iPhone Five Set to Take Over World

Typical apple fanboy, pshaw.
Dear iPhone 5 Hype,
            I’m speaking on behalf of all of those who don’t live under a rock and are held subject to the absurdly frantic hype over what is called the iPhone 5. Apple fanboys have been lighting up cyberspace with mock trailers for months, spurring intensified critique of the current iPhone 4S, and spending 98.7% of their time dreaming around their new life which will be so radically changed with this new phone.
See, the new design has been deemed “revolutionary”, a complete “breakthrough”, and “lighter and skinnier than ever before”. But am I the only one feeling a nagging sense of déjà vu? Despite its attitude of literally taking over the world with its brilliance in the sleek confines of the skeleton of this phone, haven’t they called every redesign thus far revolutionary? Each one poised to simply blow your mind? Sorry to inform you, Apple, but I can confidently say I have never been blown away by a phone. I have not awoken to a newspaper article with the newest design of the iPhone and consequently fallen off my chair in sheer shock as to what they’ve done. And to anyone who has, you may want to go take a bike ride and realize what just happened to you (I’m sorry, you can only go up from there).
Why am I so stone-hearted, you ask? How are my nerves made of such steel in the face of such a ground-breaking design? Well, fellow consumers, it stems from the irrepressible irritation of the incessantly repeated updates to an identical phone each time! In a sense, it seems as though the inner snob in all of us is exposed when we can feel the newest iPhone in our pockets, as if it was the ring from Lord of the Rings, power pulsing through you, seeking envy in the eyes of those you speak to. Conversations ensue, and it becomes a challenge to drop the fact that you have the “game-changing” phone by your side, acting as though the phone from three generations ago is almost the same thing as an infamous Nokia brick. The iPhone 4S will now be met with an “Oh, cool”, escaping from their subtly condescending lips, as if you just told them you prefer mailing letters in a horse drawn carriage. In actual fact, that would be far cooler than any phone on the market. Who wants to bring back carriages? Nokia, this is your chance to shine!
Now I hate to sound so brash. Admittedly, I have tapped into some of the beauty of Apple on my own. I’m the proud owner of an iPhone, a MacBook, and some family member down the line has an iPad, I’m sure. I know others who have virtually every product released by them, and others who stick to simply one. Regardless, it is undeniable that Apple has made a permanent mark on the consumer world, and it has come out of repeated innovations that have literally changed the dynamic of technological products. No longer are these advancements confined to the awe of the nerdier elite of society, but it has stretched over the world to an unfathomable degree. It is something to be feared, though, when people will sacrifice all logic for an obsessive frenzy over the release of a product that really doesn’t seem to be that innovative on its own anyhow. How much is marketing and how much is true innovation? How desperate are we to be a part of this advancing technological world that we will buy the newest products every time, not questioning their value but simply praising their name?
            I know we love to pick on our old fogeys of parents, pointing out the flaw in their story of the trek to school being two hills up, chuckling at their confused faces as they attempt to send emails, feeling all high and mighty when they ask you how to save a document, but what were they waiting in line for, camping out for in the prime of their earlier years? Legendary rock festivals, like Woodstock, which gathered 400,000 people, or tickets to Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin. The phenomenon of being the die-hards for a certain niche of the entertainment world came from genuinely sick things you could go to. Not for some game that you’ll hide in your basement and play, or for a phone that you paid someone to stand in line for (oh, the things that could go wrong there). And it’s not like after we get the iPhone, we rush home and do crazily innovative things with it, like solving world hunger with an app, checking out some x-rays as though we were McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy, being Picasso for an afternoon whilst using your finger to draw a stick man – let’s be real. We instagram, we tweet, we facebook, we game alone on the bus.
            Essentially, phone companies of the world, you’re making us less cool than our parents, with their hipster records and vintage photos of their afros gleaming in the sun. And as impossible as that sounds, it’s becoming a tragic reality. Stop the hype. Let us be cool again.
Sincerely,
@FedUpWithPhoneHype #whenwillitend #hashtag

Self-Help Books: I Ain’t Buyin’ It

The very name “self-help” can construe two meanings. One? Empowerment. A vision of you, donning a cape billowing in the glorious winds, triumphantly standing upon a mountain beaming out at this world you’ve so thoroughly conquered. Or two – a rather sorry sight of you cowering underneath a table of books, each one screaming out, “No, I can help you!” “No, me!” “Pick me, I was on Oprah!” Now quite frankly, the second may be a little more accurate, even if you don’t necessarily hide underneath the table because if so, yes, you really do need help. Now some people swear by them, others scoff at the idea alone. So where do you stand? Do self-help books really work? Do they really have the miraculous power to change your life in just a few hours of reading?
As a whole, self-help books are an empire that have sold millions, if not billions, to those who are struggling with insecurities, and it is this very quality that the authors are able to capitalize on. Any person who has wandered into the self-help aisle will inevitably be feeling a little lost, a little insecure, and what better customer should be in this aisle anyway? The more lost and insecure they are, the easier it can be for other problems that they hadn’t even considered to suddenly become a life or death situation that they need immediate help on. Now there isn’t simply one book to dutifully rest on your bedside table, but a pile of five others! All with different problems that you never even realized you had! Silly you!
Self-help books don’t necessarily ensure ultimate privacy either, which they are so often hailed for. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want “Am I Secretly Bipolar?” or “I Don’t Want to Admit I’m a Cat Lady” or “I’m A Narcissist, Love Me for Who I Am!” casually lounging on my coffee table for any stray eyes of the house guests perusing through my house. Suddenly the casual gathering has turned into the, “Watch out, don’t comment on the burnt peas, she’s bipolar, and could FLIP OUT!” event.

And it seems obvious, but anyone who is stressed out enough to pick up a book on self-therapy isn’t the type of person who should be prescribing themselves with disorders anyway. Somehow I doubt brain surgeons and jet setting entrepreneurs are picking up self-help books on their days off. It’s more as if they have walked half way down the path to legitimate help, and stopped to pick up the brochure by the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man instead, who just looked so damn convincing in his abilities. Cue the author nonchalantly leaning against a wall, perhaps a beret atop his balding head, and that smile that just announces to the world, “Me? Having it all together? Oh you.”

Now even though I have often said that Google knows more about me than anyone else, and I’m sure this sad realization can resonate with anyone who has discovered the sheer capability of Google to answer literally any question that pops into your head, typing a confession into this robotic search engine certainly isn’t the same as allowing your insecurity to escape the confines of your own mind and into the hands of another who can help instead. When it comes down to it, Google doesn’t have a heartbeat, and nor does a book. If you’ve spent hours crying into its pages, I’m sorry to tell you, it simply doesn’t care. Cruel when I put it that way, eh? But a phone call, email, quick note, or a private conversation between you and a therapist or trusted friend will release insurmountable amounts of satisfaction that the words on a page don’t necessarily ensure. Essentially, one must embrace vulnerability and accept that what makes you truly stronger is acting on what’s eating you inside, and allowing another in to help you.
*m