Ipad Withdrawal

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Sang Hee Park

It all began when my screen turned black. Silent yet anxious, I tapped the back of the device and looked for any signs of life. Nothing happened. I pressed the home and sleep button at once, a well-known restart technique. No dice. I breathed heavily, feeling my composure crumbling like a junior’s mental state during the AP weeks – slowly, and then all at once.

At the Apple Store, I stood awkwardly in the speaker aisle, glancing over the newest models. I checked my phone. Nearly half an hour had passed. As soon as I considered losing all hope, I saw a familiar Apple Genius walk my way.

    “What’s the diagnosis, doc?” I asked with bated breath, studying her face for any emotion. She slowly took off her prototypical Apple iGlasses(TM) and gave me a sympathetic look.

    “We… weren’t able to save it. I’m sorry.”Sang Hee Park

Seconds rolled by as we stood still in the busy store, interrupting the life bustling around us like a stone in a tidal pool. Quietly, I thanked her for her time, refused her offer for a slightly-less expensive replacement, and headed home.

Living without an iPad wasn’t so bad. After all, any digital school assignments could be just as easily completed on my iPhone. I could easily re-download any apps and re-save any documents. Life would go on as normal, and I would be just fine. I was stronger than this.

After a week, I started feeling an itch. I would reach into my backpack, instinctively groping for the slender tool, only to forcibly snap back to reality. I longed for the larger screen, feeling underwhelmed by my phone’s miniscule glow. Reminders of my past lifestyle became unavoidable. The high school was a colony of people with iPads, and every day I resisted the urge to touch one; the path to an addiction always started with a simple dabbling.

I became moody and temperamental, snapping at teachers, classmates, and strangers alike. My fingers sported bruises and bandages from absent-mindedly tapping random tables like touchscreens. I argued with people online and complained that Apple products from Walmart were just poorly made to begin with. In a fit of rage, I wrote a letter to Tim Cook and subsequently blacked out for 4 days. Once I recovered, seeing any large rectangle made me twitch. Sometimes, I would see iPads where there was nothing. I closed my eyes; the Apple logo flickered back at me.

My parents grew concerned. Unable to spend more money, they encouraged me to use the desktop computer whenever I wanted, but I turned down their offer. Deep down, I knew that I would never be the same. I could never feel that same joy I had with my friend. My partner.

I write this article as a memoir, an introspective view on my toils as a human. Please, I implore you – don’t let the machine take over your life. I was able to recover, but the loss cripples me to this day. I hope everyone who reads this can gain something from my journey. That includes you, Tim Cook.