If you’re anything like me, you buy stuff online. I’m finding it almost impossible not to these days and one of my most favorite inventions is Apple Pay, because what could go wrong with the idea of making purchasing as simple as a double click of the side button? Let’s just say, should anyone ever accuse me of not participating in our economy, especially if that economy is rooted in Instagram ads, I’d call them a dirty liar and show up with the receipts to prove it.
Today, as I was perusing my email I laughed out loud. I was looking at an Apple receipt from the last purchases I made through Apple Pay. After scrolling through about 6 transactions, little amounts here and there that, when summed, were over $100, I noticed that under each itemized transaction, there’s a link that says, “Report a Problem.”
The thought of me calling and telling their customer service representation, “I have a problem. I am the problem…I can’t stop using Apple Pay,” made me laugh out loud.
It’s not a tech problem I have. It’s a social problem.
A Pandemic Habit Is Born
So, of course, during the pandemic, leaning on ApplePay whenever and wherever I could became not just a luxury but a necessity, so my scheming little brain told me. Having groceries (and everything else) delivered was ultimately a humanitarian choice; I was only doing it to protect others (my brain explained to me innocently). It would be irresponsible to go out when I could choose to not be an infection vector.
Additionally, as it turns out, Apple also provides a host of games that are free to play and wildly satisfying for the first month, at which point everything will stay free if you never, ever want to advance any further in solving the murder mystery in which you are now deeply embroiled. It’s fine, I told myself. These are stressful times. I’m not drinking or doing drugs or even overeating…so I need this for my sanity, I said over and over again and I was serious. A couple bucks here or there to be able to play a little longer or get that boost-up I needed to get a hint in a puzzle…I could afford that. It made me happy.
Apple Pay and I were saving my sanity and, ultimately, saving lives. (This is deep, deep sarcasm, just to be clear).
Long COVID, Bad-Habit Style
So, the pandemic as it was is different now, especially in the US. I’m not even routinely wearing a mask anymore and I was one of the conservative ones on that front. But guess what has stayed with me? Not a loss of smell and taste, not wheezing, not chronic fatigue (all of which are beyond devastating to people…I get and respect that). No, Apple Pay and the irresistible urge to double click that button.
And because those games are apparently pure brain candy, like neurologists have proven that you might as well be taking drugs. that’s how much these games produce so much dopamine that I might as well be taking opioids, I now am back to regular life but searching for that hit of spending or gaming OR BOTH to which I’ve become so accustomed.
My Name is Katie and I’m an Apple Pay Addict
There’s no way I mean to diminish or make light of addiction or the 12-step programs proven to help. But what I find amazing is just how easy it is for our phones to sabotage us…by making my life so easy.
It’s so easy to spend money…on stupid shit…that isn’t even shit because it’s not real. And I’m an elite-grade self-discipliner. How can we expect those of us under huge amounts of stress, coping with the heaviness of everyday, and worst our children, to resist the urge.
Apple makes it SO EASY.
Obviously, Apple here is a totem; it’s the symbol of the inclusion (some would say invasion) and the adaptation of tech into our world. And as much as it promises my productivity will go up and I’ll be more connected than ever, I’ll also be poor and constantly owing them something and literally at risk of increased depression, sleeplessness, and anxiety–coincidentally and conveniently all the things I try to ameliorate with mystery games on my Ipad. And when I extrapolate out and consider all of the young people, isolated people–okay, all the people–doing the same thing…we’ve obviously got another pandemic going on. And it’s so easy to just keep clicking, keep clicking, keep clicking…I feel so much better.
Apple, I need a different kind of receipt, I think.
Where’s the link to click to report this kind of problem?