Thursday, February 01, 2007

How have cell phones changed society?

On occasion, I have thought about how cell phones have changed society in small ways. Often when a new technology, like wireless internet or traction control, is introduced into the market, the new product will increase convenience and or safety. Not many things I can think of have changed the way we do thing like cell phones have.

Wiki describes a cell phone as, “A mobile or cellular telephone is a long-range, portable electronic devices for personal telecommunication over long distances.”

As of late, the cell phone has become more then just communication device. (Click this link to see what I mean.)

Back to reality though, here are some examples I am referring to when I say cell phones change the way we do things.

Meeting friends at a place you have never been:

Before a cell phone- I would ask for directions and write them down.

Now- I say, “Just give me the off ramp and I will call you when I get there for further directions”

If I was lost:

Before a cell phone- I would either go home out of frustration or look for change and find a pay phone.

Now- call for directions from the car

Going to store to pick up something on the way home (this mainly applies to men at the grocery store):

Before a cell phone- look and look for the things. When it is found, there are a million choices. Then hope you picked the right one.

Now- call home and say, “Honey, there is this, that, and the other on the shelf. Which one do you want again?”

What time is it?

Before a cell phone: “I don’t have a watch. Look that person does, ask them”.

Now- “Let me check my phone”.

What is your phone number or what is so and so’s phone number?

Before a cell phone- I would have it memorized or written down in a book.

Now- Most of the time I tell the person who is asking my number to give me a call after I give them my number. My number will be in their phone and there number will show up on my caller ID. I don’t memorize numbers anymore.

I need to wake up early at home or on vacation:

Before a cell phone: Set the alarm clock for home. On vacation I would bring a battery operated alarm clock.

Now- my phone is my alarm at home and on vacation.

Cell phones also have taken away our need to use our memory in some aspects. The phone has become our notepad, calendar, calculator, alarm clock, memory, reminder, spouse, best friend, and lover. Instead of have a plethora of phone numbers in our memory, we now only have 911, 411, and the time lady (853-1212) dialed into our heads. I am not saying this is good or bad, I’m just saying what I see.

Cell phones aren’t only replacing all the things I have previously mentioned, they are becoming so much more. I have been looking into a new phone company called Helio. The ads say something along the lines of “Don’t call us a phone company" or "Don’t call it a phone.” After looking into the services, I understand why they say that. The top of the line phone called the Drift has GPS Google maps, a 2.0-mega pixel camera, e-mail, IM, internet, picture messaging, video messaging, video playing, mp3 player, Bluetooth, and a phone. The screen is big as far as phones come, yet the phone is very compact. Yesterday I went to the Helio store in San Diego and used the GPS system. I wanted to use the directional function, so I pinged my current location as the starting point and put in my parents old address as the desired destination. I won’t go into detail because it will take to long to write. I will say it worked as well as Google maps. Super Rad!

Five years ago I knew that cell phones were a hot commodity, but I never imagined it could change how we function as people or integrate so many different technologies.

I like it all. What is next?


Anonymous said...

The cell phone rules!

Anonymous said...

cool i wish i was a cell phone

David Dezaro said...

In the past 10 years mobile phones have changed the way we live and work. Phone seems to give us more personal power, who do we want our dreams. Many people think that mobile phones as extensions of themselves. This is reflected in the diverse and mobile phone into a truly personal device ways for each phone.