Without being too nostalgic I can clearly remember the days before mobile phones, the days when if you wanted to call someone you had to use a landline phone or even a payphone box and if you wanted to receive a call you had to hang around and wait for someone to call you. Make no mistake the mobile phone and smart phone has certainly changed many aspects of our daily lives. The days before mobile phones seemed a little less hectic, and maybe even peaceful. How many times have you been on a bus or train and made to listen to some random person’s conversation? Where you are forced to endure everything from a domestic argument to some love struck idiot broadcasting his love life to all in earshot, its cringe worthy!
As with all technology it has a good side that helps us through our daily lives and makes things easier and also a dark side too, with the advancement of mobile phones there are plenty of arguments for both-sides. One thing that you can’t get away from is how complicated these devices are becoming. My first mobile phone was a Philips, not a great phone by any stretch of the imagination and a far cry from my I phone I use today but the good thing was its simplicity… it made and received calls and that’s all I ever asked or expected from it, nice and simple phone calls.
Phones or smart devices as they are referred to these days are now a device first and a phone second which means that we use our phones/device’s for many other things first and the fact that it can also make calls is a secondary bonus. If, like me, your aged between 20 and 45 years old you will no doubt remember when a mobile phone was a mobile phone for calling and if you were lucky it had a game called snake or similar, snake itself was considered a real novelty must have back then, it was also hard to lose your phone as it was so bulky and heavy that you noticed immediately if wasn’t weighing your pocket down, I bet there was a few back injuries that can blamed on carrying the big brick of a phone around.
Today’s smartphones come preloaded with a simple OS or operating system like Apple or Android, this system will operate the very basics of the device, to customise your device you need to download apps or applications. What is an app? According to wiki it is: A self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfil a particular purpose; an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device. “Apparently there are these new apps that will actually read your emails to you”
Basically the smart phones of today can log onto a website and download an app for pretty much everything. You can buy apps that wake you up on a morning, count your calories from your meals, monitor your heart and health, socialising, control your central heating at home, play games, the list truly is endless. If you are using an android or “droid” phone you can download millions of apps to your phone and Apple have a similar system too simply called apps store.
Having apps on your phone is not just about making your life easier or giving you more options to communicate with the rest of the world using apps like Facebook or Twitter nor is it about any other of the apps we mentioned above it is also about making money. Many of the apps carry advertisements and in app purchases which make lots of money for the app creators. Apart from all this your new shiny smart phone also comes with an inbuilt GPS locater, this could be useful if you needed to down load a sat nav app but it is also used to track your location, this information can be used by all manner of agencies as well as for sending you advertisements too. If you happen to be walking passed Mc Donalds your phone has the capability to text you and say” Hey did you know that McDonalds have a deal on today and you can buy a cheeseburger for £1” Like it or hate it this is defiantly the way it is going, in fact in many cases its already on its way. Some people may find this helpful and useful but many like me find it an invasion of our privacy….. If I want a burger I’ll buy one and don’t need to be coaxed in by a smart arse phone.
This advancement in technology genuinely concerns me, today it’s used to sell me stuff but what else are people learning about me by gleaning information from my smart phone?
As much as I love my little Iphone I am seriously considering going back to a non-smart phone, ok I won’t be able to use Facebook etc. on the move and I won’t know what rate my heart is beating or what setting my central heating is on but big brother will also not be able to track my every move and use me as a cash cow by ramming text into my inbox.