Tag Archives: Virginia Heffernan

Virginia Heffernan may be retarded

Pax Arcana

apple_iphoneDespite my affection for the light saber application, watching Arrested Development on planes, and the other 8 million fun things to play with on my iPhone — I really don’t care if other people find the thing as awesome as I do.

For example, I can see why people who have to type a lot — or edit Microsoft Office documents — would prefer the BlackBerry. Or the Pre. Whatthefuckever.

But Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times has taken criticism of the iPhone to a whole new level of awesome with her recent piece “I hate my iPhone.” Heffernan used to be the TV critic for the Times, but is now heading up The Medium — a blog/beat about the full spectrum of digital media consumption.

Clearly, she is up to the task.

Wait, that’s not right. Clearly she is not up to the task. That’s what I meant. Anyway, here is why she hates her iPhone:

I was late to get one — and maybe that’s the problem. Maybe my hopes for the iPhone curdled in the time it took for my perfectly good T-Mobile plan to expire so I could switch to balky AT&T and purchase one. But I had bided my time. And, really, my enthusiasm survived right up to the moment at the AT&T counter, post-sale, when a saleswoman transferred my address book from my battered BlackBerry to the sweetie-pie iPhone.

“Can you set up my e-mail too?” I asked. She handed me the phone and told me what to type. Pressing her good nature, I asked if she’d do that part too, since I wasn’t yet handy with the iPhone’s character-entry system — the 2D screen-based simulation of the qwerty keyboard.

She gave me a hard look. Truly, as if she was supposed to be on the lookout for people like me. “It’s your phone,” she replied briskly. “It’s time you started typing on it.”

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that this person — hired by the New York Times to produce high-minded analysis about how the digital age informs modern life — should not have to devote the 30 seconds necessary to learn how to operate the devices that deliver that media. That kind of work is for counter folk.

And you’re right.

In fact, I can sympathize with Ms. Heffernan. The last time I bought a car, the salesperson refused to drive me home in it. Then there was that time I went to see Memento and the usher refused to sit next to me and explain what was happening. Or that time I went to clear the snow off the sidewalk and the shovel just sat there like it expected me to do all the work.

I hate my shovel!

I hate my iPhone [NYT]

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