Signs My iPhone 4 is Possessed by the Ghost of my Grandfather

Ali Solomon
Published in
2 min readSep 16, 2018


Photo by Malte Fleuter on Unsplash

It insists that its outdated technology works just as well as the newfangled iNonsense out there.

It’s unable to sustain a call for longer than three minutes without dropping it.

It can only recharge if conditions are perfect: resting on a cushion in a temperature-controlled climate, with a chilled Milwaukee’s Best nearby.

Its functions are shutting down one by one, but it refuses to be fixed and insists on troubleshooting the issues.

It is systematically deleting members of my contact list who don’t call me enough.

It simply can not take a good photo of me, constantly cropping out the top half of my face, adding nonexistent back-lighting, or inexplicably switching to the sepia filter.

Despite having a shattered screen and zero memory left, it still tries to operate heavy machinery (like iOS 11 or a 1977 maroon-and-cream Oldsmobile).

Its default ringtone sounds a lot like “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”

Without my having programmed it, Google Calendar reminds me to eat dinner at Denny’s at 4:30 pm.

Sometimes the alarm goes off at 3:07 am for no reason.

The weather app always says it’s too cold.

Between hoarding photos, maintaining a vast and outdated music collection, and declining to delete any data whatsoever, there is not a drop of space left anywhere.

During “Words With Friends” games with my dad, it intentionally gives him shitty letter combinations.

The wallpaper is a photo of a small tabby cat sitting on the steps of a tenement in Brooklyn. When I try to replace it with a selfie of me and my husband skiing, it always mysteriously switches back.

Despite its age, it never seems to have a problem downloading pornography.



Ali Solomon

Cartoonist-to-the-Stars. @newyorker @mcsweeneys @huffpost #Binders