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The spy in my pocket

So after a year of prompts and warnings and threats, I updated the operating system on my iPhone. According to Apple, my iPhone was no longer a member of the 21st century, but had begun to operate in the Stone Age.

More concerning to me, being a happy Stone Ager myself, was the increasing likelihood that Apple would simply detonate the phone from afar, as it had become a liability for THE SYSTEM. Whatever that is.

So I updated. Using our home wifi, I babysat my blinking, chirping brilliant iPhone for about eighteen hours, until it demonstrated it was no longer brachiating, but in fact was walking upright, like all modern bipeds.  Good, so far so good, I thought.

When I turned it ON, what eventually emerged from the long sleep was a totally different animal than the one that had been so cheerfully helpful just a day before. What we had now was a failure to communicate, as I realized too late my mistake in allowing my pet to morph into a nattering little nabob of negativity, full of admonitions that deleting worthless photos could easily lead to the loss of all my photos, good and bad, desirable and deletable.

Also turned out that the phone was set to “spy” mode from the get-go.

That is, everything in it that could be used to share my information, track my location, disseminate my photos, and otherwise divulge everything about how I use the phone was set to GO. It took me dang near a week to figure out which switches and buttons to throw in order to eliminate the most egregious spying, but I know there are still parts of the iPhone dedicated to watching me and reporting back to Apple on all my choices. Especially the regrettable ones.

So here I have what was once a friendly and useful pet, and now an annoying little North Korean minder in my pocket. It watches everything I do, type, and say, and although I have done all I could to not share certain things with people who have no business seeing what is on my phone, it nonetheless threatens to destroy everything if I change one photon of how it is now set up.

I don’t know about you, but I lead a pretty simple life, and I really don’t have a lot to hide. But what I do have to hide I really want hidden. No, I do not want to link the iPhone directly to my bank accounts. No, I do not want to automatically share with the world via snapchat, facebook, twitter and etc every photo I take. And so on.

At some point I will tire of being spied upon by Apple, and I will throw this thing into a fire with lots of gasoline to help it along into the dark hell from which it came. And then I will go back to the Stone Age, that happy time when your flip phone simply called people from a list who you wanted to talk with, and it could text them, too, in really important moments, if need be.

Oh, how I long for the days of the antique Flip Phone. It was not a spy in my pocket, but a useful tool, like my pocket knife, also from the Stone Age.

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