A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of trading my defective and untrustworthy old BlackBerry in for an iPhone. But in light of recent information, perhaps I’m better off waiting until, oh, I don’t know, forever.
According to an infographic based on a survey conducted by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, approximately one in four people would rather give up sex than give up their mobile phone.
This is disturbing on a number of levels.
First, I question whether there has been a deep misunderstanding and violation of the intended purpose of the standard “vibrate” setting.
But really, it means there must be some people out there with some seriously radical phones. I want to hear about it. What do the phones do? Do they have personalities? Do they make robotic cuddly noises at night? Do they complement your bod and notice your new haircut and chirp at 2 a.m. when they’re feeling lonely, knowing that you like the attention even if it comes at an inconvenient hour? Do they have old school Tetris on them? Because that would be super awesome.
You people know that SIRI is not an actual person, right? I know she talks to you and schedules meetings and calls your mom and remembers your friends’ birthdays and helps Samuel L. Jackson make gazpacho or whatever, but I feel it’s important to review the facts here. SIRI is a robot ladyvoice who lives in your phone and doesn’t really love you, not the way humans need to be loved.
I’m sorry. I know how you feel about her.
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Don’t get me wrong. I understand the magnetic and all-consuming power a mobile phone can cast over its owner. My fingers twitch and itch to check and see if that little red light on my BlackBerry is flashing, alerting me to a new communique of some sort. Is it? No. Wait, is it now? No. Aha! How about now? Yes! Spam. Dang. And now?
Our phones make us feel connected not only to our friends and family but to our offices, our industries, the world. We tweet, we text, we post photos and play interactive games. I have friendships which at present are entirely conducted via Words with Friends, which in some ways is better than nothing. But at the same time that we’re infinitely plugged into our “social networks,” we’re losing touch with each other as people as opposed to faceless, disembodied words on a screen.
I’m not knocking those disembodied versions of ourselves. I love them. I have so many more “friends” than I otherwise would have retained at this point in my life thanks to those floaty, theoretical, far-off internet pals. But it’s important to recognize the value of actual, physical human interaction as superior to the less tangible kind.
If we all swore off sex in favor of our phones, we’d turn into those gummy bear-shaped people in Wall-E who float around unaware of one another but have somehow miraculously produced at least a classroom full of babies. I’ve always wondered where those particular babies came from. Trust me. In the real-life version of this nightmare, there would be no babies except for this kind. And do we really want the Oogachaka Dancing Baby to come back? Do we?
No. For the love of all that’s good, no.
Would you give up sex to keep your iPhone, Android or Blackberry? Let us know in the comments…
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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