The Frustration of Having a Girlfriend With a Lifeproof iPhone Case (Satire)

LifeproofPardon me if this post seems incoherent at times.

I’ve been banging my head against the wall in my apartment each night for the past seven and a half months following try after try to talk with my girlfriend on the phone to simply say goodnight. I have sustained brain damage from these brutal blows to the head to the point where my doctor is starting to question whether I really am the Eric Decker that plays in the NFL or not.

You see, my girlfriend is great and all, but there is one, frustrating problem. I can barely hear her voice when we talk on the phone. In most relationships, maybe this is just a case of having poor cell phone reception or one person just speaks too softly.

My situation is special though. This one problem is because of her Lifeproof brand phone case. You know, the one you can go shark cage diving with or drop off the Sears Tower (Yes, the Sears Tower.) and still have a fully functioning phone.

One small issue with this great of a phone case though. It’s a little too great.

It took the both of us a while to realize this though. At first during our conversations, I could hear her just fine. Sure, her voice would sound a little muffled, but I could still make out what she was saying all right.

But then …

Her sentences would get cut off halfway through. Exhibit A:

“So today I was walking down Wisconsin Avenue … *muffled-ness/mostly silence* … hahaha!”

Me: “Yeahhh … that’s hilarious!” *What did she just say?!*

(Cue all and every bad-boyfriend-who-doesn’t-listen jokes.)

After realizing I couldn’t get away with pretending to hear 100 percent of what my girlfriend was saying, I had to ask her to repeat herself as though I merely misheard her from a loss in concentration or maybe because she was mumbling.

After several months, it was time to put on my detective cap and get to the bottom of this. At first, we both thought her phone was just messed up. Then we thought, why not try taking this Lifeproof case off and see what happens.

So after SEVEN AND A HALF MONTHS of struggling through phone conversations, a few days ago, we tried talking on the phone with her Lifeproof case off. The results:

HER SWEET VOICE WAS CRYSTAL CLEAR. IT WAS LIKE LISTENING TO BIRDS CHIRP WHILE WATCHING A BEAMING SUNRISE. MY EYES OPENED WIDER THAN THE HOOVER DAM. IT WAS LIKE HEARING HER VOICE FOR THE FIRST TIME. TECHNOLOGY REALLY IS SOMETHING.

Making the discovery that my girlfriend’s Lifeproof phone case was the cause of this predicament was life changing to say the least. Suddenly and emphatically, the frustration of talking with my girlfriend on the phone was gone.

I think our relationship is going to survive at least another seven and a half months. Everything will be perfect. Nicholas Sparks will write novels based off these next seven and a half months. Guaranteed.

That and E! will create a show featuring bruised relationships caused by Lifeproof iPhone cases with my girlfriend and I as the co-hosts.

Get your popcorn ready, America!

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iPhones: Buying Them and Our Feelings

iphone-5c-all-colorsI recently upgraded my cell phone from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5c. My mom sent me a text one morning saying, “Hey Eric. You have a phone upgrade. You’re getting the iPhone 5c and I’m going to take your old iPhone.”

Speak not another word, Mom! I’m in. Let’s do it.

Leading up to the release of the iPhone 5c and its big brother, the 5s, I always had in mind I would go with the flashier, more expensive option (the 5s). When my mom told me I would be getting the 5c without having to pay a dime and that if I wanted the 5s I would have to pay the extra $100, my mind definitely became open to the 5c.

I have really enjoyed my iPhone 5c so far. When you take a deeper look at the specs of the iPhone 5c, it is (internally) the same phone as its predecessor, the iPhone 5. Its just cosmetically different. (I went with the blue one!) Essentially, the only upgrade the 5s is to the 5c is a faster processor, a better camera and the fingerprint security technology.

All of that for an extra $100? When the iPhone 5c is already a nice upgrade from my 4s? No thanks.

When you look at the facts of the 5c versus the 5s, I don’t think the 5s is worth the investment due to its lack of innovation.

However, the iPhone 5c seems to have a stigma around it as being a phone not worth spending less on. I’ve heard people say the 5c is “cheap” because the backing is made out of plastic and that the phone seems “cheap” because it costs only $99. Clearly, buying the more expensive iPhone 5s (and solely with it being an Apple product, in my opinion) gives consumers an elitist feeling over other individuals and their cell phone choices. (I know this isn’t true for everyone who buys the iPhone 5s, but it has to be for some people, right?)

Why is this? Why does “status” and our feelings associated with the products we desire affect our buying decisions? If you let your feelings go and look at the raw specs of what you’re getting with your money for a new iPhone, I think you’ll see its a no brainer the 5c is the phone you should go with. Just food for thought.

Oh, and if the colors of the 5c “aren’t your thing,” remind me what your previous iPhone looked like underneath the case that’s been blanketing it the past two years ….

Galaxy Note 3 on the Marquette University Campus

This story was originally posted on vzwmidwestarea.com

Hello, everyone! My name is Eric Decker, and I am a student at Marquette University studying public relations and marketing. When I’m not churning out papers or hitting the books, I enjoy keeping in touch with the latest technology trends. Verizon Wireless made keeping up with technology as easy as it gets by hooking me up with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Recently, I’ve noticed smartphones have become more visually dynamic than ever. This has provided us the bold colors of the iPhone 5c, the sleek-backed iPhone 5s and the nice contrast of black and white with the HTC One.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is no exception.

