This was the big moment for me, when I realized human life had changed for good, that technology had leaked into my soul and corrupted my view of nature, and that I could no longer blame everything on Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch.
I was out in L.A. with friends hiking through Rustic Canyon on a Saturday morning. We were high in the hills, looking for this legendary house we’d heard Murdoch or some other gazillionaire had built by razing the top of a mountain until it was as ﬂat as a helipad. Views for miles. This is how you get exercise in L.A. You go hunting for the vistas of celebrities you despise.
It was a stunning day and a steep climb, and soon we forgot about Casa Murdoch. Nature was all around us, rolled out like a carpet, a coquettish sun peeking out of the clouds. We climbed up a ridge that suddenly afforded an unguarded view of all of Santa Monica. And there they were: views for miles. That’s when the sun broke out in a single ecstatic jolt, and the four of us stood there and stared out at the Pacific Ocean in complete and utter awe.
“Oh man, I wish I had my iPhone with me so I could experience this!”
Ha— I said it as a comic bleat, a sort of soft, sarcastic belching of the soul. It’s true: I’d left Siri in the car. (She’d been acting up.) And I was kidding! I didn’t need to take photos or slightly improve the Pacific Ocean by way of Hipstamatic. I was with my best friends, soaking up the moment, existing in the general vicinity of now. But I sure missed my phone.