Dear iPhone: I Love You. I Hate You.

By Geoffrey A. Fowler Features Dow Jones Newswires

Dear iPhone,

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How do I love thee? Let me count the apps.

A decade ago, Steve Jobs said you were "three revolutionary products" in one. He was wrong. You've already displaced so many more: alarm clocks, guitar tuners, pocket calculators, atlases, Filofaxes, dictaphones and weathermen (sorry, Al Roker), to name a fraction.

But you're no "product" at all: You're a life partner. You're the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at before I sleep. There's no turning you off.

I'm never bored when we're together. I always have a book to read, plus something to do that's more pressing than finishing my book. For example, crushing candy.

You're a handsome showboat that lets me lord it over most Android friends or, bless their hearts, BlackBerry people. Go ahead, show them your 3D touch.

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I love you because I can pretend I'm at work by replying-all, "I'm on it, " then burrowing back under covers.

You're the important thing I need to attend to during awkward elevator rides with Forgot Her Name from Accounting. You're also way cooler to fidget with than a cigarette and probably not as dangerous.

I was smitten from the moment I realized, with you in my hand, I could always name the 20th president (provided I have service, of course).

Then I realized I could also no longer get lost, including in places where people speak Finnish. Together, we can always find a 4.5-star coffee or foot massage or Cronut in a three-block radius.

You've made it feel safe for me to get in a stranger's car, and even take candy from him.

Because of you, there's no chance I'll inadvertently lose touch with family or friends. (Of course, that means most "Seinfeld" episodes no longer make sense.)

You make me want to express myself. In the decade before my first iPhone, I took 39,242 photos. In the decade since, I took 159,154. According to you, 5,407 were selfies, which seems low to be honest.

Without you, my cherished memories would be locked in my head. It's hard to imagine climbing a mountain without sharing a 360-degree panorama of it with all my friends -- and their own beloved iPhones.

I love you because my parents learned to send photos in iMessage, and I also love them. Even when they're far away, I feel like I'm with them.

I love you because as soon as I realize that I'm out of Cheez Whiz I can instantly order more Cheez Whiz. Or I can walk into a hip local bookstore and find a cool book, then scan the bar code and buy it for $5 less on Amazon. (Wait, is that wrong?)

I love you because you pacify unruly children at dinner parties. In-app purchases are cheaper than babysitters.

I love you, because I will never again have to purchase bathroom reading material.

Now that you're waterproof, we don't ever have to be apart. Ever. Ever.

Love,

Geoff

Dear iPhone,

We need to talk. It's not you, it's me.

Ten years ago, I was the kind of person who enjoyed rock concerts, sunsets and rainbows. With you in my life, capturing them has become a competitive sport.

So has spotting and seizing available power outlets at airport gates, dodging people FaceTiming while walking down the street, and trying to teach auto-correct that it's "analytics," not "anal ticks."

Maybe it is you, iPhone. You've become less a "phone" than an always-on portal to work, distraction and frighteningly addictive personal-data vacuums. (Don't act like Mark Zuckerberg isn't your BFF.)

I can't forgive you for making oversharing an occupation. Selfies have killed or injured hundreds. That's not fake news!

You're so possessive. You're the reason I ignore my family at the dinner table, my colleagues in meetings, and the traffic I'm about to walk into.

I have woken up my human spouse on more than a few occasions with the bright light of your screen while tapping out a response to a work query at 2 a.m.

Thanks to you, I have email with me literally at all times, but somehow I still have 48,836 unread emails.

You're the reason a quarter of American teens have unfettered internet access almost "constantly." What could possibly go wrong?

iPhone, I hate you for killing pub trivia night. Nobody actually recalls the name of the 20th U.S. president, not because he was only in office for 200 days, but because you answer for us.

You're an emotional slot machine. Every time I look at you, approximately 180 times each day, it's something new. And I now have the attention span of a squirrel. I'm never just alone with my -- ooh, a Like!

You're so fragile. Your battery is always on the edge of life support. Your sleek "rose gold" body is entirely obstructed by a battery backpack that makes you look like Quasimodo.

Your "Storage Almost Full" message literally ruins vacations. How about starting by automatically deleting all the blurry photos you took in dark restaurants?

Owning an iPhone used to be edgy; now it's as safe as a Volvo. I sure hope design guru Jony Ive is bringing his A-game for the 10th-anniversary iPhone X Apple's-Still-Innovative-Dammit edition.

Leave you? Ha. One time I accidentally handled you while cutting jalapeños. For a week, you made my skin burn every time I picked you up. But I still couldn't stop tapping.

My parents aren't going to learn a new message app. If I leave you for an Android, I might never hear from them again.

Like it or not, we're connected. I feel the phantom vibrations of your notifications even when you're not in my pocket. When surveys ask what people would rather give up, you or sex, the results are super sad.

Do you love me? "You're looking for love in all the wrong places," you say with that perky Siri voice.

iPhone, after 10 years, I just can't quit you.

Sigh,

Geoff

P.S.: Please come out in blue.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 21, 2017 12:54 ET (16:54 GMT)