The iPhone and Social Media

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The iPhone has been around for a couple years now and since it was born, its role in social media has been steadily climbing. When it first came out, it was seen as a luxury and as the newest fun toy. I’m not one of those people that must always have the newest technology and will spend any amount of money to get it. In fact, I was one of the last of my friends to get an iPod and I still use the same one—one of the old nanos. Recently, mostly since I began my job at Meredith, I feel the need, and sometimes actual pressure, to get an iPhone.

This started because I went to a meeting where they were discussing an app they wanted to create. Suddenly, I felt lost and behind because I had no idea how to contribute. I don’t know anything about apps or how an iPhone functions. I didn’t even know there were so many apps available. So I started asking around and learned that an iPhone is basically the world at your fingertips.

The Internet is obviously a plus and, unlike other types of phones, it looks and functions like the Internet on a computer. I find this to be extremely useful since I could easily update Facebook, Twitter, and my blog any time, anywhere. And isn’t that the point of all this social media talk at school? Aren’t we supposed to be constantly paying attention to that world? I would be so much more inclined to participate if it was that easy.

I was looking at iPhone stuff on time.com and they have multiple lists of the best kinds of apps—Top iPhone Applications, 20 Money-Saving iPhone Apps, Ten Best iPhone Apps for Dads and Moms, Top 10 Back-To-School iPhone Apps. There are so many options I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But I do know that, especially in New York City where the world spins a mile a minute, having an iPhone is a necessity. Do you guys feel this way too? For those of you who have iPhones, does it make a difference?

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10 responses to “The iPhone and Social Media

  1. Believe me, I’ve felt the pressure of the iPhone this semseter.

    It seems like almost half of our classmates has an iPhone, which leaves me with my dinky phone (with no Internet access, mind you) way behind in the dust. The only person in my family who has an iPhone is my aunt, which she loves the thing.

    So am I going to give in when my cell phone contract expires soon? I might, but the downfall of the contract is that I’m sharing minutes with three other people in my family, and we don’t want to really pay for all the extra media packages and stuff. It’s something that I’m really going to have to convince my parents on.

  2. I would really love an iPhone as well. And I agree, there is a tremendous pressure to constantly join the conversation wherever you are, whenever you can.

    We should be constantly paying attention, you’re right, but I think that if it’s such a necessity to have an iPhone, why are they so expensive?? Yes, the applications and internet capabilities are great, but I don’t want to pay $70 a month for it. Call me a tightwad, but that’s a huge chunk of change, especially for a college student or recent graduate.

    At least Christmas is just around the corner…

    • It’s really amazing how many applications the iPhone has. Recently I read an article about an art museum app – it’s like you don’t even need to travel any more!

      The iPhone is a loaded device; It’s got nearly EVERYTHING you need (except maybe food, water and oxygen…which will probably come out in the next upgrade). I think that part of why I don’t really want one is because it’ll evolve into another appendage. I mean, I get separation anxiety from going without my beat-up, brick of a phone. What the heck would happen if your iPhone lifeline was severed?

  3. Ann Schnoebelen

    My first cellphone went for a dip in a hot tub, was a doggie chew toy, and fell off the top of my car after I forgot it up there before driving away. All that, plus it flew out of my hands and spiraled across the floor daily as my not-so-graceful self bustled around. But no joke, it worked just fine when my two-year contract ran out.
    Last weekend when my friend spilled some Mountain Dew on her iPhone, she had to pay $200 for a new one.

    I’m totally ready to indulge my social media habit and time-wasting abilities with a brand new iPhone. But I don’t know if iPhone is ready for me. As of right now, it’s still too expensive and too fragile for a broke klutz like me. It kind of sucks to be that practical, especially when I do often feel like I’m lagging behind. But like I said, my phone seriously has to be the cockroach of cellphones and withstand just about anything.

    At least I learned how to update my Twitter via text last night, so I still have that to occupy me for a while.

