With the welcome chill of autumn and a dusting of colorful foliage sprouts the sweetest, most tantalizing fruit of the season, the apple… only this time, it’s complete with iOS 7. Unarguably, Apple has taken over the world with its high-tech devices. It seems as if everyone is making the switch from anything conventional to the sleek, futuristic designs of Apple. Company founder and spokesperson Steve Jobs (1955-2011) even said, “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them,” about the Mac OS X.
Apple is more than just a consumer choice – it’s a status symbol. Perhaps the newest grand slam edition to the army of Apple products is the iPhone. You might feel like iPhones are everywhere, in the waving arms of concertgoers, the briefcases of savvy businessmen, the back pocket of your jeans. And the craziest thing? They’re in the hands of the most malleable members of our society –teenagers.
Curious to see just how large of an impact Apple has on my life, I conducted an online poll of students at Medfield High School. Of 319 kids who participated, 238 reported that they have an iPhone. That’s almost 75 percent of survey responders contracted under the big Apple. Given the opportunity to identify reason behind the choice of a certain type of cell phone, the response was overwhelming. Alluring features on the iPhone like high-speed internet, lasting battery life and storage capacity, an extensive App Store, and sleek design drew in certain buyers. Other kids responded to the social call: many belonged to a data plan that allowed for the entire family to have iPhones, or praised the ease and variability of communication provided by their device. The most frequent responses, however, attributed social influence as the main reason that they chose the iPhone. Now, that’s “forward thinking.”
So why do we all flock to the iPhone? Why is it so socially desirable? In my opinion, the iPhone is simple. It’s sleek. It’s easy to use. Now I sound like an Apple ad! People like Apple’s people, those guys who go to the office in blue jeans and sweaters. Jobs constantly praised the potential of the common man, who he had faith in to improve the human race: a concept he called “genius.” If you buy an Apple device, could you apply to Jobs’ dream?
Now, is this what kids think about when they chose the iPhone? Probably not. More accurately, they chose it because their friends had it, because it was the “thing” of the times. And that’s really the downside. When teens get together to hang out, there’s often a moment when everyone’s absorbed by their phones, checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat… “socializing” with people through online personas. When we’re typing away, we lose that human interaction that our grandparents preach about, something that our parents have learned to forget. We frequently oppose that mission promised by Steve Jobs—how are we supposed to progress and dream and achieve if we’re stuck behind the virtual keyboard of our phones?
The message I’m trying to get out here is that it’s easy to be influenced by our peers and become wrapped up in a technological wonderland. I know because often I am also caught up in this euphoric digital world that I can access from the keypad of my iPhone 5. As long as we are careful about keeping our iPhone use in check, we can still achieve Jobs’ original message. When going over to a friend’s house, turn your cell phone off. Better yet, don’t even bring it—take the initiative to just enjoy their company. Delete some games. Candy Crush, though seemingly addicting and fun, won’t improve your IQ or help you climb the social ladder. Don’t be stuck. Be your own person. Be a trailblazer. Be “genuis.”
“Resolutionary”: Slogan used to introduce the iPad 2 in 2012.
“Forward Thinking”: Slogan used to promote the iPhone 5s in 2013.