Sent from my iPhone: How a humblebrag became a key piece of net etiquette

“Is there a more divisive valediction than the default ‘Sent From My iPhone’ sign-off?” Lara Williams writes for The Guardian. “When the iPhone first appeared, users were roundly condemned for their thinly veiled humblebrag among the mounting popularity of Apple products.”

“The message was clear: having an iPhone was so much more than having something on which you could make calls and browse the internet. It was a gorgeous trinket and elite lifestyle marker that signalled both sophistication and technological know-how,” Williams writes. “Membership of the club was something to be boasted about, and you could feel the conceit as users pressed send. The backlash was immediate.”

“Soon it was rarely seen, and if it did appear at the footer of an incoming email, rather than feeling contempt you thought: ‘Bless.’ By then it was little more than a charming throwback,” Williams writes. “Recently, however, the refrain has returned to our correspondence, but those using the sign-off can no longer be accused of not knowing how to switch it off (it’s easy) or gloating (it’s not a big deal). Rather the phrase has become an important part of online decorum. Including the sign off contains an innate apology for the brevity of the message. It begs forgiveness for any spelling or grammatical errors. It allows a little wiggle rooms for errant emojis. It is a nod of acknowledgement that you are on the hoof and doing as well as can be expected. And it works.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A “divisive valediction” only to those without an iPhone.

Sent from my 128GB iPhone 6s Plus


  1. Agreed, BS.

    As for the use of “valediction,” I like its use better in the great movie, L.A. Confidential:

    Captain Smith: Have you a valediction, boyo?

    Sergeant Vincennes: Rollo Tamasi.

  2. Who was roundly condemned?
    By whom?
    I’ve heard of no such disapproval nor come across anyone that has.

    Here’s what I think is going on.
    Apple has not had a newsworthy product in over a year. Journalists are flat out stumped for something to write about.

    1. “Sent from my iPhone” is cheesy advertising at best. There was never a need for Apple to do that.

      I suspect that if you surveyed most iPhones, most settings would be on whatever the preset Apple default is because most people just aren’t that sophisticated, and they don’t have time to muck around through Apple’s complicated and cryptic settings menus. Apple could do a lot better to guide people through initial setup.

    2. It’s on by default for everyone. Same with Android phones. I see it as a mark of newbieism when I see it. Changing it is one of the very first things I do (and I did it immediately when I first saw it), and IMHO doing so indicates at least a basic awareness of interest and immersion.

  3. I have changed my default tag line ever since my first iPhone because, I too, thought it was geeky and show-off-y. But I see the author’s point and may reevaluate putting “sent from my phone” back in. I’ve seen a number of senior people who are quite tech literate using the default. It kind of makes sense now.

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