  4. Mary Bess Bolling

    As a proud iPhone user since June 2009, I can confidently say it makes staying connected much easier. It came in especially handy this weekend when I traveled to Austin and was able to find the nearest gas station and map directions for the driver at the touch of a button. I would’ve searched McDonald’s, but we didn’t need any help with that – we hit one in all five states on our 15 hour trip down.

    It’s incredibly useful I’m on it nearly all the time. In between classes, I’m checking news updates on my CNN app, texting, listening to music and engaging in a barrage of other activities via app.

    It does make a difference in terms of networking. In the professional aspects of my life, I value the iPhone more than in the personal aspects. It allows me easy access to sources but it almost keeps me so connected digitally that I’m disconnected at a personal level.

    • First off, ugh, McDonalds. I haven’t quite recovered yet.

      I am constantly discovering the wonder of the iPhone, although the initial novelty has long since worn off. One of the most useful apps is called “Around Me” which lets you search a variety of locations including gas stations, restaurants and bars in seconds. It sure came in handy when I was driving home and realized I was in the middle of nowhere and extremely low on gas. I doubt I would have found that Casey’s General Store only three miles away if I hadn’t had that application.

      In terms of social media, the facebook application is amazing, but what I really like is the text messaging design. I have the ability to easily scroll between conversations and read past conversations all the way back to when I purchased my iPhone. It’s perfect for rechecking what someone said quickly, not like my old phone where I had to sift through comments which were frequently deleted.

  5. I am asking for an iPhone for Christmas–heads up parents. This may pose a problem considering I am on the Sprint network, oh well. I am on the same page as you Kate, I feel left out and behind because I don’t have all the latest apps and tools at my fingertips at all times.

    I visited Hearst Corporation in NYC over fall break and spoke to a couple of employees and they of course brought up social media and guess what–the iPhone applications. It should almost be a requirement–or Professor Wright should suggest incoming first-year journalism majors to have an iPhone, like he urged my parents to splurge on my Macbook. I know it may sound outlandish, but I stand by it. I not only WANT an iPhone, I NEED one…NOW.

    • I wrote about this in my comment on the Volkswagon iPhone app post a few weeks ago: I think the fact that the iPhone limits you to the AT&T network is the biggest downfall. However, I’ve been doing a little research, and I found a few new “iPhone rivals” that bloggers seem to be excited about. One is with Sprint, one is a Samsung and one is a Nokia. The big draw to the Nokia is that it isn’t subsidized by a telecom company. This means you can use it with your current subscriber. But, it doesn’t access the same apps as the iPhone and it’s marked up to $650 because its not associated with a cellular service provider. So, I can’t picture that taking off with college students anytime soon. Plus, it looses the “app appeal.” However, I remain scared of the Apple iPhone monopoly, so my hope is that these new products can maybe work their way into the market. Especially if jobs are essentially requiring you to get an iPhone (like at Hearst), that definitely sounds like a monopoly problem.

  6. I’ve wanted an iPhone since they came out. But I’ve been stuck with my Motorola Razr (those used to be cool phones… right?) for almost two years–which means it’s almost time for me to change plans! However, since I’m still on my parent’s plan, I don’t get to force them to go with AT&T. And I know they won’t, because it’s too expensive.

    So what other options are there for those of us who can’t afford an iPhone but want something just as great? Is the iPhone what the college graduate needs to have in order to be successful, or can we own another snazzy, high-tech phone like the HTC Hero with Google (Sprint’s newest phone that I’m currently salivating over…) and still be able to keep up with the times?

    I know it was a great business move for Apple to stay just with AT&T, but I don’t feel like I have to pay for their plan in order to get a great phone that will help me stay connected. (And also become an extra appendage.)

  7. I am so glad that I’m not the only one who feels that way and who feels the pressure from the journalism school/world. Thank god for Christmas! I’ve heard the Droid does similar things to the iPhone, but I’m skeptical if it’s really the same. I’m luckly with AT&T so I’ll probably get an iPhone just to be on the safe side. When people start making apps they make them for the iPhone first, so I know I can’t go wrong.

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