Electronic Device Dependence
My Electronic Cyber Pals Through The Looking Glass
I have finally come to the point I am virtually dependent on my Laptop, Cell Phone, and Tablet Style devices to connect with people or other computer systems, for that matter. If I forget to take my cell phone with me when I leave the house, I just turn around and go back and get it. Since it is the only way I can reach the outside world with my actual voice (sans face to face contact), I feel like I am in no man’s land without it. Kind of sad when you think about it.
First it was land based phones and the horrible ordeal of trying to find a pay phone with the added task of coming up with enough change to put into the slots for a lousy 3 minutes of talk time before more money was needed. If you had a beeper to signal you to call someone, you only did so if it was extremely important to contact them immediately.
In a previous blog article I wrote about how I signed up for the first mobile phone by Oki Data in Los Angeles 3 months before the inaugural cell phone network went “live” there. I didn’t want to wait in line, or for the extended period of months to get mine, so I jumped the gun. It looked like a real house phone, cost me $6,000, and was firmly attached to my truck with a big, heavy, transmitter box behind the seat. Whew!
The first handheld unit was a Nokia flip phone that went belly up when rain drops touched it. Bluetooth compatible devices followed with mixed results. My first iPhone changed everything.
Mobile Computer Tech Amazement
When I was able to make the transition from run-of-the-mill cell phones to my first iPhone, I realized that I now had a mobile device in my hands that worked just like my computer. It was no longer a device for the basic purpose of making phone calls, but a mobile communication platform. When I took my first photo and video with it, my JVC Camcorder and Pocket Camera became obsolete (I still have them 15 years later for nostalgia I suppose).
I found I could do the following procedures with little to no effort:
- Make phone calls to anywhere inside active cell zones
- Take notes
- Take pics and videos
- Locate addresses and get driving directions
- Text messages to people I didn’t feel like talking to
- Send emails with attached documents
- Play music which made the iPod I never owned obsolete
- Connect to and use the internet
- Play games like a Solitaire, Word Search, Crossword, and Puzzles when I was bored
Wow! I had more computerized capability in my hand than the astronauts who first landed on the moon had in their command module and lunar lander. Didn’t seem like that was possible, but there it was.
15 Years Later I Am Am Locked In To These Electronic Things
When I broke away from the land based PC computer platform and purchased my first laptop computer (HP) in 2005, I was entrenched in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with my involvement in reconstruction and building new homes. I bought a Chevrolet hybrid pickup which had the built-in capability of a mobile office setup since it came with satellite transponder and 20 amp house current outlets that I could operate a printer and other devices with.
Since my phone was a Nokia Unit connected via the Nextel network provider system, I was able to talk to other people in the city via the direct-connect 2 way walkie-talkie feature built into the phone, as long as they had the same phone. It was the only way to communicate with others since the cell towers were all damaged.
But when things settled down, it wasn’t long before my wife and I transitioned to phones that no longer had that feature. When the cell networks were back online, we opted for phones with better tech capability and kept trading up. In 2011, we got our first iPhones and were hooked on all the amazing features provided therein.
Not long after that I opted for my first Tablet Style device (LG) and was blown away by all the capabilities I could do with it. Even though we loved them, we got into such a fight with Sprint over the false promotion offers by them (offered free to us for being long term loyal customers), that we gave them back.
Completing The Puzzle
Since the LG Tablets were not fully compatible with the iPhones, we opted for iPads instead. It was a gimmicky purchase decision at first, since I preferred to use my laptop to do critical search functions on the internet and create or type documents with, even though I don’t know how to type. But times have changed.
Now I use the iPad 80% of the time to do the following:
- Search the internet
- Do all of my initial typing (quickly) before editing on my laptop (Which I am using to type this and all my other blogs and literary works)
- Become dependent on the spell checker to speed me along
- Link contacts and key functions via the hotspot feature on the iPhone when I do not have a wireless connection
- Transfer documents via the Microsoft ONE DRIVE cloud feature
- Read fully visible documents in large type via the mobile device format feature
- Save important articles and books to iBooks for future reference
- Use the voice (memo) function at meetings and such in place of a tape recorder
- Read a book online in Kindle
- Direct connect to my laptop with my PNY Duo Link (128gb)
- Take pics and videos (Including slow motion, time lapse, and Pano(vision)
- Do imaging and scanning of documents and bar codes
- Turn lights on in the house through Smart Life wi-fi modules
- Play games like a Solitaire, Word Search, Crossword, and Puzzles when I am bore
As you can guess by this blog, I am addicted to my electronic devices. It’s as if I don’t even know how to write something by hand, look in a phone book for a number or local merchant, operate a regular camera or video cam, squint my way through a paperback novel, or pick up the receiver on a standard house phone anymore.
I wonder what I would do if I were marooned on a remote deserted island somewhere and had no access to these devices. Supposedly, I could knock down some coconuts or spear fish in the lagoon. Maybe I could get a deep suntan on the beach or lots of exercise swimming in the ocean. Or just construct a nice bamboo house for shelter and a soft bed out of banana leaves.
Sounds like I could trade my partially sedentary life style for a more healthy one. I would be forced to adapt to my immediate environment just to survive. Hmm…!