Our respective spouses simply talked with each other, and occasionally with us. My friend’s husband asked me, “Do you ever take a break from your iPhone?” Before I could answer with some snarky response, my husband chimed in and said, “No. She’s addicted to Apple products.” I never thought about that but as I surveyed the restaurant that night it was easy to find plenty of couples engaged in as much iPhone usage as dinner conversation. Are some of us truly addicted to Apple’s products? Or, are we merely a class of discriminating users intent on getting the most from our Apple products?
And The Winner Is?
Honestly, I don’t have a good, satisfying answer to either question. Addiction seems so severe and gives me frightful images of meth addicts, alcoholics, followers of WWE, or those who binge watch The Walking Dead (or Republican debates; there are similarities).
Addictions should be considered a serious affliction, right?
the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
“he committed the theft to finance his drug addiction”
synonyms: dependency, dependence, habit, problem
“his heroin addiction”
devotion to, dedication to, obsession with, infatuation with, passion for, love of, mania for, enslavement to
“a slavish addiction to fashion“
Alright, we’ve spanned the gamut here. From heroin addiction to fashion addiction (guilty) but not one mention of an iPhone addiction. Still, all one has to do is to walk through any metropolitan downtown area or a shopping mall, day or night, and you’ll see hundreds of people walking zombie-like, hunched over their smartphones, mostly oblivious to the humanity that surrounds them.
Apparently there is a line between overusing our favorite devices and actual addiction, but that line might vary person to person. Good. That means you’re addicted. I’m probably not addicted.
Apple This, Apple That
To carry this line of thought to another level, are we Apple Fan Folk™ addicted to all things Apple? That’s a serious question. Our condo is littered– by some standards; others would call it judicious and tasteful– with almost everything Apple makes. iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Apple TV, Watch, iPhone, iPad, Airport Time Capsule, iPods, a variety of cases and covers, a pair of Beats headphones, and more.
Is that adoration or addiction?
A night at home has both of us sitting in our respective Sheldon-like ‘spots’, TV blaring in the background, soaking up something from iPhone or iPad, or sitting nearby banging away on a Mac. Every. Single. Day.
Addictions have warning signs, including withdrawal. If you leave your iPhone or Mac at home and venture into the world with an empty pocket or backpack, do you become anxious, irritable, a bit uncomfortable? There are times when I do. Alerts and alarms, whether emanating from my devices or not, catch my ear and often turn my head. I’ve been in meetings when an iPhone ringtone sent a dozen people scouring their pockets and purses to track down the call. There have been times when I thought email might have broken or I messed up a setting because minutes had gone by without anything showing up on my iPhone or Mac’s Notification Center.
Is that a sign of addiction?
If so, who’s to blame? Let’s go with Apple first, then busy, connected lifestyle, then easy money, and third, well, I like to think I’m important so keeping in touch makes me feel important even though my connectedness probably irritates a lot of people who are also connected to me.
They’re the ones who are truly addicted. I’m merely an enabler.