Looking around the newsroom today I noticed something: every Mustang Daily nightly staff member has an iPhone, except me.
How this happened, I have no clue. One day I’m sitting around and everyone has all their different non-smart phone cells out, and the next everyone is playing Scramble with Friends. With the shiny white phones in hand, they look like the epitome of modern student journalists. But how did that become the norm?
Yes, 29.2 percent of the cell phone market is made up of the iPhone, but in a nightly staff of 10, nine students with iPhones is approximately three times as many as would normally be expected. And this change happened relatively quickly, with the last hold-outs getting iPhones over winter break.
My theory on this is a simple one: journalism is heavily Apple-dependent.
In case you’re doubting me (as I know some of you are) look for yourself. All of the computers in the labs are Macs, most of the classes require at least a working knowledge of Apple programs and even a majority of the teachers have iPhones. Ask any journalism class, and you’ll find that more than 80 percent of the students carry iPhones as opposed to other smart (or not so smart) phones, and most carry MacBooks, not PCs. They all seem to recognize that iPhones are the sponsored phone of journalism, so lack one and prepare to be as out of tune with the world as your 90-year-old grandmother.
This is even true outside of Cal Poly.
Last summer, I went to a journalism conference in Athens, Georgia, and the same could be said about those students. Most toted around the iPhone 4 (this was of course before the 4S update) with a bundle of apps designated for helping them report the news. Apps aimed at dictating notes, posting stories, editing videos quickly and, of course, keeping up to date on every newspaper/site ever known to man. Some were even sporting that summer’s hot toy, the iPad 2.
Now it’s time for my confession: I might not have an iPhone, but I do have an iPad. So why are you complaining about the whole iPhone thing you ask? The truth is, while my iPad basically does everything I could ever even remotely want (did you know there’s an app for the Oscars? I don’t need it, but I downloaded it anyways), I still want to have that pretty white phone in hand for pure vanity’s sake.
Yes, I realize that the iPhone isn’t the end-all and be-all of smart phones. Android disciples will point out the lack of Flash compatibility in iPhones/iPads, saying it’s stupid to have a phone that can’t handle a huge part of online content. But as Steve Jobs predicted, Flash is going the way of the dinosaurs, so I’m not too concerned about it. Others will say the iPhone is all pomp and circumstance, with no real substance other than that it looks nice. Well, duh. That’s the reason I want it! I’m a shallow person by nature, and if it’s pretty, I’m automatically programmed to want it more. Who wants to be practical with their phone choice when you can have all that nice, clean, awesomness in your hand? But to each his own — whatever makes people happy is what they should go for.
And I’m finally going to go for what makes me happy. In four days, I’m due for an upgrade, so guess who will be chatting with Siri come Sunday.
So watch out — the entire MD staff might just become too busy playing Scramble with Friends to play Let’s Produce a Paper This Week.