Have you ever been watching an old movie and wonder to yourself, “HOW”?? How did these people get anything done without a cell phone with them at every waking moment? I think about this sometimes and still cannot fathom how it was possible. I use my phone ALL the time. I use my phone for things I never would have thought I would need a phone for. It is my calculator, my directions, my restaurant guide, my night-light, my watch, and I also make calls with it. I have even used my phone as a prop to seem like I am keeping busy while I am actually loitering- you know you have too. With the introduction of the smartphone, the idea that a cell phone is just a phone has completely gone out the window. Applications have taken over. There are now over 300,000 Apps available in the Apple App Store, with close to 10 billion total downloads. If one were savvy enough, they could potentially automate a great deal of their life through applications. There are apps to pay bills, apps to help the cost-conscious shopper, apps to track sleeping habits, apps to locate the closest bank, gas station, or bodega. Apps rule the roost when it comes to the phone dominating your life.
While the first cell phone calls were made in the years 1984 and 1985 (UK), the second generation, or 2G network came into place in the early 1990′s. Phones can now operate on that existing 2G network, or can also be found on both 3G and 4G networks. When mobile phones were first becoming available, they were BIG. Using these “mobile” phones was like holding a shoe box up to the side of your head. But mobile phones consistently became smaller and more mobile. As mobile phone penetration grew throughout the nineties and the exploded in the 2000′s, we became less aware of our dependency on these devices. It is now expected that everyone carry a phone all the time. I believe that I could strike oil, find gold, or win the lotto before I find anyone who chooses to be without a cell phone.
When is the last time you used a pay phone? When is the last time you have SEEN a pay phone? Collect calls are a thing of the past, unless you are in jail. But these are the methods that people before mobile phones used to communicate. They had to have ingenuity, they had to think outside the box. Nothing was easy, if they didn’t know the answer to a question they could not google it from where ever they might be. Maybe this made people back then tougher. Maybe it made them more creative, more apt to try and more willing to fail. Maybe if they were handed a cell phone they would hand it back. But I of course have no way of knowing any of these things for sure, unless I get out my phone and look it up.