If you were to travel back two decades ago and ask people about their smartphone, you’d be greeted by nothing but confused stares. Yet today, those handy devices aren’t just a part of our lives; in many ways, they are our lives. The smartphone burst onto the scene with the launch of the first iPhone and really hasn’t looked back. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would voluntarily give up their device; in fact, you’d find it difficult to find someone who was willing to give up their smartphone for even a single day, such is our level of dependence on our Android and iOS devices.
And you can understand why. There’s virtually no aspect of our lives that the smartphone hasn’t transformed. Just take a look at some of the key impacted areas below.
How the Smartphone Transformed Our Lives
The smartphone and the internet in general have made it straightforward to get the items we want. There’s a sea of shopping apps that allow you to find and pay for products in a matter of minutes. You have to wait for delivery, sure, but that’s a trade-off everyone’s willing to make for the sheer convenience of it all.
When the first smartphone was launched back in 2007, it seemed unthinkable that within a decade or so, people would not only use their device for entertainment but that they would rely on it. Today, smartphone owners — that is, basically everyone — use their devices for a wide range of entertainment-related activities. They’ll stream a show on their commute to work. They’ll play games on their sofa. They’ll curate individual playlists and share them with friends. And they’ll do all of these things with just a few clicks of a button.
People have long used phones to communicate with one another. But to the degree of the smartphone? Not a chance. In those simpler, pre-smartphone years, people would manually call their loved ones on the telephone every now and again. The smartphone allows us all to be in near-constant communication with our friends and family, and even strangers — just think of how many unfamiliar faces you interact with on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, for instance.
The rise of the smartphone hasn’t all been positive, but its impact on communication has been an overwhelming success. After all, you can video call a relative on the other side of the world and talk to them in real time. That’s something that would have been unthinkable in the not-too-distant past.
It’s fascinating to think how ignorant we must all have been in the pre-smartphone era. Someone could make an outlandish claim, and we’d all have to just accept it. Today, we can challenge any crazy fact just by pulling out our devices and typing a few words. It’s put an end to long debates, but on balance, it’s worth it. Our smartphones also allow us to find new and interesting things as easily as possible. Looking for the best Korean restaurant in the city? Need to find a place to make custom t-shirts? Your handy device will give you the answer in seconds.
One of the often overlooked benefits of owning a smartphone is how easy it is to capture memories. People have taken photos forever, but the grand sum of a lifetime of photos would be a pretty low figure. After all, taking and printing photos was a process — and the outcome wasn’t always worth it anyway. Today, we all carry exceptional cameras around in our pockets, and boy do we use them. This can, admittedly, be a bit frustrating from time to time (try going to a concert without looking at a sea of smartphones), but would you honestly have it any other way? The answer’s no.