This phone has a soft leather back that is not only elegant, but easy to grip and use with one hand. Despite the large screen, I had no problem fitting the phone in my pocket.

Studying in the field of communications, I keep up with the news daily. I found myself putting down my personal phone (iPhone 5c) and craving the big screen of the Note 3 to scan for and read articles. There’s no need to squint your eyes or pinch and zoom to read on the Note 3. Texting on the Note 3 was also a breath of fresh air. The big screen meant fewer typos from tapping the wrong keys.

Screenshots_2013-11-06-15-17-01

Reading an article using Pocket app.

I often used the Google Search widget on my home screen to voice search definitions of words while I was reading articles on the phone or even a book for fun. Searching was lightning fast and the voice recognition is surprisingly accurate.

Running around all day from class to extracurricular activities, I never had to worry about the Note 3’s battery life. It was rare I had less than 50 percent left at the end of the day.

By far, my favorite app to use on the Note 3 was NFL Mobile. Watching the NFL on a mobile screen this big is awesome. In the midst of getting homework done, this was one distraction I didn’t mind so much.

And the absolute best part of demoing the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has been all the times when my classmates would ask me, “Whoa, Eric, what kind of phone is that?!” Showing this phone off to my friends was probably more entertaining than using the phone itself.

So big thanks to Verizon Wireless and Samsung for letting me try out an impressive phone, and making me seem a bit more hip and cool these past few weeks.

Put It In Your Pocket

I love to read.

I especially love to read articles on my phone and laptop.

I follow lots of Twitter accounts that push out interesting and relevant articles that I often want to read right that second. For the longest time, I would open the article in Safari and try to remember to read the article there later, but soon I would find myself with a cluttered mobile web browser and a half-dozen articles I never got around to reading.

Then, someone I follow on Twitter tweeted about an app called Pocket.

Pocket is a “read it later” app that stores all of those random articles you wish you could stop time to be able to read, all in one place for you to come back to to read at your leisure.

It’s the simplest ideas that are the most genius.

I downloaded this app as soon as I could and fell in love at first sight. Yes, I believe in love at first sight.

Before and After: Pocket makes reading online simpler.

Before and After: Pocket makes reading online simpler.

Not only is Pocket beautifully designed, but it makes reading articles on your phone or web browser a better experience. Pocket takes your articles (or images or videos) and strips down the Web page of advertisements and everything else that distracts you while you read, and leaves you with just the text and embedded content from that article.

Pocket makes it easy to save articles, too. On your computer, with Google Chrome specifically, you can install the Pocket widget where you can click a button and the Web page you are viewing is saved to Pocket instantly.

You can also sync your Pocket account with your Twitter account and save articles to Pocket straight from Twitter. As for articles you read outside Twitter, just email it to a special address Pocket gives you, and boom, it’s in your Pocket.

And after you’re done reading an article on Pocket, you can either delete, favorite or archive it. Pocket even lets you share what you’ve read to social media or email recipients.

Pocket is an exciting app that has helped me enjoy reading online content more than I previously did. Did I mention Pocket is free? Give it a try.

Why I Deleted the Facebook App from My Phone

No Facebook!

No Facebook!

About a month ago, I decided I was done having Facebook on my phone. I held down my finger on the light blue square with the little white f in the middle until it started wiggling, clicked the little x, then delete and sighed a relief.

I deleted the Facebook app because I realized I didn’t need it anymore.

I’ll admit I was apprehensive when I first deleted Facebook from my phone. That’s what technology has done to my generation; any thought of being separated from it causes some sort of anxiety. Facebook – and all of social media – has become a part of our individual identities. How we look and interact on social media matters just as much as how we appear in real life.

Since the summer of 2012, I have gradually been realizing how much technology – namely my cell phone – consumes my life. I spent a month that summer working at a camp where I fasted from technology. I didn’t check social media once. My phone was on airplane mode almost 24 hours a day and I’ll tell you what: I never felt more alive in my entire life.

Then a few weeks ago, I read a blog post written by a design partner for Google Ventures about how he made his iPhone “distraction-free.” He deleted every app from his phone that had a stream: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. He even disabled Safari and deleted all of his email accounts. It was inspiring to hear of his experience (you should give it a read), but I just couldn’t go through with depleting my cell phone to that extent. However, I was motivated to get rid of Facebook. It just finally made sense.

Before I went through with deleting Facebook, I reflected and realized I only ever checked Facebook when I was bored and/or in a trance of checking every app on my phone for notifications (something that can suck 15 minutes out of your life quite easily; you know you’ve been there).

I realized the Facebook app was sucking more out of my life than giving. It’s been a month without Facebook on my phone and I have no regrets. (I did decide to download the Facebook Messenger app because, hey, that’s basically texting.)

Since I got rid of the Facebook app, I have found – with some effort – I now check my phone less. The impulse to habitually and aimlessly scan my phone for text messages and other notifications has decreased and I don’t feel as consumed by my phone. It’s awesome and I feel less distracted. (Plus, checking Facebook on my computer is now a lot more exciting.)

It’s allowed me to look up more and down at my phone less. Walking to class can actually be peaceful and enjoyable with your phone in your pocket. I still enjoy checking Facebook on my computer and using my phone and its endless capabilities, but I don’t feel as chained by it anymore. I feel freer. So, I challenge you to delete Facebook from your phone, take your phone out of your pocket a little less and see what happens.