OCD and the iPhone

Continuing the series debuted with “OCD and the Fitbit,” I’d like to further embarrass myself by providing you with another window into my dysfunctional relationship with portable electronics.

I got an iPhone 6 on Saturday. It’s truly a thing of beauty. Aesthetically, anyway: I can’t tell you much about its functionality beyond what I read in the dozens of reviews I studied prior to purchase.

Even my iPhone thinks I shouldn't let my OCD get the best of me.
Even my iPhone thinks that I shouldn’t let my OCD get the best of me.

Why? The answer should be obvious.

The chances that I’ll damage my stunning gold iPhone (yep, I’m an Apple fangirl) increase exponentially every time I lay my carefully washed hands on it.

I wish I could operate like a “normal” person and use a new device immediately after acquiring it. Instead, there’s an extended “getting to know you” period during which I try to habituate myself to the idea that the phone/laptop/whatever I’ve just bought is meant to be touched and taken out of the house.

Then there’s a lingering sense of discomfort.

Then there’s the occasional freakout. The problem is, I’m able to convince myself that every fingerprint is a scratch. If I find a genuine scratch, no matter how tiny, I feel like I’ve destroyed the object in question and wish I could get rid of it and start afresh. (This, ladies and gentlemen, is called “black and white thinking.”)

Within a few days, I’ll have come to terms with the fact that with no risk comes no reward. Specifically, without removing my iPhone 6 from the safety of my living room, I won’t be able to experience it like it deserves to be experienced. Or, if I want to pretentiously bring it back to Italian Studies, I could quote Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote that “never was anything great achieved without danger”; this is is clearly appropriate since I would likely achieve minor greatness with my iPhone—Instagram a celebrity during the Toronto International Film Festival, for example—if only I could face the threat associated with exposing it to the environmental perils of the outside world. But God knows that when I do, it’ll be swathed in a thick layer of protective materials of various descriptions and that I’ll shed a tear or two at the first little dint that appears on its now-flawless exterior.


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