There may be "an app for just about anything", but have we gone a bit nuts over the iPhone?
Boys with toys. A bit of a generalisation, as rhyming adages go, but one which I think is more true today than ever before. No matter how old I get (and allegedly my life hasn't even started yet, given that, I'm under 40) I, like a huge number of men, just love my gadgets. And I do think we're "worse" than women when it comes to obsessing over new technology. Yes, yes, we can all probably think of an exception to the rule (and I bet she can down pints quicker than you too) but broadly speaking, it's going to be the guys who are hunched over their PS3 on a wet Sunday afternoon. Or a sunny one, come to that. Even Samantha Cameron recently said on a TV interview that she gets annoyed with "Dave" for fiddling with his BlackBerry for too long because it can get (wait for it) "quite annoying".
There is no better example of a must-have gadget than the iPhone. David Cameron aside, nobody obsesses about the latest BlackBerry and I've read very mixed reviews about the ergonomically-challenged iPad. But the iPhone is the gadget that keeps on giving. As the advert says "there's an app for just about anything". And if you don't know what an app is, kindly leave the interweb before you break it, you big silly.
So yeah, apps (OK, OK, Grandma - "applications"!) Think of something you need - anything. Are you about to take your driving test? Yep, there's an app for that, testing your knowledge of the highway code before you take your theory test. Are you just dying of thirst and caffeine-deprivation? There's a Starbucks app which can find your nearest branch and can helpfully remind you what the difference is between a latte and a cappuccino (and according to the given description, the difference is negligible, by the way). Putting up a shelf? You'd better get that baby straight; use the handy spirit level app.
Oh, for the love of GOD, people! Listen to yourselves! And by "people" and "yourselves", I do of course mean "Ashley" and "yourself". Am I really that lazy a DIY-er that if I'm going to bother putting up a shelf with a drill, raw plugs, screws, tape measure, pencil, screwdriver and sense of spatial awareness, I'm actually going to leave my spirit level in the shed in favour of using the one on my iPhone? Or, in fact, use it in an area where it may possibly get a ruddy great drill dropped on it or get covered in a fine film of dust? Am I really SO narrow minded in my coffee tastes that I need to tap out a virtual 999 to locate my nearest Starbucks because they and only they know just how I like my coffee? Heaven forbid I should settle for CaffÃ¨ Nero or, dare I say, an independent coffee shop which might actually make a better job of it!
Of course, the iPhone is, at the same time, utterly, utterly brilliant and, in my book, indispensable. It's my office away from my desktop - and laptop. I can even publish this very blog using my iPhone if I want to, thanks to the WordPress app. I can get breaking headlines, train times, traffic news and use it as a currency converter, tour guide and language dictionary when I'm on holiday. And I can call someone in Australia using Skype absolutely free. So without wanting to sound like my dad, isn't technology amazing?
It's about balance, I suppose. I have no more interest in the spirit level app than I have in decorating virtual cupcakes, Lord help me. And the people who created the bubble wrap app (yes, it does what it says on the tin: you "pop" virtual bubble wrap...) let alone those who play it, clearly have too much time on their hands. But it's nice to while away a few idle moments by catapulting sheep into space or racing a Ferrari around a track. I just need to keep a moderate check on my obsession and adhere to the "no iPhone in bed" rule, otherwise I do slightly fear for my marriage.
by Ashley Morrison.
Ashley is a freelance blogger and copywriter, currently working with Givaudan.