It was just a normal shower. My phone was resting on the counter and playing music from Spotify at the loudest possible volume. I liked the song I was listening to, and I wanted to know what it was. So I pulled back the curtain to check.
That’s when I remembered that this phone, this rose gold iPhone 7, was water-resistant.
So I reached for it and brought it into the shower.
Spotify kept playing, only it was louder, because the phone was closer to me now and wasn’t being muted by the sound of the shower. It was glorious. I put the phone down on one of the bathtub shelves.
As I was soaping up, it occurred to me that this was, like, amazing. I had never showered with my phone before. I needed to tell my girlfriend. I rinsed off my hand and grabbed the phone. Touch ID didn’t work perfectly, and tapping out my passcode proved to be a little difficult with the wet display. But it worked eventually. I opened up Facebook Messenger and started a video call.
Water apparently kept getting on top of the phone’s front-facing camera, so the video of me wasn’t always clear. And the call’s audio was a little low, so I kept having to put the phone up to my head to hear what my girlfriend was saying. But it worked. I expressed my fascination, and she was impressed, and it was great, and I told her let’s talk soon, and I hung up. I opened up Convo, the app our editorial team uses to communicate with each other, and shared that I was using my phone in the shower. I put it down again and put shampoo in my hair.
I keep my shampoo in for two minutes. Is that normal? Well, that’s what I’ve been doing for many years. Anyway, I knew I had two minutes to kill, so I went back to my phone and pulled up Twitter and started scrolling through my timeline and Liking things.
All this from the shower. Isn’t it amazing? I could have checked my email. I could have responded to a few pitches, but I didn’t. It occurred to me that, unceremoniously, something had changed — technology was now capable of working in a place where it previously couldn’t. Now it was up to me to set limits about what would and wouldn’t be allowed. Because not everyone’s phone is water-resistant yet, I made the argument to myself that the shower was still a place where I could not be expected to respond to others, even if there were some things that I could do on my own terms.
Now that water resistance is a feature of the iPhone — not just a few Android phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Sony Xperia XZ — millions of other people will have to decide what they will and won’t do with their phones while in the shower. I think this is a good problem to have.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the song was “Take Me Home,” by Phil Collins.