It was one of one of those grand summits in the journey through life, when the entire landscape is set before you in ultra-high definition. Suddenly, you know where you are, where you are going and what you have to do to get there.
I upgraded my iPhone.
It was hard. I wanted the new one. But I couldn’t let go of the old.
Hey, for almost three years I had spent my entire life with that warm metal device firmly in my hand, securely in my pocket, on my dash, or lying next to my pillow, measuring my every movement so as to report on my sleep patterns in the morning.
And now, the salesperson was telling me that I had to let it go. For a $70 discount off my new phone, all I had to do was just leave this old one behind.“What will you do with it?” I gulped. “My entire life is on there!”
“What will you do with it?” I gulped. “My entire life is on there!”
“Don’t worry,” he said, “we’ll wipe it clean before reselling.”
My second gulp reverberated through the noisy store. Panic-induced tunnel vision blocked all visual stimuli other than the image of my precious device. The sweat was oozing from my palms; the panic shrilled in my voice.
Fortunately, the salesman kept his cool. Apparently, he’d been through this before.
“All that data,” he told me, “will appear on your new iPhone. All your apps, all your music, your e‑mail, notes, docs, pics . . . all of it.”
“Don’t I have to transfer it first?” I asked.
“That’s not necessary. It’s all in the Cloud.”
Enlightenment began here. The salesman spoke:
“Well, not everything. The apps you purchased, they reside in the app store, from where they were first downloaded to your device. They’ll download again, as soon as this new device becomes attached to your ID. The same with any music you bought from the iTunes store, or books from the iBook store. That’s where they came from, and that’s where they still are. You could say, that’s their real place.”
“And what about everything I’ve created on this phone?” I was trying to sound contained, to act my age, and not doing a great job.
“The docs I’ve written? The pictures I’ve taken? The recordings I’ve made?”
“I’ve checked. Everything you’ve done is stored there in the Cloud. Even your personal settings.”
“And it’s safe there?”
“A lot safer than on your device. Your device has only so much battery, can only can live so long. But in the Cloud, it might as well be there forever.”
Then he went on with his Cloud pitch.
“And once it’s in the Cloud, it’s so much easier to share with others. On our devices, each of us is in our own world. We communicate, we interact, but the devices—they divide us. But there, in the Cloud, it’s all one. So easy to create that synergy that comes through sharing.”At his instruction, I entered my ID and password into that cute little upgrade. I watched in awe as its very soul reappeared before my eyes.
Looking into his eyes, I saw he was confident and earnest. I trusted him. I had to move on in life.
At his instruction, I entered my ID and password into the cute little upgrade. I watched in awe as it connected with the Cloud. Within moments, my treasured contents began to appear, like dry bones rising to life from the dust. All the apps that had once resided on my old device, along with all that I had created upon it, even my personal settings, popped up, one by one. Its very soul reappeared before my eyes.
I held it in my hand and began to stroke its surface, interfacing with its buttons. Yes, it was my old handheld self, but so much more sensitive, so much crisper and brighter, speedier and spacier. Life had just moved up a notch.
Life. Yes, that’s pretty much what’s on there. There’s this new voice that doesn’t understand most of what I say. Messages I have little interest in. Tchatchkas that I have no clue what to do with. Life.
Only now, it’s a higher life.
I lay in bed that night, my iPhone carefully placed facedown next to my pillow (plugged in, and not under covers, as per the instructions—and in Do Not Disturb mode), and I wondered, “What is this body, if not the real me? Where do I really reside? What’s up with Body 2.0? And all that I create down here, where is that stored? Who am I sharing it with? Who are we, really? Who am I?”