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Martin Lindstrom writing in The NYT today (‘You Love your iPhone. Literally.’) claims to have found evidence, using fancy-pants neuro-imaging technology, that people are not ‘addicted’ to their smartphones as is commonly suggested, but rather, ‘love’ them.

And not, like, ironically. Or like ‘I heart my iPhone’. But like they love a person. Or how they used to love a person. Before iPhones replaced people.

But most striking of all was the flurry of activation in the insular cortex of the brain, which is associated with feelings of love and compassion. The subjects’ brains responded to the sound of their phones as they would respond to the presence or proximity of a girlfriend, boyfriend or family member.

In short, the subjects didn’t demonstrate the classic brain-based signs of addiction. Instead, they loved their iPhones.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007 I diagnosed its appeal, without the use of neuro-imaging technology, or even access to the actual product, as being a form of narcissism. Takes one to know one, I guess. The clue is in the ‘i’, of course:

Imagine the perfect relationship.

Imagine a relationship so perfect that it will be the only one you need. One that is better and cooler and smarter than all the rest. A relationship that will make you the envy of your friends and the centre of attention at dinner parties. Imagine a relationship that is entirely controlled by you.

A relationship, in fact, that is – finally! – all about YOU(I know I have).

Imagine the iPhone. The perfect lover. The perfect friend. The perfect child. The perfect accessory. The perfect kit. The perfect kick. Walking, talking technosexual porn.

Not forgetting of course that by putting t’internet and GPS navigation in your pants, smartphones make it much easier to ‘stray’, or ‘cheat’ on anyone you might still be having an actual, real-time, old-time relationship with. Or just pursue discreetly your hitherto hidden fantasies. To find out more about you. Which is an endlessly fascinating story, naturally.

And no matter how many people you hook up with through your tartphone you’ll always remain faithful — to your phone.

The iPhone is really the Iphone. It’s a direct line to yourself. Now, isn’t that a call we all want to take?

I now have a smartphone myself, natch. And because I have a certain knee-jerk disdain for the ‘gorgeousness’ of Apple so lauded by most of my media friends — and didn’t fancy a love-triangle with Steve Jobs — I picked up a more homely-looking Android (Samsung Galaxy S). Like most more homely-looking lovers, it works a lot harder at pleasing me.

And, yes, we’re very much in love, thanks for asking. Until the next upgrade.

Tip: DAKrolak

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10 thoughts on “Tartphones”

  1. Blackberry? Oh god no. I give RIM 5 years before declaring bankruptcy.

    Jobs genius was flogging tat to the masses for a ridiculous price. ‘Easy to use’ doesn’t mean genius in my view, selling it as revolutionary and getting away with it does.

  2. Oh, btw. Apparently Steve Jobs died. The media here have been endlessly eulogising the ‘visionary’ and creative ‘genius’ that ‘changed our world’.

  3. I agree the Galaxy S is a little Too iPhoney for my taste, but not the S2, Its on a different level and doesn’t look like an iPhone.

    Just seen on twitter that the world is going insane over the 8MP camera in the IP4-S. Really, welcome to a year ago Apple.

  4. I’m not sure whether the Samsung Galaxy S is more manly or not, but visually it’s definitely a cheap imitation of the iPhone. Even if it’s better in terms of spec.

    It’s true though that a big part of Apple’s success is the way they have managed to make their geeky gadgets appeal to women – and also to men who like the idea of a fashion accessory with bells and whistles. Personally, I’ve always tended to find their design a bit ‘Space 1999’, in that 70s unisex hairdressing salon sort of way.

  5. Get the Galaxy S2 then, its an awesome device. I disagree about the ‘more homely’ comment. I always found the iPhone to be really ugly, its just so plain and dull looking, and rather dripping in Oestrogen. As a man that likes men, i prefer a little more hard edge to my design. The S2 is just that bit more manly looking. Motorola fit the bill better design wise, but their phones suck.

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