Have you seen the Beatles documentary, “Get Back”? These four men who are known as a cultural unit, these four friends who played together for decades, these members of one tight band — well, they can’t always reach other. “Is George coming?” “iPhone.” “Is John coming?” “I dunno.”

And then they sit there, waiting. When they decide to make phone calls, they talk about it like it’s a big decision, someone stands up and walks away, then returns a few minutes later to report back to the group.

It’s ringing permanently iPhone:

”I think they say at one point about John’s phone, which to me suggested a rotary phone with the receiver dangling off the hook in a messy room strewn with books and guitars, where two people in love just didn’t want to be bothered.

Meanwhile, in my non-celebrity life in 2021, my husband recently gave me an iPhone case with a little pocket on the back for credit cards. He’s seen me fishing around in the thing I call a wallet (it’s really just an envelope-sized zippered leather pouch) for my cards, he’s heard me calling gas stations to ask if I dropped my card near the pump, he’s noticed that my pouch doesn’t fit in my pocket so I just throw in loose items, like my driver’s license, that he wouldn’t want me to lose. He thought this would help. Maybe it would, if it didn’t provoke a complete.

existential crisis iPhone.

I hate my phone. It’s clunky dark electronic obsessive all-encompassing necessary efficient expensive expensive expensive conformist heavy indispensable expected invasive uncontrollable. And I don’t like it.

I’ve tried leaving it, downgrading it, screen-timing it, weaning myself off it: Nothing works. It’s trained my mind to want to do everything — like ordering groceries or answering an email — right away. But it’s not like that efficiency results in me having moments of peace. Because there’s always more to do, because there’s always more I can do.

Were a Beatle in 1969:

I thought as we watched the documentary, I wouldn’t have an iPhone. I wouldn’t have to carry around a tiny flat computer, and it wouldn’t have to do double duty as a wallet, and it would be okay to just sit, slumped over in a director’s chair, drinking endless gallons of strong tea and maybe stroking my locks of hair or enjoying the warmth of an ostrich-feather coat.

It would be acceptable to just wait. In those moments of waiting, I could make decisions about whether I wanted to remain seated, or instead walk to the piano and tinker, or make up words to a song. If I were home, and somewhat forgetful or disdainful of my obligations, I could take a receiver off the hook. It would make me unreachable. People would to be transport to my location to contact me.
All this would be true, if I were a Beatle in 1969.

But iPhone just a woman in 2021

Standing in front of you with an iPhone case that also functions as a wallet, asking you what the f— happened.
(In between these two paragraphs, I picked up my phone to check emails. Nothing new. So maybe I’ll eat something? It’s a state of constant craving.
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) But it’s not like that efficiency results in me having moments of peace. Because there’s always more to do, because there’s always more I can do.

If I were a Beatle in 1969.

I’d be waiting for another Beatle to show up for rehearsal, not for my next email. Which, by the way, is the most intangible thing ever — you don’t know when it will come, from whom, or what it will say. There’s no way to predict your next text message or email.
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You don’t know what it will be. So why are you waiting for it? Why am I waiting for it? How can I be constantly awaiting something that I do not even know?
Am I anything without my phone? I don’t remember who I was before, and my phone has changed me, so whatever and whoever I would be is someone I haven’t met before. Someone who’s always reaching for something, always ready to answer, always on the alert for a notification.