Kate Spade is partnering with a startup to create iPhone-charging purses for "customers who live a life on-the-go" and oh my god I'm already so annoyed that I can't even finish this headline.
Nothing makes me feel more exhausted by technology than innovations that we don't really need and mostly just serve to make us more dependent on our devices than we already are. So it's with an "ugh, here you go" attitude I announce that overpriced bag-maker Kate Spade is pairing with startup Everpurse to launch a line of new bags that will charge your iPhone. Here's a paraphrase about the bags from Mary Beech, Kate Spade's EVP and CEO, in the Wall Street Journal article announcing the partnership:
She said everyone can relate to running down a mobile phone's battery and feeling stranded, begging co-workers to borrow a charger, or jostling for access to a wall outlet at a cafe or airport. The new collection is meant to alleviate such modern problems.
Sure, I've been annoyed by those times when I need to call someone and my battery's dead, and it would totally be awesome to just pull my phone out of my bag and have it fully charged. But if you overheard a person making those complaints in real life, they'd sound like a bratty parody of a real human. Besides the fact (and I know this isn't a new argument) that maybe we should try to cultivate a civilization where we have the life skills and fortitude to survive without our phones for short periods of time? Hell, we don't even have to go that far; I'd settle for cultivating the life skills and fortitude to go without our phones long enough to get to a power outlet. If you can't do that, you probably shouldn't also be making enough money to afford a phone-charging bag in the first place (that's between $198 and $698, by the way).
I'm not even saying that the charge-in-bag technology is a bad idea. There are so many situations where a bag like that would be both great and, dare I say it, close to necessary. I'm just so exhausted by the leaps in innovation we make just to keep us tethered to our goddamn phones. It's like all of those recent Verizon commercials that try to scare you into thinking that you need a constant Internet connection so if you go camping, nothing horrible happens to your family like them actually enjoying the outdoors instead of watching a movie:
I grew up in a town of 300 people in the middle of the goddamn woods, a place where my parents had dial-up until 2012. I now make my living by spending all day on the Internet. I can tell you from personal experience that the outdoors are awesome and the Internet is awesome. But for the love of all things good, we shouldn't be constantly trying to push technology into all the moments where it didn't previously exist, furiously forcing it into the cracks of our lives like putting caulk in the wall of a log cabin. That applies to big things, like camping in the middle of nowhere, and little moments, like asking someone for directions when your phone is dead.
Of course, when the bag-charging technology drops down to $25 a pop, I'll have one just like everyone else. I just hope that sometimes, I have the good sense to ignore my phone.