Sunday, December 9, 2012

"The Whole World In His(/Her) Hand"

Typically, I am not an early adopter of technology. I like to wait until a new software or application has worked the kinks out before I try it.

A few years ago, however,  I decided I wanted to try to have as few devices as possible. I bought my first smartphone two years ago. I wanted my phone to also be my camera and my primary music device. My first smartphone had a really good camera and I used it all the time. It sucked as a music device because the battery didn't hold out for very long. I never did get the hang of using it for Internet exploring or emails.

A few weeks ago, I upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S III. It has an awesome camera, which I use for all my photos. I don't store them on my phone. I upload them to an online storage site, directly from the phone. Then, I really got serious about putting my life on my phone.  I
  • moved a bunch of my favorite songs to my phone, so I can listen to music while walking, without incurring data download charges.
  • hooked the phone up to my home WiFi network, and signed up for Pandora. Now I can listen to music on my phone! 
  • synched my Google email and calendar with the phone. 
  • installed the application from my bank, so I can deposit checks from the phone, and then pay bills. 
  • activated a built-in GPS (with voice). (Of course, I didn't activate until AFTER I had spend two hours driving around in circles, lost in St. Pete!)
  • subscribed to a bunch of newsletters, blogs and magazines.
  • installed the Kindle App and synched it with my Kindle, so I can read e-books wherever I am.
I have been online since 1997, but I am still blown away by the very existence of the Internet. This new chip technology totally amazes me. I learned to type on a manual typewriter (in fact the typewriter we had at home was an ancient, black Underwood manual that I think my dad bought right after WWII when he was applying for jobs). When I went to the movies as a kid, I kept a dime in my shoe for the payphone so I could call my parents to come pick me up when the movie was over. My first camera was a Brownie Starflash, which took only B&W prints. I learned about the world from a set of Collier's Encyclopedia. I went to the library to get books.  The first computer I ever saw filled up an entire room, and it didn't have a fraction of the power of my phone.    

I cannot describe the awe I experience contemplating the fact that I carry all of my important information, plus my camera, several hundred songs, 300 e-books and the power of the Internet in my purse.

Oh, yeah, and I can talk on the phone, too. 

It's positively uplifting to think about such amazing technology -- except for the fear I feel at the prospect of losing the damned thing in which case I'd be not only helpless but vulnerable in ways I don't want to think about.

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