Photo Credit :: daddytypes.com
I want an iPhone. OK... there... I said it. I want an iPhone.
The functionality (excluding the camera... which sucks) is next level and will really add to my life. I want it for the browser... and for all the cool new apps... and, well... because its cool.
Thing is... I have been meditating on it and I have to curse Brian McLaren because he has challenged my thinking... In his book "everything must change" he quotes Catholic Theologian Tom Beaudoin's concept called "Theocapitalism" (page 190 onwards) and I can't help but look at the iPhone in this new context...
- He states that it gives us identity... helping to create our true selves. I openly identify as being a Mac Geek... the iPhone is an extension of this.
- He then speaks of it help me to belong to a community of kindred spirits who share our faith - I am a member of the cult of Mac. Its me and the other however many percent against the windoze world.
- Next up is trust... which develops through the making and keeping of advertising promises... thus reducing my anxiety in making choices. Buying a phone is pretty stressful because it needs to work with my Mac set up. I trust Steve Jobs. etc etc.
- We experience ecstasy. Not sure about this... but then I have queued up for Mac openings etc... thats pretty close to a Whirling Dervish in my books.
- He talks of the communication of transcendence through sacred images & symbols - who watched Steve's last keynote? I followed from a blog but... nevertheless... that's the closest I will come to following a global leader's every word/movement. When Steve speaks... its like a Papal audience... with the faithful (me included) lapping up everything he says. I ooh and ahh with every Apple-branded gizmo announcement.
- We are promised conversion to a new life if we try their product and join their brand "family" - err... anyone remember the "switching" campaign? oh and how many friends have I tried to convert to Apple? err... all of them!
- Lastly... theocapitalism promises rest for the restless - think of all the satisfied Apple users... especially the ones featured in the last Keynote. Satisfied!
So where do I go from here? With awareness of the above... can I still buy an iPhone and not be a hypocrit?
To be honest... I don't know.
Does the following count?
- Its the second generation iPhone - I'm not that devoted!
- Its come down in price - Its still expensive compared with other phones that are "free" and will require an increase in my monthly subscription.
- It will give me pretty much 24-7 access to the web and to tools such as this blog... twitter... facebook etc. I can blog at lunch... while in a wi-fi zone. I can keep in touch with all my remote friends. I can read the BBC News on the train instead of the paper.
- Extra harddrive space is always welcome... my 80gb iPod has 3gb left.
Maybe I should just consider it like I currently consider my phone - a tool for connecting with people & taking photos. Maybe the issue is about the idolatry and not the tool itself.
I just don't know. What do you think?