Something amazing happened to me during my last maternity leave last summer – I finally got my Starbucks Gold Card in the mail. I say finally, not because it took me so long to work up enough points to earn the card (if you know me, you know I can find a Starbucks in any town at any time with my eyes closed) , but because it took an ETERNITY for my card to arrive. But arrive it did, and I’ve used it on a daily basis every day since then. We’ve had a lovely relationship. But, it’s over. I’ve fallen for something else and I’ve fallen hard.
The first time I used my Starbucks mobile card, I remember feeling nervous. What if it didn’t work? What if I held up the whole line standing there trying over and over again while people behind me grew angry, their caffeine withdrawal causing them to yell at me with maniacal fury “Come on lady, use your wallet like the rest of us!” But I had to try it. I try all new gadgets and technologies. I was one of the first to try the mobile boarding passes from Continental and that seemed FAR more precarious. I took out my iPhone. Yet I couldn’t help myself – “Oh, I have this mobile thing. Can I use it?” It took all of .5 seconds to go through and I was on my way. It immediately displayed my new balance. It was wonderful. I haven’t looked back since.
Now I find myself wanting to use my phone to pay for everything. At the grocery store, at the deli. Why should I have to carry around these plastic cards? There are so many of them just taking up space in my wallet, chaining me to what now seems like such an archaic piece of leather in my bag. And I feel sure the day will come, when I’m able to take out my phone and use it to pay for whatever I want. When whether or not a store has a mobile payment option will be a deciding factor for me when I’m looking to purchase something. 25 different rewards cards in my bag? No thanks, store rewards should all just load right onto my phone and I should be able to view my rewards history immediately and easily. It’s progress and it’s coming. Thank goodness. And I wonder if my kids will look back at us with our fat wallets stuffed with paper and metal coins (what is the deal with these ridiculous coins we’re all still carrying around?!) and laugh the way young people today laugh at how we used to walk around the city with a discman and 10 CDs in our bags?
As I stood waiting for my burrito on Wooster this afternoon, I decided to waste the 20-minute wait time (these are VERY popular burritos) fiddling with my iPhone, as I often do when I’m bored. Went to Twitter to post my message “Waiting for magical burrito at Wooster. Line is long, but burrito is worth it.” but I was thwarted by an error message. Twitter’s instability is apparently legendary, so what could I expect? Big deal, though, right? Who cares about my magical burrito? Yet, it bothered me. Suddenly I needed to get the word out about waiting for my magical burrito. Where I started off not really caring, that error message suddenly made me anxious about not being able to post my message. Perhaps that says something about my own narcissistic tendancies than anything and I should let it go. Willing to concede that point, I moved on.
I went to FriendFeed. As I looked through my friends’ links, I saw a couple that I wanted to mark as Like. But where is my Like link?! Not there! Did I miss it or is it not available on the iPhone version of FriendFeed? Tragedy!
After all this and the my experience with the iPhone version of LinkedIn, am I destined to be unhappy with all iPhone sites? Or am I simply impatient and need to wait for them to work out the kinks?
Nice write up on TechCrunch about Nrme, a location-based twitter type of app for the iPhone. What does it say about me that my first reaction was that people are going to send creepy messages like “I’m right behind you” or “I’m about to drop something on your head”? Clearly, my twisted paranoid mind is keeping me from really enjoying the idea of this application. No doubt I’ll give it a try, but I’m not sure a 9 block radius is really enough. Honestly, I’m not sure in what capacity I’d really use Nrme. I subscribe to an extremely useful list called Clever Commuter that is used to send out commuting warnings, questions and alternate route suggestions via email. This way, if there’s trouble in the tunnel for instance, I can just stay at work a bit longer and save myself the headache of standing in a 5,000 mile long line of angry commuters. Or I can opt for the train over the bus. Now that I’ve used Clever Commuter for the past year, I can’t imagine myself living without it, but the purpose of the service is very specific and there’s no limitation on proximity. A TC commenter makes the good point that iPhone doesn’t run apps in the background so you would need to actually keep this open all the time. That won’t work for someone as OCD as myself. What about spam? I wouldn’t put it past some clever marketers to start abusing Nrme as a way to get the word out about sales or appearances.
I may decide to send “Is there a Starbucks around here?” messages just for fun.