Science/Technology How have smart phones changed your life? Eric Ringham June 8, 2010, 5:00 AM Jun 8, 2010 17 comments Apple unveiled the fourth generation model of its popular iPhone on Monday. Today’s Question: How have smart phones changed your life? ‹ Older Does summer vacation still serve a useful purpose? Newer › What would it take to get you out of your car? Browse by category Education Health Economy Politics/Government Culture Religion/Ethics Science/Technology Transportation Race/Gender Environment/Energy Security International affairs Immigration Media Military About the blogger Eric Ringham firstname.lastname@example.org Dianne Not one bit, because I don’t own one. DNA How have smart phones changed my life? By making me want one, a Google phone or whatever multifunction internet capable hand held communication device. I want to be out in the world and have the internet at hand wherever I go. As it is, I haven’t had a cell phone since early 2004, and now I want an unlimited, affordable, super friendly, genius phone ASAP. Trey Wodele I remember, in the late 90s, making fun of people with cell phones. I bought one when I had my first child. It made phone calls. I remember in the mid 2000s, thinking that it sure would be great if my phone and my Mp3 player were one gadget, so I wouldn’t have to carry both. Apparently I wasn’t the only one with that thought. These days, I can’t imagine not being connected. I play scrabble constantly, look up info, directions, reviews, and weather. I email, Twitter, and Facebook on the go. I exchange texts with my children’s grandparents. As an educator, I see endless possibilities in the use of mobile technology. I dream of a classroom made of docks, ready for students to slip their personal readers into. I hope for the day that we stop banning technology in our schools and start embracing it. To answer your question: On June 24th, a new phone will be in certain stores. I will be in line. Steve Thanks to my smart phone, I no longer notice the world around me, no longer interact with people around me, and no longer pay attention to other traffic around me! Living virtually sure is better then living in the real world! Keith How sad that people feel the need to be connected to the net 24/7, instantly available and reachable by anyone at any time. Has “alone time” become a thing of the past? I don’t own a smart phone, nor do I have the slightest desire to. I don’t even own a cell. If I’m not home, I don’t want to be reached! I am sick of being out with others and having them constantly checking their phones for calls, texts, tweets or any other inane communications from their friends every 5 min, as if the people they are hanging out with are not interesting enough to hold their attentions. Steve the Cynic I don’t own one. I get emails that have “sent from my Blackberry” tacked on to the end, and it annoys me greatly. Do people who have them think they’re superior to those who don’t? Will people be getting the latest and greatest new thing, because they think if they don’t they’ll become second-class citizens? Though I could afford one, I don’t plan on getting one, because I’m not convinced that the value it will add to my life is worth what it costs, either in terms of money, or relationships. Mike in Lake Elmo I work in an outdoor “toy store” selling backpacks, bicycles, camping equipment and the like. Smart phones make a difference there because often the customer can access technical information about products faster through their phones than I can using store computers or product information sheets! The customer will also use the phone to compare costs or send information and pictures of the product to a spouse or friend for their help in selection. This easy access to and transfer of information has changed the focus of our job from giving product information to helping the customer select the right product and helping with how to best use the product. Kally I had a baby two days after Christmas. I was on maternity leave during New Year’s Eve and the beginning of the year. If I hadn’t had my iPhone, I would have went insane more so than I already was. Having the smart phone kept me in contact with friends via Facebook and Words with Friends. It also let me read books on a whim and chat with friends via AIM. I still spent time with my baby, but while I was rocking him to sleep and needed some grown-up talking time, it was there to save my sanity. Jamison I use the gps in my smartphone to track my running, and at the same time listen to internet radio (MPR of course) while I run. All on one device. Cynthia Although my husband had to convince me to get one initially, I am now a proselitizing fan of it! In the folktale: Boot’s and His Brothers, retold by Eric Kimmel, a recurring point is: “Whenever you ask a question, do not rest until you find the answer.” The iPhone helps me answer dozens of queries or wonderments that come up in a day: Like, where IS Salmon, Idaho and how far is it from Lewiston? What is the average length of a professional bull riders’ career? (about a dozen years). I love being able to research an answer at the point of wonderment because previously, even the questions would be forgotten by the time I had the resources available. Tim in Rochester They’ve made my roads less safe. Shane I no longer have a computer or a land line. I can do everything from one device. And at the rate they are going the smart phone will replace the digital camera as well. kennedy Smart phones have changed my life by making my basic cell phone and service plan much less expensive. Kari Lucin I was at a press conference half an hour away from the office by car with another reporter. By the time we had driven 15 minutes toward the office, she had “written” her lead and I used my phone to put the big news online before anyone else at the press conference released it. Smartphones are invaluable tools for journalists. Darin Warling My iPhone is the single-most used — and most useful — item I own. It’s my phone, my music player, my web browser, my encyclopaedia, dictionary, calculator, calendar, notepad, contact list, finance tracker, news reader, book reader, to-do manager, clock (and alarm clock), exercise tracker, movie critic, restaurant critic, email terminal, radio, movie theater, map, compass, weather reporter, camera, camcorder, stenographer, television and game machine, all packed into a tiny pocket-sized device that runs all day on a single charge. Really, it’s nothing short of miraculous. Essentially, it has become a second brain that takes care of the innumerable rote and mundane aspects of life and puts just about every bit of the world’s information a few seconds away. It may not be “the best” for any one of those particular tasks but it sure beats carrying all of those separate things (and more) around with me all the time. (No longer having to lug a full set of Encylopaedia Britannicas with me everywhere I go is -already- a huge win!) Of course, one might argue whether one really -needs- to carry all of those separate things around with you all the time, but given that it’s smaller and lighter than my wallet and can be purchased for $99, there’s really no reason not to do so. Philip I now have a camel in my bathtub. rose I just want a phone which will send and receive phonecalls. I’m not against technology or for those who want / need all the bells, whistles or apps; I don’t need or want these. My choice is now limited AND I have to pay for features I’m not interested in. I’m supplementing those just at a time when my life is suppose to transition to simple and slowing down. By the way, I’m also against forcing the HD TV and radio to all.