In our marriage, I have always been the geek, and Aviva has always been the technophobe. While she is perfectly capable of using ATM’s and gas station pumps, she much prefers to have me do it for her. She knows how to play back shows recorded on the TiVo, but I don’t think she knows what is actually involved in getting them to record in the first place.
So, when Aviva casually mentioned as we were going to sleep that she would really like to upgrade from her iPhone 3GS to the latest model, I nearly fell out of the bed.
The fact that she has an iPhone at all represents tremendous progress for her. When we married twelve years ago, I was very excited about my new PalmPilot, and she was very excited about her Franklin Covey organization system with its separate page for each day. She was particularly excited about how she could use different color pens for different categories of tasks and events. Each year, she enjoyed the process of buying the next year’s pages and loading them in.
Then, about five years ago, she made a surprising request – she wanted a Palm. While she loved her Franklin Covey organizer, the fact of the matter was that it was really heavy to lug around. Palm pilots were color now, so if it could still show her separate colors for separate categories, that would be just perfect.
I was skeptical. I’d lost count of the number of times she’d asked me to come look at “some message” on the computer. Now she was going to replace her Franklin Covey with… a computer? She depended on her organizer to function, and I could just see the disaster waiting to happen when “some message” would appear on it at the wrong time.
Aviva surprised me, however. She made the transition relatively smoothly, and while I was called in for occasional tech support, she embraced the technology in a way I had never seen before. She quickly mastered graffiti, and she loved having all her address book so easily accessible.
In the meantime, I had upgraded to an iPhone, and Aviva looked at it like it was some alien technology that might zap her. She would be very reluctant to touch it if I asked her to call someone on it while we were driving, and she would frequently make mocking “swoosh” noises when she would see its inertial scrolling in action.
Then, a year ago, Aviva surprised me again. She announced that for her birthday, she wanted an iPhone. It had been years since Palm technology was updated, and she was really getting frustrated with unfixed bugs when trying to sync with Outlook. She was also starting to agree that it was silly to have both a cell phone and a PDA. When I asked her about how much she disliked using my iPhone, she explained that all of the innovation and updates were happening on the iPhone, so clearly it was the place to be. Besides, if she used Google calendar, she could still have her different colors for each event category!
So, we got her an iPhone 3GS, just like mine (hey, I’m supposed to be the one in the family with the most advanced technology!). Her main goal was to have her calendar syncing in the cloud automatically and not have to carry two devices, and she loved this part of it. On the flip side, she didn’t really see the need for email or web access, but it came as part of the package. Within two weeks, however, she was converted and evangelizes the benefits of having email on the go. I’ve seen her emailing in bed as she is turning out the lights and reading comics on the web when she wakes up.
Given that she has made the leap from paper to Palm to iPhone, you wouldn’t think that I would be so surprised about her wanting a new iPhone. But this really is different. In each of those technology upgrades, there were specific problems with her existing system, and she was looking for a solution.
Why does she want to upgrade now? Because the new iPhones take better photographs.
This is just not the kind of thing my wife says.