Opinion: iPhone 4S: Who won’t be rushing out to buy Apple’s new smartphone


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To know me is to know I love my iPhone. If it could only blow-dry my hair and cook my food, it would be the perfect device. The new 4S, which was announced Tuesday, will be faster, have a longer battery life and take higher-quality photos and videos. It will also have two antennas for ‘better call quality’ -- not that most people actually talk on their phones anymore. (Ahem.)

Former iPhone user Charles Scheinblum isn’t as enamoured with Apple’s smartphone, though. He became so exasperated with his phone, he now channels his frustration by making fake commercials parodying his user experience. Such as this entertaining bit:


For others, the gripe runs deeper. The impact of smartphones, including the ever-popular iPhone, has created a culture of people not only detached from what’s happening in the moment -- really scary, when you consider how many people drive with their smartphones in hand -- but also of stressed-out people who feel they must always be reachable.

‘Once upon a time, we tucked a book or magazine into our bags when we met a friend at a restaurant, so there would be something to do if the friend was late. And once upon a time, when that friend got up to use the restroom, it wasn’t mandatory to whip out a smartphone and check your email,” wrote columnist Meghan Daum. Her remedy? An app to end all apps: ‘[M]y app is better than super glue or the simple on/off button. My app will keep your hand-held whatever deactivated until such time as adequate self-reflection has been achieved.’

Similarly, Jesse Kornbluth wrote in last week’s Op-Ed pages that our addiction distracts us from having real emotion. Instead of an app that prevents usage, however, he suggested we embrace ‘selective availability.’ For Kornbluth, that means more than just possessing willpower; it means holding onto older devices with technological limitations.

Those solutions are a bit extreme, especially if your smartphone is now stitched into every part of your life. But I do agree that we should unplug every so often and engage in the real world happening around us, like -- and this is a personal request -- at dinnertime. As I always say, ‘You’re either having dinner with me, or you’re having dinner with your phone.’


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-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 4S in at the company’s headquarters Tuesday. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images