Aug 28, 2013

How our lives have changed

From this (2007):

To this (now):

It is truly remarkable how much the smartphone has changed our lives, in such a short time.  It's become a different world in 6 rapid years.

When I go out, even for a walk, it feels natural to me to be holding my phone in my hand. Not in my bag, or in my pocket, but in my hand.

I only walk and read sometimes - mostly I refrain from using my phone while I'm actually walking, because you don't want to be one of these people.

I don't tweet, Facebook, read or text too much in front of the kids, because you don't want to be one of these parents.

I'm only on level 41 of Candy Crush. I have wasted more time than is healthy playing dumb games on my phone, but I've petered off from that now. There is only so much time in the day, and we have less time than ever, so why fritter it all away on playing games?

But so much is so good. Twitter: news, conversations, comedy and reading: I love you, always and forever. Google maps. Google anything. Texts, messaging and email. Postcodes, currency conversions, Greek name days, constellations, world maps, bus timetables and movie screenings at a glance. News, essays, NASA photos, fiction and podcasts 24/7.  Utilities: pedometers, calculators, trackers, diaries, flashlight, remote logins for work.

The only thing I don't use my phone for that much is telephoning.

The other day I went walking and I left my phone at home. Last week I left it on my desk while I stepped out for lunch. It sounds ridiculous I know, but on those two occasions it was like stepping back in time, to the world as it used to be. Pre-smartphone, I didn't always take my phone with me. I didn't have it switched on all the time. I certainly didn't sleep with it tucked under my pillow as"sometimes" do now...

We are all uneasy at being "plugged in" 24/7. We all know that too much internet (too much anything) is bad for us. We all know we have to limit our screen time or we will live our lives plugged into the matrix and not living real life at all.

If you're older than me, you probably find this whole thing quite perplexing, simple or absurd. Baby boomers don't tend to struggle with smartphone addiction. If you're younger than me you probably don't see the problem.  Maybe it's a Gen X thing.

Anyway, it's changed our lives. The smartphone, the internet, and the seductive combination of the two.

Image credit:
@leftsider tweet image from HuffPost Tech "oldtweets" story from 2012: read here.
This image is of an embedded tweet which is public.
Second image: 9Gag


  1. UR right, no smartphone was in the stone age.

    1. Seems like so long ago and such a different world, that it's a shock to remember how recent it all is.

  2. I may well be a few months (ahem) older than you, but I couldn't, or would not choose to live without a smart phone. While it isn't a computer as such, it is the next best thing. Considering how much effort I put into getting the ring tone just right, it very rarely rings.

  3. I'm still using my old flip phone and sometimes I even forget to take it with me when I go out. I make and take calls and texts on it and that's all. I can access the internet on it if I want to and games too, but I have my laptop for internet and I'm hopeless at electronic games. Most of the rest of my family have smart phones and i-pads, but for myself I just don't see the need.

    1. It's like some people now have removed social media and games from their phones to avoid wasting time. I think of doing that sometimes.

  4. I can relate to your post. I feel naked if I leave the house without my mobile. It use to be like that with my watch in my younger days - but nowadays its technology. I need it within arms reach.

    1. True, I was always like that with my watch too, in the past. Now half the time I don't wear it.

  5. Hi Jackie,

    Absolutely spot on. Although my smartphone lives in my pocket permanently. I love being able to access the internet on the go, have a dictionary in a foreign land, a GPS, a book and many other things rolled into one pocket sized miracle.

    Oh and I make the odd phone call too.

    What a geek I am.






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