The Exuberance of Avarice

I intended to try my hand at making some videos for this post, but it didn’t happen after a day and I’d rather post out the experience while it’s fresh, then wait. It’s likely a benefit for you as well because my poor video skills might distract from the content, however “seeing is believing” so you’ll have to do your best to visualize!

Sunday my wife and I went to B&N to start on our Christmas shopping. It’s a longer story to explain why we were shopping at a brick and mortar store but in the end, despite going to the counter with many purchases, we actually left everything there because we couldn’t receive the discount we expected.

That’s the context however, and not really the point of this post and it’s enough to realize that we were gleefully book shopping as the two of us love to do. During this I experienced a few ways in which my iPhone became a “game changer” for me.

I’m really not one to “brag” about my gadgets and I hate it when people show you every little feature of something they have, especially when it doesn’t seem that impressive. However, in about an hour here’s the evolution of my experience that night and the ways the iPhone “clicked” for me.

  1. Take a photo of a book I’m interested in remembering – I’ve done this with my old phone and even had a set of scripts so I could text message ISBN numbers to add books to my “to read” list. However, with the iPhone’s big screen this becomes a more satisfying (and less squinting) experience.
  2. Looked up the price for Wikinomics – My wife handed me this book and I was instantly sold, however I wasn’t sure if it was a reasonable price. So I opened up Safari and went to and checked their price. Amazon has an iPhone optimized page and it was a very “instantly satisfying” experience.
  3. Facebook’d someone with a question – We’d been talking about buying a “family game” for holiday entertainment, but weren’t sure if the family in question owned the game. So I hopped on the Facebook’s iPhone page and left a message. I got a response in about 5 minutes so we knew we could get the game right then!
  4. Called my wife when I got lost – Granted it’s not the most iPhone specific activity and I’m sure we’ve all done this before. However what “clicked” was when I realized I’d done everything with the same device! It wasn’t a matter of having to pull my cellphone out for this specific activity.
  5. Had our shopping list emailed to me – My wife had a “note” on her iPhone with the books we were looking for, and we decided it would be better to split up, so she simply emailed me a copy of the list. Technology actually making it easy to share!
  6. I decided to check the Colts score – We couldn’t watch the end of the game because of time constraints but at least I could find out who won. Again it’s not iPhone specific but this is when I started to realize I could “play” with the connectivity provided by my “phone”.
  7. Checked Amazon for book reviews – I was caught up in the programming section and pulled up Amazon to check out the reviews for the “Python Essential Reference“. It made me feel “not alone” in trying to decide the value of something.

I’m sure many of the geeks among you have utilized similar functions to fulfill similar situations, for me this was just “my time” to “get it”.

I realized in the span of an hour how in many ways a still naive tool could make my life more “seemless“. It’s less about the specifics and more about the realization of what’s to come, and I want more!

About jay

I'm trying to build something interactive where I can learn from others and hopefully share useful knowledge too.
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2 Responses to The Exuberance of Avarice

  1. jay says:

    I think those are great examples, especially Epicurious. We could all be “more careful” and put more time and energy into everything we do (though consequently we’d do less).

    The big impact of Technology has always been to allow us to do new things, but more typical it’s allow us to do “regular” things faster and easier (which will usually as a consequence enable new things).

    As I recounted my experience to a friend today we both admitted there was nothing “new” in what I did. However, as it put it… It’s just that I didn’t need to carry a laptop to do it”.

    For the iPhone it seem about “getting the technology out of the way” as much as possible, and it proved that to me with that experience.

  2. Molly says:

    I, too, enjoy using the iPhone to get everything in one handy tool. It’s easy to make a ‘note’ – which incidentally looks really neat because it looks like it’s actually on notepaper – and share it with someone.
    You made a good point about us sharing the B&N shopping list, but I have also used the note feature to make grocery lists. But the iPhone offers so much more – I have a ‘note’ with my shopping list, but I can also open up the web page for and check the recipe just in case. Then I can call you at home to see if we actually need a certain ingredient. Of course, this would all be negated if I put careful thought into my original list, but being that I’m usually short on time and running around trying to meal plan and shop at the same time, the iPhone is a wonderful convenience!

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