Iphone users, I have a secret.

I have discovered when Apple is going to release a new iOS update for the iPhones.

It is the exact moment when I feel completely comfortable with the latest update.

I believe there is a hidden app on my phone that pushes super-secret data to Apple to let them know when I’ve somewhat reached a level of mastery.  I picture four Millenials, named Gavin, Taylor, Brytnee, and Noah, in cobalt blue Apple polos, perched on white stools around tall cafe tables with glass tops. They’re hunched over their  iPad minis, scrutinizing my every move.  I’m not fluent in Millenialese, but I imagine their conversation is something like this:

Taylor:  “Dude, she’s moving fast between unlocking and Settings and Contacts and Messages and Facebook and back to Contacts.”

Gavin:  “Whoa, look at that–she found her Playlist on her Music and she EDITED it!”

Brytnee:  “Look at that–she didn’t accidentally delete half her apps this time!”

Noah:  “Shut up–she accessed her Flashlight from the Lock Screen?”

Millenial of the Day hits an alarm button in the shape of an apple with a bite taken, alerting Apple Headquarters that a Gen Exer has crossed over into The Comfortable iPhone Usage Zone. BWOOOP!  BWOOOP!  ALERT! ALERT!  TIME TO UPDATE! TIME TO UPDATE!  CHANGE EVERYTHING! CHANGE EV-ER-EE-THING!

You might wonder why I even care about updates.  Let me tell you, I really wouldn’t, if Apple didn’t change everything I use every single time there’s an update.  Recently, they altered how you unlock your screen.  I’ve been spending my whole iPhone life swiping to the left to get to my passcode screen.  Apple says now, “Thou Shall Not Swipe Left.  Thou Shall Push the Home Button.”  Hey Apple, I read Animal Farm.  I know what you’re doing in your Orwellian world.

I think the app that receives the most update abuse is the Music app.  I don’t know what it did to Apple, but if there’s an update it’s a safe bet that the Music app will be completely overhauled.  Unfortunately, my Gen Exer brain forgets when I’ve recently updated.  So,  I’m at the YMCA, ready to do the workout that I don’t want to do, but I don’t want to buy bigger clothes more.   Earbuds in, motivation up, 30 minutes of time ready to begin, open Music app and Whaa, Whaa, Whaaaaa.  What is this foreign screen staring back at me?  It’s bright and big and looks nothing like the Music app that I knew PreUpdate.  Damn you, Apple.  I didn’t carve out 20 minutes of my schedule to decipher the new platform, when all I want is to listen to my Prince/Timberlake/Pink jams.  Why do you hate Music Apple?  Why?

I thought there was a bright spot when I needed to use the Maps app to find the church where my nephew was being confirmed.  Even though the Maps app was different, it didn’t pose too many problems.  I thought I actually liked the upgrade–the font seemed bigger and the map was clearer.

But then I couldn’t get the most important feature of the Maps app to work–the voice directions.  I spent a few precious minutes trying to get it to work–make sure Bluetooth is off, close the app and reopen, swear three times under my breath.  Nothing would turn that annoying voice on.  So now Apple was encouraging me to drive distracted because I had to glance at my phone to follow the directions.  (I pause here to remember the good ol’ days when we called family for directions, or relied on real maps to navigate our way.)

Once upon a time, I didn’t update.  I thought, You’re not the Boss of Me, Apple.  You can’t make me upgrade if I don’t want to.  At first, their coercion was subtle–just a little red 1 on my Settings app.    It’s going to take a lot more than a numerical suggestion to convince me to wager my sanity just because you want me to upgrade.

So they got a little bolder.  Pop-up messages  would interrupt my very important task of checking Facebook. “An IOS Update is available.  Would you like to update now or  remind you later?”  Very clever, Apple.  I notice you didn’t include NEVER in those choices.  I had hoped choosing Remind Later over and over would send the message.

Until Apple changed it’s Update Message from occassionally to several times in one day. Fine.  You win. I’ll update tonight, I promise.  That night, I said a silent prayer, whispered goodbye to my apps because I didn’t know which would be back and which would be there in name only, unrecognizable and foreign.

The truth behind all of this is simple.  I don’t want to make time to relearn something over and over.  My roles as mother and principal and leader require frequent environmental adaptation.  I need a constant.  I want something comfortable, like yoga pants. My life is at a breakneck speed as it is.  The tasks and schedules and stuff I have to keep track of is often overwhelming and I want my phone to help me.  Thankfully, my phone does most of the time.  Until the next upgrade.

P.S.  Say a little prayer for me.  My 5S is acting up, so yesterday I broke down and ordered a 7+.  The only thing more frustrating than learning a new update, is learning a new phone.