10/23/2014 04:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Confessions of a Serial Songwriter: iPhone Wrist


As songwriter moms we all know how important it is to stay connected, save our ideas, self promote and get from one point to another (a demo session to a teacher's conference for example) with the least amount of traffic. The only things is, with all this communicating, documenting and navigating, one might develop a trending malady:

I've noticed a dull ache in the base of my right hand at the end of the day. I have iPhone wrist. It's like tennis elbow. Except it's not from tennis and it doesn't involve an elbow. I can't be the only one. A lot of you probably have some form of it and perhaps that's why Apple implemented audio messaging. But it's not just about texting, is it?

My 3x5 rectangle gadget is the hub of my existence. I do not need a personal assistant. My iPhone is my assistant. It keeps my schedule. It documents my song ideas. It's my last minute access to the YouTube video of the artist I've just arrived to work with. It lights my menu. It puts me to sleep with white noise and guided meditations. It wakes me up with soothing music of my choice, tells me what the rest of my day is like, what the weather is, when the roast is ready. I cart it with me from room to room; with the basket of laundry and when I pee. Seriously, sometimes I think I should velcro it to the side of my head.

For years I've kept it handy (when out and about) in a holster-like case clipped to the belt on my jeans. I needed to be hands-free. I had a kid in my life. (Dan and Leah, my young colleagues, found this terribly pathetic and amusing just as they do my fanny pack when I run the Fryman loop.) I don't care. They can keep theirs in their back pocket until the day it falls into the toilet. Then they'll be asking me where I bought my holster. Now they have an infant of their own, so watch this space.

My iPhone keeps it's mouth shut and doesn't offer an opinion...unless I ask it for which case Siri is happy to help. I don't have to buy her health insurance. (Then again, AppleCare is pretty much the equivalent.) I don't have to share my office space with her. I hate her. I love her. She makes my life so simple. She makes my life so complicated. Such is love.

I touch and swipe and touch and swipe. There's more and more fingertip choreography with every system upgrade. I often inadvertently touch and swipe incorrectly or inadvertently and an uninvited unidentifiable screen appears before me. What is this? Is it something that's supposed to streamline my life even further? How can that possibly be? While I try to make sense of it, I've forgotten what it was I was touching and swiping for to begin with. And that, my friends, is not helpful. Does not streamline my life. Does not make things easier, but way more complicated. Remember those pad and pencil necklaces older women used to wear so they'd have something close at hand to jot things down on before they forgot what it was? I could use one of those too.

What's making the repetitive motion even more repetitive is that instead of slowing down at this later than mid point in my life I'm revving up. I'm getting ready to put a book out and I've been advised to get my social media mojo on. I'm tweeting, chirping, texting, posting all day long. Potential literary agents will be "checking my socials." Ugh! That takes the fun out of it. I know what you're thinking. I can dictate so much now instead of tapping. But that's really not true. My Siri is constantly misunderstanding me and I wind up swiping and tapping anyway.

Sigh. I'm past the point of no return. Aside from all the wrist maneuvering required for outgoing tasks, there are important incoming messages to consider as well. My daughter left her softball uniform in the dryer, can I bring it to school? Our pet Roxy's medication is ready for pick up. And of course, the text from Adele asking if I'd fly to London tomorrow to co-write her whole next album. :) . But seriously, it's the Wild West out there in the music biz and if I don't get the memo I might miss out. So beholden to my very smart phone I remain.

I wonder if I could lock it in a drawer for a day and try not to care. 'bout iPhone-Free Fridays? We could all go to the beach and give our wrists a rest. Never-mind. That's never going to happen. Pass the Advil.

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