A Day in the Life Between My iPhone and Me

I can vividly remember the day I started using a cellphone. It’s September 2011, I’m in my freshman year of high school and my parents finally trusted me with my own phone. At the time, my phone was just an accessory. I can chat with friends/family, occasionally browse Facebook or play a game but it wasn’t a necessity. I could go days without touching my old Blackberry Torch and pay it no mind.

Fast forward a decade later and now I can’t even fathom being away from my iPhone for more than an hour. Mobile phones have become a swiss army knife that solves all our problems and manages our day-to-day lives. Sometimes I wonder how I could remember so many passwords when I was younger, whereas now I need to have them saved on my phone because I forget them too easily (this could also be a sign of my mid-20’s existential crisis but I’ll brush that off for now.).

Like Katy Perry said: “This is a part of me, and you’re never gonna ever take it away from me.” I hate to admit it but I can’t function without my smartphone, it’s become a literal part of me that I just can’t do away with no matter what. I always make sure it’s at an arm’s reach from my desk at work. It’s my go-to form of entertainment nowadays and my safe place when social anxiety kicks in. It honestly sounds a bit depressing to see how reliant I’ve become, more often than not I get a major case of FOMO when it’s not nearby.

Was that a text? let me check! Did (insert celebrity name here) post on Instagram? let’s see! Is that a phone call? No, it’s just Michael from Air Duct Cleaning services calling for the fifth time today.

However, on the flipside having this device has benefitted me tremendously. It’s now a mere extension of me, another part of my daily routine, but what does that look like? Well, it all starts as soon as I wake up…

Wake Up Mr. West

Since I threw out the alarm clock I had when I was little, my phone is the one that wakes me up. Immediately after unplugging my phone from its charger and reaching for my glasses (which you’d think would be the first thing I would grab) is when the doom scrolling begins, this is where I start with the first app I check: Instagram. I would consider this my “I-want-to-relax” micro-moment. I’m still groggy, not really wanting to get out of bed just yet, and want to consume some content to keep me in this zen state if you will before I get out of bed and start the day.

My interactions with Instagram revolve around sharing memes and other funny videos with friends. Since the pandemic started, Instagram has been one of my go-to ways of keeping in contact with people because after all, who doesn’t like a good meme? More importantly, it’s my number 1 source of keeping up with everything pop culture through pages like Complex and 6ixBuzz. This is very crucial for me, especially when it comes to music news like new album releases from my favourite artists, which I then make note of for my album reviews that I will shamelessly plug here.

From there on out, I finally get out of bed after a little while and continue with the rest of my day, iPhone at the ready.

Check The Timeline

Depending on whether I’m at the office at work, or wrapping up my online class, Twitter is the next app I run to. More often than not I’m scrolling through Twitter when I have an “I-want-to-know” moment. Since re-joining the app as part of our content marketing class, Twitter has become my haven for everything and all things that are trending. What are people saying about the recent Covid restrictions? I’ll go on Twitter. A brand is getting dragged for doing something controversial? Let’s see who got #canceled.

While I may not agree with everything people tweet, I love knowing what others are saying about current events. Seeing those real-time reactions are almost akin to having a real convo with somebody, albeit with more hashtags. From then on out is when I typically start browsing more apps on my phone and depending on how much debt I want to put myself in is where I might start buying things.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

I’ve been online shopping for a long time, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t increase in the past few years, and I attribute that to the numerous apps companies have launched. Way back in the old age of the 2010’s, I needed an actual computer if I wanted to shop “online”. Now, I can open an app on my phone and buy what I need while I wait at my doctor’s office. Plenty of clothing stores’ apps provide a seamless experience that all feels universal, but when I feel that “I-want-to-buy” moment itching for some new threads, Uniqlo comes to the rescue.

It might be because of their price, or that rapper Pusha-T endorsed the brand in a video for GQ, but I’m a sucker for Uniqlo, the quality hits that sweet spot for a consumer like me. The Uniqlo app makes my buyer’s journey relatively easy, navigating between different departments and garments is simple enough. The best part about the app is how it customizes your experience, making it feel like a true Omni experience.

  • Using data from items you already bought to showcase others you might like.
  • Allowing you to scan the barcode of an item in-store to buy it through the app if the store doesn’t have your size available.
  • Giving you additional discounts on the app if you are a Uniqlo member.

Sadly, this is where my first encounter with mobile friction begins. More times than not, the UX feels clunky. Tapping to go to a specific page doesn’t load properly and it sends you somewhere else, not having tracking information available for you to see because of some error really hinders the experience.

Depending on how badly I need to buy something or check its shipping status, I forego the app and use my laptop instead. It’s not something I should do, but when the user experience doesn’t meet my needs asap, I automatically resort to the next best thing.

The New Workout Plan

Once all of my work is out of the way, it’s time to get some physical work in motion. I try not to pay too much attention to my phone while working out, but it does come in handy when I’m at the gym and my “I-want-to-focus” senses start tingling. This is where Apple Music comes into play, both figuratively and literally.

Aside from my own playlists, Apple Music curates its own based on the music I listen to. It’s great because I can get exposed to new artists I’ve never heard before through their New Music Mix. They also provide playlists catered to whatever mood I’m in. In this case, as I work out I may want to listen to some intense bangers to keep me in the zone. Apple’s Hip-Hop Workout playlist will provide that energy I need for that hour or two

As I get to the end of my day is when I feel like “I-want-to-learn”. In this case, I’m trying to learn how to fix my aging PS4. Youtube has been my go-to app to learn quick fixings. I find that I use the mobile app way more than the desktop version simply because of how convenient it is.

Youtube knows that more people are watching videos on their phones anyways and have optimized their app relatively well in my opinion. What’s great about the app too is that its algorithm is based on videos I watched previously, which often leads to hour-long binges that go well into the late hours. However, there’s a good feeling knowing that whenever I need to learn how to do something, Youtube is there to help.

Wrapping it up

Despite me earlier saying that I found it depressing how much I rely on my iPhone, without it I probably wouldn’t be able to access the things I need when various micro-moments occur. These mini buyers or “app journeys” I have throughout the day get dealt with easily right when they happen, and I have my phone to thank for relieving those moments.

I‘m pretty sure my 14-year-old self would scoff at the fact that I paid for a grande caramel macchiato through an app, but I’m certain he wouldn’t be laughing at how easily and quickly our smartphones can get things done. All of this makes me wonder if and when the next smart device will come to take over the smartphone’s place. Maybe we’ll finally get holographic Star Wars devices in the near future? Only time will tell.

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I like to pretend I’m a critic.

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Mark Chinapen

Mark Chinapen

I like to pretend I’m a critic.

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