This has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.
I want to say it's not you, it's me, but that would be a lie. It's entirely you. I'm totally blameless, you have ruined my life.
Yesterday, I decided that I'm finished with Apple products. You might think this is a trivial decision. But how wrong you are.
As it stands my life is dictated by and managed on three Apple devices;
1) iPhone 4 (£179)
2) MacBook Pro (£1,299)
3) iPad 2 (£399)
I'm definitely not an Apple fan-boy. But in my capacity as a thoroughly modern Mille, I tricked myself into thinking that these objects would somehow help mould me into the fabulously creative, new-media bell-end I once thought I should be.
That's the thing with Apple. It tells you that you're special, it tells you that by buying their products you are a creative and part of a buzzing community full of like-minded iPhone wielding creative types. It tells you that in order to achieve the dizzying heights of your own ambition, you need them.
Apple excites your imagination into creating a dream world in which their gadgets are central. Desperate to live this dream you happily hand over your cash in exchange for that shot at happiness. As soon as you do, of course, your world remains the same drab cycle of non-events as ever it was - the dream shattered, your self esteem in pieces.
Melodramatic? Some examples;
1) iPhone - When I first thought about buying an iPhone, I imagined strolling around with the world in my pocket. Checking my work emails, listening to audio books I was far too much of a bigshot to read and texting friends. My equally fabulous personal and professional lives streamlined through one pocket size screen.
Because I have an iPhone I have extremely poor reception - everywhere I go. I spend my life begging people for wifi keys just so I can see which of my unexceptional chums has contacted me on Facebook or Twitter, desperately trying to avoid using my perfectly well functioning work BlackBerry.
2) MacBook Pro - Not long ago I had aspirations of being one of those terribly trendy electronic music people. Apple have cornered this market. They sell the hardware, the software and just about everything else required to make entirely average house tunes from the comfort of your bedsit.
Unfortunately Apple's various shortcuts to being the next Liam Howlett have afforded every other talentless chump the ability to do the same. After a few months of posting your latest magnum opus to MySpace and SoundCloud to radio silence from the world, you give up. Soon, the once £1300 ticket to fame and fortune is little more than a glorified word processor. Everyday that aluminium bastard sits on your desk, reminding you that you once had a dream.
But it's the iPad that finished me off.
3) Three months after getting an iPad, it's become painfully apparent that this is a destructive relationship and must end before one of us gets hurt/thrown against the nearest wall and stamped on.
I thought this would be different. Here was a product that could genuinely change my life. I would wake up, download the papers to read on the way in to work, once at work put on a private Sky News screen. I could play a video game on my way home and prop it up as a telly whilst cooking dinner before curling up in bed with and iBook.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING works as it should on the iPad. Live TV apps crash constantly, newspaper articles won't download properly for offline use.
At the time of writing I am trying to watch a Europa League match on Sky Go. As a result of its insistence on crashing, I have had to revert to using my MacBook (read above). It makes me feel sick.
Before someone says it; yes I know - #middleclassproblems - but this is my life I'm talking about, my actual life that I've invested time and money in. I despair.
And that's exactly why it's so hard, it's the amount you put into this relationship that stings. You see the 'cult' of Apple, which is widely ridiculed in the tech community, really does exist.
Before I had an iPad I felt that not only was I missing out, but I was a complete loser. Before I even owned an iPad I thought it would make me happy and I may have even been in love with it. Silly as it sounds, that's why it's so hard.
That, and having spent the best part of £2,000 on apple products in the past 24 months, the 50% northerner in me just can't bear to give up on these expensive mind-fucks until they are officially obsolete.
But there is life after Apple, I'm certain of that. There has to be. It might take time to offload my baggage and realise that there really are plenty more fish in the sea. I just have to remember never to fall in love again so carelessly.
Blogged from my iPhone