My Entire Phone History in Pictures

1999 - present
  1. 1. Columbia University, NYC. Never had a flip phone; jumped straight to the solid, simple war horse of early cellular ubiquity.
  2. 2. I barely remember this thing. Looks a burner purchased at a kiosk under duress. Maybe I was on the run then?
  3. 3. Germany. 2003. They had a new thing then, called SMS, or Short Message Service, where you could send text-based messages between phones and communicate without talking! The Germans loved it. I thought: that's dumb.
  4. 4. Here I finally joined the smartphone revolution. Although: was the Sidekick 2 even a "phone"? Or really a fun machine that could be studded with diamonds, as was done by Paris Hilton. (Remember her?) I do remember that I used this thing to send meaningless nonsense to pals via AOL IM all across China with NO SURCHARGE!
  5. 5. I wrote an entire essay about my relationship to this machine, and how I didn't realize the moment when it became an extension of my identity. (That was back in 2007; prescient, right?)
  6. 6. 1st gen. Nuff said. (Actually, let me add that I had a cover made out of cork, which picked up oils and grime and streaked the tan surface with a charming patina that made it look like an ancient nautical instrument, a look complimented by many strangers, including Matt Groening.)
  7. 7. Like the Terminator, this thing worked even its face was turn off.
  8. 8. I already dropped this one in the pool. Guess what? That rice trick works! A day in a bowl of dry basmati and good as new.