy Rosary, Scriptural edition–Joe Meineke. Thank you for the additional information! I thought his 30 rosaries were of five decades, not all 15. What I love about the app is that I can pray it without having to have my fingers on the beads to keep track and so can be doing various tasks. I recently read The Marian Option and it speaks to bringing Her solutions into the world as it is. It is a funny thing, I was attending a recovery meeting and having an intense discussion afterwards and all of a sudden, my phone just started playing the Messiah without my cueing it at all. Now I do have it on my phone but I did not tough the phone. To me, it was a sign that the Lord was working through my phone for whatever reason. It brought some people some real joy just then.

  • Michelle McClintock

    I like taking pictures with my I-Phone, especially since my brother has had to be away for long-term care. I share the pictures with him while we’re together and sometimes I show them to other people at other times too. The I-Phone and my Mini I-Pad meet my digital camera needs. Not everything about the I-Phone is bad. By the way, I talked to my brother on it on the fourth day after his birthday (I wanted to take our cat to see him right on his birthday, but she wouldn’t get into her carrier, so a dog from the third floor of our building filled in and I took pictures then too).

  • DLL

    I love to fool around with all these electronic gadgets. They however, all are a form of noise pollution. Solitude is not loneliness. Solitude is time out, to turn off the devices,to reflect,to pray, to be a little separate from all noise if even for a short time. You will never hear the loons, when paddling along in a kayak on a quiet lake in the Maine woods, with I-tune downloads of your latest purchased music, blasting through a set of personal headphones.

  • Vapor Trails

    I think you’ve missed the point of the article. You don’t need an app to pray the Rosary – Padre Pio certainly didn’t. I carry two Rosaries that are most precious to me at all times so that I can pray whenever possible. They are REAL Rosaries. Admittedly, I don’t pray as often as I should, but the Rosaries are always available. Our church has recently started a multilingual Rosary which I try to attend regularly, a beautiful event with each decade recited in a different language. We usually have over 50 people attend, & many volunteer to say a decade in their own language. Talk about bringing a diverse community of people together – wow! Oh, did I mention – no apps needed?

  • Màire Ní Bhroin

    Great ways to celebrate the blessings of modern tech & don’t forget mass for shut-ins, a miracle St. Claire experienced long before video masses could be screened via T.V. or hand held computer/phone devices!