Oct 112010
Authors: Molly Ungerer

“Everything you need to be entertained.” This is the first link that popped up when I searched “iPod” in Google.

Who really needs friends, family, TV, radio, sports or outdoor activities any longer when you can have an iPod, iPhone or iPad? What is the first thing that you think of when considering Apple’s new technology?

This probably really depends on your status with Apple’s latest trends. For those of you who have and utilize iPods, the iPhone or iPad to their fullest potential, you probably thought “oh! You mean my best friend? My better half? All I’ll ever need?”

Those of us who still have a need for human contact probably instantly thought of a close loved one that we’ve recently lost to the deep, indefinite grasp of the I-devices.

It’s rather tragic and unfortunate when you hear that someone else has caught the dreadful infection. It’s as if your friend isn’t really “there” anymore. They’ve moved onto a better place now, a land of unlimited wonderment and never-ending entertainment where they don’t need and depend on the resources of the real world anymore.

They actually end up becoming one with their device. They often acquire new names too as if they’re not the same person that you once knew. For example, my friend Dillon is now iDillon. It’s a minor adjustment to their initial name but it makes all the difference in the way they live their lives.

I remember when Dillon first changed his identity to iDillon. We didn’t see him as much; his parents couldn’t get him to leave his room, and he lost weight due to his ongoing entertainment that wiped his memory of his everyday needs.

On the rare occasion that Dillon did make it to hang out with us, the only time he spoke up was when he was settling a debate among the group. Dillon’s new identity gave him the resources to look up any information on the World Wide Web.

Other than settling these little disputes, Dillon never really took part in any conversation or activities we had going on. He seemed so distant and involved with his new identity.

As a lot of you know, Dillon is not the only case and certainly isn’t as bad as some cases may get. Over the following months, we had an intervention with Dillon and slowly weaned him off of his ceaseless time with his iPhone. Dillon is still recovering and still has his iPhone but really only uses it in time of need or if we ask him to look something up.

People who have been infected with this outbreak are easily excitable when new Apple products come up in conversation.

They may excessively babble on, discussing all the features and great deals that come with it. These are usually symptoms that occur a while after becoming infected. We like to think of the first few months with the iPhone as infatuation. After a while the user may become slightly bored or begin thinking of ways he or she can better his experience by purchasing the latest model.

Other, early symptoms of this ailment include: Minimal verbal communication, loss of interest in usual activities, memory loss when it comes to everyday needs and sensations of being a “know-it-all.”

I’ve seen this happen to several friends. The person turns into an empty shell of a being. All of their connections, concentration and affection go into their new electronic apparatus that has now captured any personality that they once had. They no longer need the love and attention of real beings.

This rampant eruption of infection is spreading faster than anyone ever thought possible. Because people are making bank off of this phenomenon, I have a hard time believing that the production of iGadgets will slow anytime soon.

All we can do is try to help our loved ones before they completely cut off human association and become one more tally for team iPeople.

Molly Ungerer is a sophomore journalism major. Her column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:53 pm

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