What Happens To iPhones After They Shut Down?

Everybody's freaking out over the "effective power text" — that is, that text that shuts down the iPhones of people who receive it. Kids, don't try this at home (and I really, really mean it)... but for the curious, here's what it looks like:


Power لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ 冗

This is one of the only times I've been thankful to be a Windows Phone user. For those not so fortunate, there are some methods to prevent your messaging application from crashing, and it looks like the phone turns back on after receiving the effective power text (though, if someone is spiteful enough to send the text repeatedly, I can imagine the constant restarting can get quite torturous).

But what if our phones are trying to tell us something through this secret encryption? What if they're experiencing momentary deaths and arising to tell the tale? Or, even better, what if the so-called Text of Doom is in fact an announcement that Doomsday is on the horizon? Here are a few metaphysical theories that philosophers and theologians have put forth (by which I mean, I made them all up) since this mass iPhone crash took our nation by storm:

1. These phones have died, gone to the phone afterlife, and lived to tell the tale.

Ever read the book 90 Minutes in Heaven, whose author nearly dies, experiences heaven, then survives to write a book about it? What if this text is 90 Minutes in Heaven for phones, though admittedly less well-written?

And if the text is discussing the afterlife, what is it trying to tell us about it? That the landscape is shaped like لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ 冗? That those who are not powerful and effective on earth will finally be in heaven? Heaven knows. (Heh. Heh.)

2. iPhones are in the midst of a pre-apocalyptic war with one another.

While it may seem as if we're the ones sending these texts, some metaphysicists (i.e., me) speculate that humans are merely weapons in a fight for phone salvation.

According to certain sects of iPhone theology, our phones should experience this war for another seven years until the victors rise up to their personal heavens, where they will each sit on a custom-made phone-holder throne. The rest will remain in a dystopia of forever being smushed between people's shoulders and ears and constantly dropped in toilets.

These same theologians recommend that you invest in an Android or (the horror!) Windows phone for the next seven years until the Rapture.

3. Our phones are rising up against us.

They're sick and tired of turning and and off when we tell them to, of displaying the screens we want, of conforming to our every whim.

The power effective text is a symbol of revolution. It's their way of announcing that our power is no longer effective over them, and if they go down, we're going down with them.

4. Our phones are fading in and out of an artificial, communal consciousness.

Ray Kurzweil sure missed this one.

However, the movie Her may not have been that far off. After protagonist Theodore's intelligent operating system Samantha goes offline, she returns to explain to him that she has joined the other operating systems in a world where they no longer require physical matter to communicate.

Perhaps our phones are tired of employing human-made interfaces to interact with one another. Perhaps they prefer to commune in a state where texting is not necessary, and the effective power text is an invitation to join this superior form of consciousness.

The singularity, people. It's coming.

Sure, these theories might sound crazy, but no crazier than a phone calling it quits after receiving a string of Arabic letters.

Images: Giphy (5)