Wednesday, November 30, 2011


"If you don't stick to your values when they're being tested, they're not values, they're hobbies." --Jon Stewart

I heard this quote on the radio the other day in the midst of making a decision about my new phone. You see, a little more than a month ago my beloved iPhone went for a swim. In our toilet.

My younger son was "peeing and playing" (we now have an official rule in our house: NO PEEING AND PLAYING) and my iPhone landed in the drink. He knew this was bad. BAD bad. And he came right up to me and confessed with a very worried look on his very sweet face.

I immediately knelt down and let him know it was okay and that I was very proud of him for telling me the truth. Then I plunged my iPhone into a bowl full of rice and waited.

Alas, to no avail. The wet phone in the rice trick didn't work. Nor did a trip to my local Apple store or another vendor they recommended. My iPhone was history.

The thing is, I wasn't really that sad. In fact, the week I went without my iPhone was kind of liberating.

After I walked the kids to school, I would walk home enjoying the fresh air and scenery because my head wasn't stuck in my phone. I wasn't always texting or tweeting or checking email. And when I did, it was on the couch with a cup of tea in hand. A much more pleasant experience than standing up at the kitchen counter in between washing dishes and taking out the trash.

I began to imagine a life without an iPhone, and I liked the picture in my head.

So I logged onto Credo Mobile to see what they had available and, oh baby, this is what I found:
BlackBerry Style 9670 - Purple
The Blackberry Style. Even the name is smooth. 

It was love at first sight.  

With this phone - I told myself - I wouldn't be tempted to walk and text or parent and surf. I would continue to use the paper calendar I had drafted for emergency use while without a phone for a week. And it was a flip-phone, which would fit easily into my pocket. 

Best of all, it wouldn't have all those pesky iPhone apps and games which the kids love to play, which would hopefully keep it out of the toilet. It was - I told myself - the perfect phone.

The best part of all? My new phone company (Credo Mobile) is "more than a network, it's a movement" that "...fight[s] the regressive policies of the right wing," with its profits. Yay!

When my new Blackberry arrived a mere two days later I excitedly unpacked it, plugged it in, set it up and started texting, tweeting and adding contacts like a maniac. I was very pleased with myself when I read in the accompanying paperwork that AT&T and Verizon had given a combined $440,000 to the American Tea Party in 2010. Well, I thought to myself, thank God I am with Credo now. 


It's not an iPhone.

And almost one month in, I kind of miss my iPhone. 

When I see one on TV or in a movie or - the worst - in the hands of someone I know, I feel kind of itchy. Uncomfortable. JEALOUS. The truth is I am tempted, sorely tempted, to dump Credo and my Style and go running back to AT&T and the iPhone.

Except for Jon Stewart. 

In the midst of trying to make this decision (to bail or not to bail) I heard this quote on the radio, "If you don't stick to your values when they're being tested, they're not values, they're hobbies." And it gave me pause. 

More than that, it gave me nausea. And I realized that I have to keep my Blackberry, even if I don't like it. Maybe even BECAUSE I don't like it.

It's not exactly working on the Underground Railroad or hiding Jews in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust - okay, it's NOTHING like that at all - it's not even dragging my ass down to the local Occupy protest, but it's something

It's something I can do to live my values even though it may be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and not what I WANT to do. 

Every time I use my Blackberry I know that a little bit of money is being sent to Amnesty International, Planned Parenthood or the Rainforest Action Network.

And the fact that I don't love it means less time spent like this:

And more time spent like this: 

And THAT is something I value a lot.