Much Ado About Nothing

The hysteria generated by a single block of metal, plastic and glass, a bit smaller than a common kitchen sponge, is earth shattering. 

The story that is topping the charts is that of a lost Apple iPhone. And within the first paragraph or two of every posting or printout is the identity of the young man who “lost” the device. Heck, I know more about this guy than I know about some of my friends – and I know way more about them than I need to. This guy is at a serious turning point in his life. But what do we know about the person who allegedly found the phone? His name? His age? His occupation? Nothing. He was either a thief or a hero. He was paid between $400.00 to $10,000.00 – all depending on the report you’re drawn to at the moment.

And the latest in the story is that Apple set this whole thing up – a publicity stunt says one place. A travesty of commerce says another (who took the first rumor and reported it as substantiated fact). These same things were being said after Sun Danyong purportedly lost a pre release copy of last year’s iPhone 3GS in China, then leapt to his death in shameful humiliation. “He was pushed” said some. I hope this current guy lives in a basement apartment.

As a kid I liked birthdays best of all (I still do, truth be told). For me it’ wasn’t just the party, or the gathering – oh I dug that stuff a lot – no it was about the gifts. I did NOT want to know what I was getting. I wanted to be surprised. I wanted to savour the reveal so that it could spring back to life in fond memories each time I enjoyed what I had received.

People today, it seems, have no patience for the reveal. Everyone wants to know what is going to happen in advance of the event. Maybe that’s why, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, we are not allowed to remember the past or know our path – it would ruin the journey (or perhaps change the outcome). Maybe that’s why all of those magic trick explanation videos on YouTube are so popular.

I want to be surprised. I like to be shown how some new thing will benefit me and my kind, then have it explained how it will do all that. I want to feel the OHH AH when the curtain is pulled back for the first time. So maybe I’m weird, but at 63 the kid in me is still alive and kicking. The shinny of the reveal still holds my wonder. It is the unknown that is worth traveling toward – not the “I already knew that”.

But, as a realist, who also has to make a living, I understand that eyeballs landing on a WEB page equals money – hay, I’m writing every day in hopes to draw a crowd to my lofty prose. But maybe there is some room for more substance and patience and a bit less speculation and intolerance. I mean this is the TECH INDUSTRY for Pete’s sake.

Alright, enough preachifying, as I must confess that seeing the video of the new iPhone set my heart a flutter while my mind wondered off to plot how I would be able to finagle my FIFTH iPhone. But I am going to SEVERELY miss that reveal, “Mr. I just found it on the floor and tried to return it to the first person who would pay me for it” person. Thanks for nothing!

That Ray Guy

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