Just the other day I got fed up with being unable to talk to my girlfriend, got tired of not being able to text my sister, got sick of not being able to have the minutes to even listen to my voice mail, so I upgraded my phone and service to something worthwhile. I picked up a Nokia E73 which, in essence, boils down to the equivalent of a Blackberry. I had the choice between the E73 and the Motorola CHARM. I went with the Nokia because a bit more useful for potentially professional reasons as well as being slightly more aesthetically pleasing. The CHARM also focused more on touch technology, which I've seen too many people have issues with, so I went with usefulness over trendiness. Its got nifty little things like assisted GPS that relies on triangulation instead of satellites. It has a slimmed down version of office software to allow the creation of word documents, workbooks and presentations. It has a 5 megapixel camera with video and panoramic options, MP3 player, FM radio, IMs, full QWERTY keyboard, access to social networking and all the rest of that other stuff that I'm sure comes standard in all of today's smartphones as well. Maybe this type of stuff isn't all that impressive to someone who has had this technology for a while now, but to someone like me who has had a basic flip-phone for the past four years - this is amazing.
I've been using it for the past three or four days now and I'm finally starting to understand why people get so oblivious to the real world when they turn on their technology. Besides food and sleep, this thing can provide you with everything you need. Actually, you can look up the nearest Japanese steakhouse and order some sushi to go with it, so I guess all this thing is missing is the ability to provide sleep. Sleep is overrated anyway.
The thing is addictive. I used to have to (oh no!) sit down at my notebook in order to do my writing, email and facebooking. I can take a fifteen at work and do all that in the employee breakroom now. If I had less self control, I could technically do that from the sales floor or while driving like most other people. It is tempting sometimes, I must say. Why waste your time being bored in real life when you can entertain yourself?
Its kind of sad in a way. Once you get something like this, it becomes a tie that you simply cannot sever afterward. What would you do if you left your phone at home and found yourself lost in an unfamiliar town? Find a pay phone? Sure, there might be a few of those left at gas stations or something. Who are you going to call? Do you remember their phone number? Not likely. There's no contacts button on the payphone. Call 411? Sure, but who are you going to contact? Most likely everyone is going to be as mobile as you are and there aren't any cell phone listed in 411. So now you're reduced to wandering around trying to enlist the help of nearby people who might know where you are going. Do you even know where you are going though? Did you write down the directions or where they saved in your phone?
Items like this seem to only make the differences clear between those who are the Have's and the Have-Not's. We are constantly being forced to evolve perhaps beyond where we want to go or perhaps even care to go. Take for instance the recent death of antenna TV or the imminent death of free radio. Its as if there is some desire to create yet another divide in social classes through the ability to acquire technology.
I don't know where that came from. Maybe I'll think on it more and delve into it more later when I can afford the brain cells to burn on it. For now, I guess I've been shoved into being one of those Have's. However, I don't plan to be one of those people in the bar who need to have their phone in constant six inch proximity to their hands or those people who appear to be schizophrenic but are actually talking to their mother on bluetooth. Please hit me repeatedly with your car if I exhibit these behaviors.