I Made My Own Nightmare Come True
“I will never get an iPhone.”
I told myself this constantly. I couldn't put myself in a box; I needed the freedom I had with Android. If I switched, I would limit my options and choices. “Why would I do that to myself?” I would ask. My wife always scoffed at my stubbornness, but I felt that getting an iPhone would be betraying my own views and participating in what the “masses” said was best. I needed to be my own person, and going against the flow felt good. Switching to Apple was always something I considered a forfeit and surrender to the “system.”
That is, until a few months ago, when I tried an iPhone for the first time. I have officially made the switch to iPhone and Apple, and those that know me will probably say something along the lines of, “Seriously? He did that?” or “How could he do this?” I want to be clear: I still love Android and still think it is objectively better than Apple. Android is fantastic for a number of reasons. I will list as many as I can, but some I will not mention because I either don’t have enough room, I don’t understand them or I did not know they existed. If I leave something out that you love about Android, please don’t hate me. (I am not the most tech-proficient person.)
My favorite aspect of the Android phone model is the ability to customize the entire interface of the phone’s operating system (OS). I enjoy the many seemingly small things I can modify: the clock position on the status bar, the position of the WiFi button and others in the pulldown menu, the app grid on the home screen, as well as the wide array of widgets I can add to the home screen.
By activating the developer mode of Android devices, I have access to more seemingly insignificant changes that can actually have a major impact on my user experience, like USB debugging, animation scales and graphics driver settings. These examples are only a small percentage of the number of changes you can make, but the point is obvious: customization is king.
I know I might get some flack from some in the Android community for this, but I was actually very integrated into the Samsung ecosystem. (I know!) I had a Samsung phone, a watch, a tablet and earbuds. I know some may cringe at the “tablet,” but I assure you that Samsung has finally given Android a rival to the iPad. It is not perfect, but it is close. I had just received the tablet a little over a year ago, so I had fully integrated into Samsung and was pretty content. Android’s design for user customization provided me with a sense of freedom, not to mention the cheaper price tag in comparison to Apple products. So why did I switch? It is a tad complicated and not entirely logical.
My wife and her entire family are avid Apple users–iPhones, iPads, AirPods, Macs, Apple Watches, AirTags, you name it. I was literally the only one with Android. When the new iPhone came out this year, I had the chance to try out my father-in-law’s old iPhone for a few weeks until he had to trade it in. While transferring WhatsApp was literally the worst process possible (Android backs up to Google Drive while Apple backs up to iCloud), the overall experience was actually pretty smooth. I use iMessage all the time, and while it definitely has some technologically underdeveloped features, it is nice and clean. I like FaceTime a lot, and it is a lot less choppy than WhatsApp video calls.
There is something ineffable about the experience of an iPhone. My brothers, who had switched years ago, warned me that I “wouldn’t want to go back.” They were right. My entire phone is less cluttered, my mind is less cluttered and compartmentalizing has never been so easy for me.
As someone who hates constant notifications and seeing a long list of alerts from various apps all in the same menu, using the iPhone has been refreshing. On Android, since all alerts and many quick settings are found in one pulldown menu, it can become sort of messy. I would be using the pulldown menu constantly as a central location to use my phone. On the iPhone, though, the notification menu is by itself, and while it can feel very inefficient, I like that it is its own entity. Now, I let some of my notifications build up, which means I am checking my phone less often, and instead, I deal with them periodically. This has been better for me, as I am not constantly staring at my phone screen. Additionally, I have been very impressed with the ease with which I use the phone. The user interface is overall very clean and organized, and while it took some time to get used to, I feel like a new man.
I still maintain that the technological advantages of Android still outweigh the advantages of Apple, but personally, my integration within the Apple ecosystem and the cleanliness and organization that come along with it are more important to me than some minor advantages in customization. I must admit, I am still occasionally frustrated with a few of the limitations on customizations, but the feeling of freshness and my uncluttered mind make me excited about the switch.
I am not here to convince anyone to switch phones or justify one over the other. The lesson I learned from this experience is that my priorities were tied up with the minutiae and the tiny details. I dwelled too much in the small advantages and the sense of freedom, while unknowingly cluttering and muddling my phone usage. I realized that streamlining my interaction with technology was more important than my perceived technological independence. Perhaps we can learn something from this. Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to see what is important. I spend more time off my phone, allowing me to get more done, and my mind is freer to do the things I enjoy.
I don’t know if my feelings have anything to do with the FOMO from my wife’s family and the many Apple users or with the fact that I love new technology, but I can say that after over two months of using the iPhone, I very much enjoy it, and I don’t plan on switching back anytime soon. Cue the shuddering. I never thought I would turn my back on my own strong feelings and sense of freedom. I may have made my own nightmare come true, but I must say this is one nightmare that is less scary in real life.
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Photo Caption: iPhone
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