The education of the smartphone has come upon us, one giant step at a time. In the past couple of decades, we have seen some major Information Technology Advancements. Right before our very eyes.
If you throw out the invention of the Abacus, which came on the scene 2400 years before Christ, everything else has been fairly recent. Galileo and Newton, and that whole group hit on some major deals in the 1500 / 1600s. Like the thermometer, the telescope, the microscope, and the pendulum clock, to cite a few examples. Then, of course, the physics of Newton formed the foundation for all of modern science. That was pretty monumental. An apple had something to do with things way back then.
But the phone, the phone. In 1973, Motorola made the first handheld mobile phone. The brick, really. It took 10 more years for any consumer to actually own those bricks. Then Nokia brought them to the average guy in an average size around 1997, and the Blackberry followed right after. That was when I got my first cell phone, albeit, I didn’t really know what to do with the thing.
Oh sure, I would call, or attempt to text people, but at what risk? I never knew when the thing would start bleeping. In the middle of someone’s Viewing was the worst. And I didn’t know how to shut the thing up. I can remember running outside from that little funeral home in West Alexandria, and admonishing that cell phone, in some dark alley… as it chimed out… “She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes….” I nearly launched the thing all the way to Gratis.
My cell phone was more of a curse back then. I had to carry it for work. I mostly just left it with my six white horses.
But then the Dawn of Civilization occurred in 2007. Apple of my EYE? Yes, the iPhone. When Steve Jobs ambled across the black stage, in his black shirt and blue jeans, I watched carefully, as he unveiled the magic. Oh, the magic. I signed on the dotted line before there was even a line. Pre-order was my middle name.
Since that time, our Smart Phones just keep getting smarter.
I can remember the day, the EXACT DAY, in Charleston, SC. I was standing on our porch on Meeting Street, waiting for a friend to meet me there. We were going to go look at houses, for some odd reason. Maybe because he is a Realtor, and we liked to troll places.
Nonetheless. There I stood on the chilly-ish bright day. Clutching my little phone in my hand. And he sent me one. A text. “Be there in a minute.” It said. But then… what followed….
Oh yes, my friend Justin was ahead of the times. Ahead of the world in fact. He was the “Neil Armstrong” of the Smiley Face, the Frowny Face, and the Lightning Bolt. The King of the Emojis.
I stood there, mouth agape. I texted back. “How did you do that.”
Him: LOL. Emoticons. I will be there in a minute.
We got absolutely nothing done for the rest of the day. Once I downloaded the app, it was all over. Our language had been transformed. We no longer talked with mere words, we were singing like Opera Stars. About everything. A green fish here. A flag of Uruguay there. I’ll see your two bumble bees, and raise you three popcorn boxes.
I can remember, a few days after that, going to a production of “39 Steps” at one of the Theaters in Charleston. Mary and I. It was Mary’s idea. A pretty dress-up occasion. But I was under protest. You see, the Steelers were playing the Bengals that night. Justin, dear Justin (who does not really like football) watched the game for me, and texted the scores. With feeling.
Justin: “Bengals just scored three points, but I am not sure how. They kicked it. (Frowny-Face, Frowny-Face, Frowny-Face).”
And I burst out laughing in the midst of that stuffy-crowd-play.
Since that time, the phones, the texts, the Emojis have truly affected all of us and how we communicate with one another. I’ve been in restaurants, where I’ve seen entire families sitting there, faces to their phones, and not one spoken word between them.
We all should probably just talk more. But I have to admit, I love Emojis. Like crazy. And, some of my best conversations have happened via those text messages. And smiley faces.
Balance is key, as with everything in life. Truly, I think it is all good. And I’m certainly glad and grateful to be friends…. with the King of Emojis.
Life is 🙂
“If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”
― Bernard M. Baruch
“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”
― Stephen Hawking