Several years ago when tests and quizzes went out to college students, professors did not have to say anything like, “put your cell phones away.” For one thing, cellular devices weren’t as common and widespread, but also they did not have the capabilities that today’s do, such as taking pictures and sending them in messages. Now, kids in middle school and on up (and I’m sure some spoiled younger ones too) have cell phones. And unlike when I first got mine, they aren’t just about making calls to my family.
Howard Rheingold explores the aspect of mobile phones and technology in How to Recognize the Future When It Lands on You. He makes a statement about Mobile Internet being a way to do things that couldn’t be done before. “Anybody who remembers what mobile telephones looked like five years ago has a sense of the pace at which handheld technology is evolving,” he said. “Today’s mobile devices are not only smaller and lighter than the earliest cell phones, they have become tiny multimedia Internet terminals.” So true.
I can text and send PIX messages, and I could use the internet on my cell phone, although I choose not to pay for and run up the air time by doing so. Nevertheless, I’m not oblivious to what’s going on around me. Cell phones are exactly what Rheingold said: tiny multimedia Internet terminals. What many of my peers can do is pretty remarkable.
I’ve been on the Internet before and checked sports scores, but people are now accessing their Facebook accounts and requesting friendships with you standing right next to them. People are chatting as well, and by that I mean more than texts back and forth. I am the Basketball Recruiting reporter for the Indiana Daily Student, and I contacted a high school basketball player last night over Facebook. He gave me his screen name, which I added to my buddy list at 8:30 this morning. I saw he was signed on, and when I clicked his profile, it said he was online through his Sidekick.
Through Verizon Wireless’ V CAST, one can easily access audio and video content to meet his or her entertainment demands. And now with the iPhone, we have even more of an "all in one" device, although iPhone's don't have the best service or coverage.
Cellular devices, as I feel most comfortable calling some of them, come in all shapes and sizes and have altered the social practices of people throughout the world. Ten years ago, who knew that you would eventually be able to take photos, send texts and emails, record videos, and possibly listen to music all from the same device. Yes, as Rheingold said, things are being done that couldn’t be done before. We have definitely come a long way from this. Pretty soon we’ll be looking at something like this...just kidding.