Happy birthday, Apple iPhone: You’re ruining everything

“Today, as you may have heard, is the iPhone’s fifth birthday. Five years ago today, eager fanboys lined up for miles outside of Apple stores, fawning and frothing and damn near trampling each other in order to get their hands on the product Steve Jobs promised was ‘revolutionary,'” Kevin Roose writes for New York Magazine. “Since then, the iPhone has become a behemoth, a $100 billion annual revenue generator that has made Apple the world’s largest and most profitable tech company and enlisted hundreds of millions of people in the smartphone army.”

“It has also, quite possibly, ruined all of our lives,” Roose writes. “The iPhone has distorted, disabled, and otherwise blown a Grand Canyon–size hole in our social fabric… I’ve owned an iPhone since 2008, and, as with most owners, it has become a fifth limb. I am one of those hollow souls whose insular cortex lights up like fireworks every time I get a new e-mail or text, whose anxiety levels spike every time my battery dips below 15 percent. Everywhere I’ve gone in the past four years, my iPhone has tugged me away from the real world. I’ve spent vacations with my eyes on Instagram, played Words With Friends during movies, and treated my Twitter feed with the deference usually reserved for royalty. I am, in short, an iPhone addict. And so, very likely, are you.”

Roose writes, “It’s true that the iPhone is a wonderful and unique device, one that deserves to make billions upon billions of dollars for Apple. It’s also true that it has turned my social circle from a group of reasonable human beings — ones who read books, had long, meaningful conversations, and were occasionally filled with the milk of human kindness — into a bunch of panicky, overstimulated, screen-fixated automatons… Yes, there are other phones. Androids and the few thousand BlackBerrys left in circulation share some of the blame. But the iPhone, as the dominant device in the demographic that is responsible for the bulk of the planet’s creative output, is the most culpable of all.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Listen, it’s an article about an Apple product and, as even before we’re faced with a week having Independence Day (U.S) stuck smack in the middle of it, pickings are already few and far between. In our unending quest to scour the Internet to bring you Apple-related items, this hackneyed trifling of recycled pablum was all we could find at the moment. We apologize.

Related articles:
Apple’s Siri intelligent personal assistant raises new issues of iPhone etiquette – December 2, 2011
Ownership of Apple iPhone on verge of crossing line into AIG-like excess and arrogance? – October 22, 2008
Apple iPod noise pollution irks those nearby – August 1, 2007
iPod etiquette: when to talk, when to shut up, and how to learn to live with the iPod culture – January 31, 2005


    1. It’d be funny as hell, if we hadn’t read a hundred different versions of the same article over the last 10+ years (starting with iPod etiquette stories).

  1. Well the iPhone has certainly ruined my shopping excitement I used to get when visiting gadget shops. Now I look at all that stuff and realize I already got it in my iPhone.

    1. Ubermac that’s hillarious! One of my favorite pastimes was shopping for deals on utilities and peripherals that I “needed.” The iPhone totally ruined that for me, lol. You made me chuckle.

  2. “…eager fanboys lined up for miles outside of Apple stores, fawning and frothing and damn near trampling each other in order to get their hands on the product Steve Jobs promised was ‘revolutionary,’” Kevin Roose writes for New York Magazine.

    “I am one of those hollow souls whose insular cortex lights up like fireworks every time I get a new e-mail or text…”

    “I am, in short, an iPhone addict. And so, very likely, are you.” First of all Kevin, stop projecting.

    Good grief. The iPhone is just a *tool*, it’s not a reason to trample others to get one.

    Yes, the iPhone is revolutionary. It is a ‘best in class’ device. But Kevin, you may need some professional help. dafuq??

    MDN, apologies accepted. Kevin’s a loon.

    1. i still have my old crackberry..
      4 years old now, still works. I put the battery back in the other day in fact.

      I don’t use it though, and 99% sure I’d never actually go back to a blackberry.
      I can get a new one through my work.. Work number and paid for by work. Free.

      Not going to happen….

  3. “I am one of those hollow souls whose insular cortex lights up like fireworks every time I get a new e-mail or text, whose anxiety levels spike every time my battery dips below 15 percent.”

