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Friday, April 18, 2014

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Devious Devices: Technology We Can't Live Without

Over the past decade, mobile devices have gone from cool gadgets, to irreplaceable parts of everyday living. It has even come to a point where those who lack a smartphone are excluded from social groups and even certain lines of work, though not necessarily out of malice towards Luddites, but simply due to the fact that these are the platforms on which we communicate. Additionally, with the proliferation of screens you can carry in your pocket, a number of other fringe-accessories are now must-haves. Take a look at how new technology has come to change and grow into our daily lifes.

The Smartphone
These days, the question isn't whether to get a smartphone, it’s which smartphone are you going to get. After purchasing your first smartphone, it’s hard to imagine how you functioned before you had a map, the internet, your music, and a calendar in your pocket. The constant connection goes beyond the personal applications, though. Many jobs that aren't just made easier by having a smartphone, but are actually impossible to do without one. These aren't just high-paying business or marketing type jobs, but things as simple as taxi services and managing odd-jobs. Entrepreneurs are using smartphones as point-of-sale systems, opting for Paypal over other credit card service fees. 

When Apple rolled out the iPad, many scoffed at a seemingly needless piece of technology. How would you compute without a keyboard? Now, there are schools that distribute tablets to their students and mobile app developer is a career path. The touchscreen is the preferred method of input, and children are learning how to use them at very early ages. A tablet has all the speed and most of the portability of a smartphone, merely trading the phone for a slightly larger screen. And, with all those other methods of connectivity, it’s not a bad exchange.

Every market creates a sub-market. Touchscreens smudge, and devices are fragile and expensive. Some sort of case and protective screen is practically a required purchase for any device, and this is where the marketing towards personalization really shines. You only have to go to cellphonecases to see how many different styles and types of protection there is. Cases advertised to every different kind of personality and lifestyle.

These devices are having drastic effects on how we interact with each other on personal and economic levels. Some of these changes are positive, as connectivity lends itself well to efficiency. However, it’s pretty easy to get glued to a screen and forget the world around you. Where will our devices take us next?


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