It’s amazing to think that it is only the latest generation of human beings who take the existence of smartphones for granted and cannot imagine a life in which they were not available. For those of us of a more distinguished vintage, it is much easier to see just how many ways in which these pocket-sized devices have transformed our everyday lives.
Can you imagine a time when…?
If you want to get a clearer perspective on how much the smartphone, and its immediate predecessor the humble mobile telephone, has changed our lives, ask yourself whether you can imagine a time when…
- You are uncontactable once you leave your home or office?It sounds crazy nowadays but you only have to go back 20 or 30 years to reach a time when the vast majority of people were not contactable by phone once they were outside. Last minute changes in venues for social meetings were impossible and if you were unavoidably delayed on the way to a business meeting, your colleagues would be left guessing what had happened to you.
- You cannotfind the answer to virtually any question in an instant? Smartphones might be the bane of pub quizmasters the world over but for everybody else, the mass of information now at their fingertips is a definite plus. Can’t remember whether a famous actor is dead or alive? A quick online search will provide the answer. Need to settle an argument about the date of a historical event (it’s amazing what some of us argue about)? Again, a web search will settle the matter within seconds.
- You can misbehave and nobody need know about it? Whether this is a positive or a negative depends on who you are talking to but it is a fact of life that an embarrassing karaoke performance at a company outing that would have been forgotten in a day or two is now likely to be uploaded as a video and be a constant online reminder of your drunken behaviour.
- You can’t instantly tell the world where you are with a social media post? Modern mums no longer have to sit at home wondering if their children are safe and if you want to know whether your friends are available to meet up for a coffee, the first place you are likely to check nowadays is their Facebook profile. Talk to any futurist commentator worth his or her salt will tell you that social media is only going to become more central to the way that we communicate with others, not less so. Smartphones are the tools that will continue to enable this ever closer integration of social media into our daily lives.
There are dozens of other ways in which smartphones are changing our lives, such as the inclusion of near field communication chips in the latest models, which can be used to store credit card information that can be read by scanners at retail checkouts, and much more besides. The future of the smartphone has never looked more exciting.