I got my first cell phone when I was nine years old. It was the old Nokia—the one that had only four additional buttons besides the keypad. At the very least, I could make phone calls, text message, and play Snake on it, but even texting was a hassle. Compared to cell phones nowadays, that phone was a brick. I loved that phone. I even hooked it up with a pink faceplate and swapped out the clear buttons with multicolored ones.
Fast forward to present day cell phones. During the school year, I am a substitute teacher. I have seen middle school students with iPhones and the latest Androids. These phones are equipped with FaceTime, text messaging, email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. There is almost nothing that cell phones cannot do. Without our cell phones, most of us would probably be lost. Last year, I asked my Twitter followers and Facebook friends if they had to pick, would they go a week without sex or their phones. Out of approximately 20 responses, only two picked sex. No one wants to give up their lifeline to the latest news/scandal/gossip.
For me, I use my phone to jot down ideas, blog, play Candy Crush (what level are you on?), take selfies, send important emails, promote blog posts, use apps for my students, and plenty more. My phone is pretty much attached to me. However, every once in a while even I need a break. Last night, I turned my phone to “Block Mode,” which disabled all phone calls and notifications for however long I want. It was one of the most peaceful nights I have had in a while. As a writer/blogger, I should always be in the loop, but as a human being, I should also be able to recognize when I’m being taken over by technology.
I won’t lie though, with technology came plenty of new jobs that did not exist 10-15 years ago: Social Media Manager/Strategist, Blogger, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Associate, Online Customer Service Representative, etc. Many of these jobs can be done via some sort of phone app.
While I am very grateful for the emergence of all of this technology, I still wonder what if we went back to the days when there was only two ways to contact someone—phone call and text message? Even if email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, etc. were around, but not accessible on our mobile devices, would there be as many “social butterflies” as there are now? Would we even more productive at our jobs?
What do you think?