    Maybe you are writing that just as a literary device Kevin. But whether you are seriously one of such people, I feel sickened that our society is so empty that SO many people ARE truly like that … getting their moment by moment well-being and sense of self worth from email chimes and blithering Facebook posts.

    Best post on the page, Ubermac!

  4. To start, there weren’t any lines. Stores stayed open til midnight, (on launch day) and there were some people looking at the phones at around ten p. but lines, werent any. The phone may have sold 600 k the first weekend! I bought mine 2 days later. Casually walked into the Chicago store on Sunday and they were not sold out There was no initial fervor to which he spoke.
    I didn’t think I would really need that much phone, but even with its limited functionality I was hooked. Once people realized it’s true potential it took off. BB was still king, and it really took quite some time to get traction. Lots of really smart(?) people didn’t get it some six months later.

    1. Not true, you need to get your facts correct, in this day and age of the Internet facts can be proven very easily.

      There may have not been so called lines in your neck of the woods but it’s a fact that lines has been all over the U.S on the first available day.


      iPhone went on sale in the United States on June 29, 2007, at 6:00 pm local time, while hundreds of customers lined up outside the stores.

      And another from Gigaom:

      As the countdown clock in the Apple Store window on Stockton Street in San Francisco neared zero, hordes of reporters from all over the world, customers — some who’d waited in line for two days — and curious passersby all at once surged toward the glass to get a better view as the doors opened for the first time to sell the smartphone that has revolutionized mobile computing: the iPhone.


      And many more sites with proof of lines that people camped out for days for the original release.

  5. Has anyone noticed that many professional writers are becoming more contentious, snooty, and self-referential? And where the hell do they get off being all high-and-mighty, as if they don’t rely on a professional editor to correct their third-grade errors of spelling, punctuation, syntax, and continuity? And it isn’t as if they have original ideas—everybody knows they’re denizens of Manhattan watering holes, eavesdropping and trolling for material, inhaling cocktails to alleviate their inferiority complex while cherishing their secret fantasy of being the next Ernest Hemingway or Mark Twain, also former hacks but who had the singular good fortune of having been born before the Internet gave birth to an army of bloggers who could overshadow them. I don’t know, maybe the words “New York” just piss me off more and more these days.

    1. Recycled pablum. I had to look it up also. MDN comes up with some fantastic quotable notables! Usually profound grasps of the obvious, but never platitudinous ponderosities, ventrilical verbosities or setaceus vacuities.

  6. iPhone is changing our business and way of doing doing, along with its sidekick the iPad and their big brother iMacs and Mac Server and FileMaker and the list goes on …..

  7. Saw this somewhere else and just had to share for laughs!!

    Everyone is writing about the iPhone’s birthday today and how much it changed the industry. That’s all true, but I thought I’d take a different approach and look at some of the iPhone naysayers so we could make fun of them together. This list was actually compiled in 2008 by MacDailyNews, but here are a few of my favorites.

    November 16, 2006, Palm CEO, Ed Colligan

    “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

    December 07, 2006, CNET, Michael Kanellos

    “Apple is slated to come out with a new phone… And it will largely fail…. Sales for the phone will skyrocket initially. However, things will calm down, and the Apple phone will take its place on the shelves with the random video cameras, cell phones, wireless routers and other would-be hits… When the iPod emerged in late 2001, it solved some major problems with MP3 players. Unfortunately for Apple, problems like that don’t exist in the handset business. Cell phones aren’t clunky, inadequate devices. Instead, they are pretty good. Really good.”

    December 08, 2006, Morningstar analyst, Rod Bare

    “The economics of something like [an Apple iPhone] aren’t that compelling.”

    January 15, 2007, Bloomberg, Matthew Lynn

    “The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple is unlikely to make much of an impact on this market… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.”

    January 17, 2007, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer

    “[Apple’s iPhone] is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine… So, I, I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like our strategy. I like it a lot.”

    January 18, 2007, Microsoft Senior Marketing Director, Richard Sprague

    “I can’t believe the hype being given to iPhone… I just have to wonder who will want one of these things (other than the religious faithful)… So please mark this post and come back in two years to see the results of my prediction: I predict they will not sell anywhere near the 10M Jobs predicts for 2008.”

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