Don’t Drill Holes Into Your New iPhone

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Apple’s latest iPhone models, the 7 and 7 Plus, were released earlier this month to slightly subdued delirium.

Oh, make no mistake: The new gen phone was considered an improvement over the old, what with its longer battery life and better camera and its water resistancy (something I could’ve used two generations earlier when I fell in a lake). But many have also lamented what the new iPhone didn’t have: a headphone jack. The tastemakers at Apple decided to eliminate it, leaving users with three choices: 1. Use the headphones that came with the shiny new iDevice (which plug into its Lightning port); 2. Buy an adapter for your old earphones; or 3. Plunk down piles of cash for a set of wireless headphones.

But, according to a YouTuber calling himself TechRax, there may be a fourth option: You can just drill your own headphone jack.

 

The video is a joke, by the way. Drilling a hole into your iPhone may allow you to plug your old headphones into it, but you won’t hear any music through those treasured earbuds. But if you listen closely, you may hear the sound of $650 being flushed away.

Alas, some of the nearly 12.5 million folks who’ve watched the video weren’t, apparently, in on the joke.

“Help,” one person wrote in response to the video. “now my old headphones fit but the phone doesn’t work anymore!” Another user wrote “I drilled the hole in it. The headphone doesn’t go all the way in. Do I need to drill deeper? Also my phone turned of [sic] because of low battery I think. I’m charging it for an hour now it doesn’t turn on, is this normal?”

And then there’s this:

“It’s not as easy as the video shows. If you drill to [sic] deep, you can in fact destroy the phone. All you have to do is drill through the casing. If you want, pm me. I’ll give you a PO box you can ship it to and I’ll do it for free. You just pay the shipping. I’ll need your username and password to make sure everything is working.”

For me, it’s all an interesting illustration on the wonders, and the frustrations, of modern technology.

The beauty of this technological age that we live in is obvious: It makes our lives easier and better. And it does! Back when I was a kid, I’d need a watch to tell time, a phone to call someone, a level to straighten out a painting, a flashlight to look under my bed, a bulky map to find my way to a new movie theater, a newspaper to tell me what was playing at that movie theater, a car to buy tickets … well, you get the idea.

The phone I have in my pocket does all that and about a gazillion things more.

So when our technology does so much, it’s frustrating when it stops doing something for no good reason. Like playing music through our favorite set of headphones. Technology should be eliminating our headaches, not causing them.

So what’s our natural inclination? To make it do what we actually want it to do. That’s what we, as a species, have always done. God wired us to look around make what we see  a wee bit better. We plant trees. We tighten leaky faucets. We mod our games. We trick out our cars. We fix. We improve. We like to make things better. That inclination of ours doesn’t stop at the smartphone. Frankly, that instinct is why we have smartphones in the first place. If we were satisfied with the way things are, we’d still be texting each other via smoke signal.

But our phones are so smart these days that they’re beyond most of our abilities to improve. We interact with them as we might a pocketful of magic—a servant we don’t control as much as we make an uneasy alliance with. And when its mysterious makers in Cupertino, Calif., tell us that we don’t need earphone jacks anymore, well, there’s precious little we can do about it.

Maybe that’s why I smile a little when I think about people drilling holes into their iPhone 7’s. Sure, it’s silly. Sure, it’s a waste of a perfectly good phone. But it also expresses an innate desire to look at the things around us and make them better. To become masters of the technology we use rather than its servants. It’s almost like an innocuous, expensive rebellion: Don’t tell me what I want, these techno-drillers are saying (in their own rather expensive way). I know what I want.

When we look around our world today, there’s a lot of folks telling us what we’re supposed to want: Lots of sex and language in our movies. Lots of grit and grime in our television shows. Don’t even get me started on politics. You’ll take what we give you and like it, they say.

But there are others who push against what we’re supposed to want and trying to make things better. And iPhone carnage aside, that’s not a bad thing.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

bobed More than 1 year ago
I've got a simpler solution. Don't buy a new iPhone! I'm so confounded and dumbfounded by the sheep who stand in line for 10 hours to get the newest iPhone 7 when their iPhone 6.999 or whatever, that they got last week, works perfectly fine! An Android phone works perfectly fine and has a headphone jack to boot. Or better yet, purchase a flip phone with the basics and actually TALK to your family instead of playing games and texting. No one NEEDS an iPhone.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All I get from this phenomena is: there is a fine line between stupidity and trolling in YouTube comment sections. How do people afford iPhones? Finally, I am indeed proud to say that I am a twenty-something millennial who does not own a smart phone and never will if I can help it. Further, with regards to your greater point, buying the iPhone to begin with seems to me the initial sheep-like move. Just like in media discernment or politics, not questioning initial premises is where we go wrong.
By CbinJ
Dan Haynes More than 1 year ago
I'm confused by your post. Why do you feel pride for choosing to not buy a certain product? 
bobed More than 1 year ago
Why wouldn't you? A 20-something millennial who doesn't follow 99% of his peers as a sheep who does nothing but text and has no social skills? Heck, I'd be proud!
CousinJustice15652 . More than 1 year ago
I can only speak for myself (another member of the no-smartphone millennial camp), but I'd say that the pride is not so much in avoiding the particular product as it is in avoiding the things associated with owning that product -- obsessive internet use, constant texting, lack of engagement with the real world, 100+ selfies a day...you get the idea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

However, the iPhone isn't the cause for "obsessive internet use, constant texting, lack of engagement with the real world, 100+ selfies a day"...it's our sinful hearts. I got my first one last year when my whole family did, after being teased and laughed at for my little plastic phone with plastic buttons. I seldom use the internet, except to look up definitions, weather, directions etc. I think we need to beware of thoughts like, "I'm proud that I don't constantly text" etc.
CousinJustice15652 . More than 1 year ago
I don't believe it's the cause...it's just the means. I avoided getting a smartphone because I knew having the internet at my fingertips all the time would be a temptation for me. For people who are good at limiting their "screen time", a smartphone might not be a problem. But for most younger folks, it tends to become an unconscious obsession, partly due to the endless media available online. I understand the dangers of pride; however, when I look around me (at college, at work, etc.) and see maybe 80% of other young people nearby staring at their screens, it's hard not to be glad I'm different. 


Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Wait, you're a twenty-something who doesn't own a smart phone, and you don't plan to ever get one?  This is too good to be true.  Will you marry me?

Just kidding ;) but it is amazing how many people have smartphones now, even kids.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did have a Samsung one for a year or two when I was in college because I needed a phone after (to my crushing sadness) I ran my old Sprint Razor through the wash. The only thing I used it for was to call my parents and play Angry Birds during breaks between classes while listening to the PIO podcast on my iPod Classic. (Tells you how long ago that was.)

By CbinJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

If only I could be like you :). I own an iPhone 4 at the time being, and I do have to confess that I spend a little too much time surfing the web for any new news about movies, being the film nut that I am. So, if you're able to do the impossible and live without an iPhone, good for you.