Show of hands on how many of you have visited an Apple store recently and gotten out in oh, say, less than a half-hour?
I can’t see you, of course, but I bet not many hands are raised. Going to an Apple store is like the Luis Bunuel film “The Exterminating Angel,” in which the guests can’t leave a party. (Since this is mainly a cultural blog, I should point out that it was made into an opera.)
But back to Apple: I was there for three hours. The crime for my sentence? I had locked myself out of my iCloud account, for which I needed a password that couldn’t be sent to the account, because it was — you guessed it — locked. See the problem here? See the Kafkaesque vicious circle here? Unfortunately, many at the Genius Bar did not because like their late founder, Steve Jobs, they do not live in anything that approaches everyday reality with what could remotely be called common sense.
In all fairness, a technician named Ellie saved the day but only after I went to the Verizon store to verify for Apple that I had indeed purchased the iPhone and then agreed to have my phone scrubbed so that I could get a new iCloud account. My photos are gone but not, thank God, those 5,000 emails on four email accounts from people like Apple. Thank goodness those are safe along with Apple’s crackerjack security system.
You know what? Instead of Apple protecting people from their own accounts — honestly, it was like knowing your house was secure but being unable ever to enter it because you lost the key — perhaps the company could develop some software to deal with harassing emails and voicemails. David Brooks has a column in today’s New York TImes about fear — and fear is a real thing in a world of attacks on houses of worship and a leadership that inculcates fear rather than inspiring the electorate to transcend it, the way President Franklin D. Roosevelt did.
But there is also the amorphous anxiety that arises from a technology that creates problems it then fails to solve.
Catherine Price also has a column in today’s Times, about the health dangers of spending too much time on the cell phone.
Gee, ya think?