Saturday, February 6, 2010

Iphone screen broken. Is it more valuable now?

The day after the ipad was announced, my iphone tried to commit suicide. I synched it with my PC and it decided it was time to start from scratch and would not synch. Instead all content got erased. I had to basically format it and start all over.

Yesterday, my iphone decided it was not enough and leapt out of my hand onto the concrete floor and the screen broke.

The touch screen still works just fine although you can feel the seams as you use it


I am at Interactions10 in Savannah, GA and had been to two great talks about how our relationship with objects change over time. Richard Banks presented a talk called “The 40 year old tweet” on how we imbue meaning into objects that reminds us of special occasions or periods of our lives and went on to talk about how we also have that relationship with at least some digital objects. Matt Cottam presented a talk on “Heirloom Electronics” in which he discussed how time adds patina to objects and how that seems to make them more valuable to us. Both great talks.

Today I have taken extra special care of my iphone.

I am afraid I might break it more, so I take it out of my pocket more slowly than before. I touch it more gently so I don’t break the screen more.

I have also started to notice new things. Like the button in the middle. It is obviously not part of the glass surface, but I had never thought about that before. Also, the phone has become more a thing in itself. I suddenly look at it differently, it means something new. Before it was just a glittery tecno object with little soul, its only purpose being a portal to the contacts and information made possible by the applications. Now, it draws attention to itself and I look at it without turning it on. Examine it even, and I have begun thinking about other ways to make it more personal. Maybe i will try some acid or some burning on the back of it to see what it can take?


I  guess I will try to fix the screen because after all, even though it’s got a lot more personality now, it is no longer able to really serve its original and primary purpose, but if I end up buying a new one, I think I will keep this one around, if for nothing else, as a reminder of my trip to Savannah.


  1. Two thoughts:

    1. Me crying out when I saw an iPhone featured on
    2. The silicone cases used on both iPhones have clearly been worth their weight in gold. Not only is it easier to grip, when a phone does fall, it bounces :)

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