My cracked iPhone 5 managed to survive the first night of Abroad Fest just long enough for me to arrive safetly at my shitty apartment in Barcelona. Okay, it wasn't that shitty. My roommates and I each had our own rooms, but we might as well have been sharing them because you could hear everything through the paper thin walls. The construction workers who began drilling at 8am were my alarm, and my roommates having loud sex was my lullaby. But this article isn't about the apartment I overpayed for, it's about my iPhone 4. Pastic gray lines running up and down the screen indicated that its time had come. I’m not sure if it was the alcohol or the familiarity of the event that desensitized me to my phone’s death, but whatever it was my pain was numbed. It was just another broken phone, and another déjà vu.
If you ask my family how many phones I’ve gone through, they’ll tell you around 10. Ask me, and I’ll tell you that I have no idea. It’s all a blur. One phone slipped out of my back pocket into the toilet at camp, another accidentally met it's doom in a cup of water. One fell in a puddle of rain and another fell off a toilet paper dispenser. Each one before, and after replaced by a spare emergency iPhone lying around my dad’s apartment.
When my phone broke in Barcelona, my dad couldn’t save me. Or rather, wouldn’t save me. He had enough of my irresponsibility. I bought a temporary, shitty smartphone from a local store and used that for a couple of months until I returned home. My hopes of being salvaged by a device whose battery lasted longer than an hour were crushed by my parent’s punishment. I was sentenced to using an iPhone 4 until I proved myself worthy enough. What most people would dramatize as their ultimate demise, ownership of the extraordinarily slow and outdated iPhone 4 actually significantly impacted my life. Here’s what I learned:
How to be funny on Snapchat
I’d say the hardest app to use on an iPhone 4 is Snapchat. It takes forever to open and an eternity to actually snap a photo. Wanna take a video? Forgetaboutit. I was forced to use Snapchat sparingly, and only when I had enough time on the subway to capture the dude standing in front of me with his fly open.
I survived summer 2K16 going to concerts, museums and bars without documenting any of it. At first, it was hard experiencing life without sharing it with my followers. Like, why even bother buying a ticket to see Kanye’s opening Saint Pablo show if I couldn’t snapchat it?
The iPhone 4 was like my 12 step program to beating my addiction to Snapchat. I still used it, but I stopped flooding my story with unnecessary snaps that no one gives a shit about but me. Instead, I evaluated the situation and considered whether taking the photo was worthy of not only my time and attention, but of my follower’s as well.
Avid snapchatters don’t realize how much the app affects their lives. The compulsion to watch every snap story consumes so much time, and the obsession to take a photo in every new environment diverts so much attention away from important things like the person you went to the Museum of Sex with #subtweet.
In short, I learned that Snapchat should be used solely for comedic purposes, and only when it doesn’t inconvenience you or the person you’re with.
Otherwise, you’re just an asshole taking selfies of yourself in a Booby Bounce instead of spending the two minutes you paid for hopping from nipple to nipple.
Instagram is for dummies
If Twitter is dying then Instagram is its killer. The idiotic reason why Instagram is preferred over Twitter is because Instagram is a picture book for 5-year-olds and Twitter is a best-selling novel. People are lazy and would much rather look at a photo of your new bedroom than tackle reading a 140-character sentence.
I deleted Instagram off my iPhone 4 for about a week. The camera on my phone was pretty shitty so I got out of the habit of taking photos to post. It also took up space on my phone, and I was tired of looking at pictures of girls in bars with punny captions.
I re-downloaded it because I had something funny I wanted to share, and thought my followers would appreciate it. They didn’t. Unless you’re Girl with No Job or The Fat Jewish, people also don’t want you to be funny on Instagram. Either post a picture of yourself half nude or don’t post anything at all. How do I substantiate these claims? With this evidence:
Yes, I liked my own photo because if I don't then it's unfair to expect that anyone else will. A mere 28 likes on this hilarious comparison of Ted Cruz and whatever that thing is. SMH.
A whopping 139 likes on a picture of me at a tailgate, captioned "Wedding szn" because the featured boy is my "Greek fiance." This stupid, substanceless picture got 111 more likes than the Ted Cruz one because I'm kissing a boy. SHM. Can you imagine the likes I'd get on a picture of me kissing Ted Cruz? I literally cannot.
I accredit the iPhone 4 to showing me that Instagram is dominated by narcissists and people searching for a boost of self-esteem. I guess that can easily be realized, but the less I used Instagram the less I drew confidence from the amount of attention my photos got. Cutting down the time I spent on the app translated into caring less about who looked at my pictures. Instead of posting for the sake of likes, I post for the sake of the photo. I know girls who will delete their posts if they don’t get as many likes as they wanted. How disturbing is it to base one’s worth on the validation of others? Millennials, man.
Texting makes you the worst kind of needy girlfriend
I never understood how someone could leave a text that warranted an answer unanswered. Someone texted you, so fucking answer it! Don’t be rude. And don’t you experience an insatiable feeling of guilt for ignoring someone? Jesus.
That was until I got an iPhone 4 and became the very person I despised. Unless you’re a boy I have a crush on, I most likely won’t text you back. I hate when people try to spark conversations with me via iMessage because then we exhaust all topics and have nothing to say to each other in person. Texting should be for emergencies only, not for catching up.
I think people who like having in-depth texting conversations are needy, and being in constant communication with someone helps them feel less lonely. They think they need someone to acknowledge their existence, but what they really need is to make an appointment for psychoanalysis.
I used my phone as a scapegoat for not answering people back, and they totally bought it. Sorry I didn’t answer back, my phone is slow and hard to use. More like, sorry, I saw your text and didn’t answer because I don’t care to.
The iPhone 4 disconnected me from social media and reconnected me with reality. As much as it taught me, I still yearned for a phone that could support Pokémon Go and open Uber in under three minutes. After getting a job as a cashier to raise the money, my mom relinquished me of my punishment and sent me her iPhone 6.
And that’s when I learned the most invaluable lesson from owning the iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 is a piece of shit
Elaboration deemed unnecessary.