By Sarah Layton.
Let’s not lie; you were pretty terrible.
Your reception was shitty. Your only games were a computerised tarot pack that you had to pay to use and something to do with golf. I’d wait for more than five minutes for your browser to load a page until my boredom outweighed my desperation. Not many students had to print off actual maps before they left the house—in my case, those maps were of the University’s historical drinking establishments, with dotted lines marking the pub crawl route because What is North? and Is this alley a death trap where my body will be found behind an artistically painted dumpster and half covered in student parmas? No last-minute advice from friends in changing rooms could measure up to the horror of your loud shutter noise, which I could never turn off. But to be fair, you did take a half-decent photo of a bonfire… Once.
My stalwart defensiveness of you had a lot to do with the cost of an iPhone, but I also loved your difference. You had character, I would tell people who hadn’t asked. You have all of the overt charm of a black and silver brick: nothing fancy, but definitely sturdy. You’ve been dropped more times than I care to count, battery pack spewing over train station tiles, but I always knew—all I had to do was slot the pieces back in place and you’d reboot to the tune of Gran Vals. No big deal. Maybe I didn’t appreciate your miraculous recoveries enough… seeing as my response was usually a concise goddamn it shit fuck.
I will have to make the backdrop on any new phone the same genial picture of Bill Murray telling me I’m awesome to feel at home. I won’t, however, miss the ringtone you decided you loved and refused to change. Hearing Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid blaring loudly from my pocket may have seemed cool when I was young, but the novelty wore off in later years, even if it was ‘your song’. Emojis were also beyond you. Everything beyond the simple text smiley came long after your time, and instead, you liked to interpret them as some alien code built from hash tags and square boxes. In a world of people who texted like they were on instant messenger, the barrage of buzzing from my pocket, like the death throes of a frenetic bee stuck behind a fly screen window, made me feel sorry for you, as you feebly tried to keep up with a friend who couldn’t write one concise text.
But you were the companion of my rebel youth, that halcyon era when I stayed out past ten and my hobbies weren’t just home-knitted socks and pretending to do ‘Yoga with Adriene’. You slotted perfectly into my bra at parties, just small enough not to be mistaken for a rectangular tumor. I shudder at the things you’ve seen happen in toilet stalls. It was you on which I received texts from friends telling me that I should probably leave now, dignity still intact. It was you that I anxiously waited on to deliver texts from people who made my skin burn. You who then lost said text messages resulting in a series of dramatic love stories that will now never be: your fault. Mona-Lisa-who-I-met-in-a-bathroom-one-time, I’m sorry.
Swathes of my history are on you.
Even now, you aren’t broken. My family kicked you to the curb anyway, though. You know why; you ignored so many of their text messages. You’ve been replaced by an iDevice to match all my other iDevices. That was a chicken race you were never going to win, my friend. You had a lot of pride for something that cost me $60 from Mobile Essentials.
I can’t in all honesty say I’ll miss you. I want to be able to take Snapchats at locations other than my house. Dare I allow myself to dream of Instagramming breakfast foods?
But farewell, comrade. Thanks for five long years.
Feature image credit: Putu Gunarko