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.)

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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.