My iPhone is a true horror to behold. The screen is cracked with a fine web of lines, the sparkly cover has yellowed with London pollution, and the charging cable has frayed to the point where it looks like a serious fire hazard.
It also barely works. Out of the measly 16GB storage, the system storage is taking up 10.53GB. This means I regularly have to rotate through apps, swapping Citymapper and Uber in and out of use because I don’t have space for them to both be on my phone. More than once this problem has led to me being either stranded or very lost in a city where I can’t connect to the WiFi.
And the camera is dire. Especially the one on the front. I’m fairly confident that I could draw a picture that looks more like my face than the images produced by the selfie cam.
Related: Here’s what we made of the iPhone XR
But listen, we all have unnecessary emotional attachments to worldly items, and I’m bound to this phone probably – tragically – forever.
The phone was given to me as a Christmas present in 2015, when it was still a shiny new model and cost way too much. A lot of care and thought went into choosing the model, with an understanding that this would be a useful tool for city life.
For the first two years the iPhone was a lifeline for an idiot baby journo newly arrived in London. It helped me navigate new transport systems, I used it to fastidiously record any interviews, and it made me seem like a functioning adult who had a working phone. (For context, my previous phone was a BlackBerry Curve 9370 that had half of its buttons missing.)
Now of course it’s not so useful. It’s more of a slow-moving hindrance that I have to nudge into functioning when I need it. A sort of embarrassment, really, when you work for a tech site.
But it also, annoyingly, serves as a reminder of what the second half of my twenties looked like in London. It’s crammed with pictures and memories. I also find myself feeling an overwhelming sympathy for this phone, which is ageing along with me, picking up a few cracks and scuffs along the way.
In addition to the fact that it’s a weird physical memento for that transitional period, it was also bloody expensive when it was first gifted to me, and probably more than those who gave it could afford. In fact it was such an embarrassingly high price in 2015 that I’m not sure I can ever be rid of the thing without feeling a significant amount of guilt.
Giving a bonkers-expensive gift to someone for Christmas is very generous, but it also means that they can never truly be free of it.
So I have decided to never part with it. Maybe I’ll have it fashioned into a terrible ironic necklace or instead opt to be cremated with the damn thing.