My iPhone is a constant companion that I use throughout all my waking hours. It’s literally the first thing I grab in the morning and the last thing I relinquish at night. Really, it is! When I dreamed of owning one I knew I would have many uses for it, but I never imagined how much it would become an integral part of my everyday life. How it would become… my best little friend.
I’ve often said that if I lost my laptop computer, it would be like cutting off my right arm. With my iPhone and its instant ease of use and portability it’s far worse! (The same said arm and a leg of your choice below the knee). And the funny thing is… I rarely use it to make phone calls! Maybe they should name it something else. iPhone no longer does it justice!
I text, I Spotify, I Instant Message. I tweet, I Facebook and I occasionally email. I know what LOL and TTYL means. I have Siri, I have WolframAlpha and Evernote. I’ve reunited with family and friends and have made new ones in a digital world. I have the Internet, news, books, the information superhighway and the world at my fingertips! Most of my communication is through the written word. I can go days without even an audible “Hello.” With dozens of apps I use on a daily basis there is so much more that I do with my iPhone. Even in preparing these thoughts and the creation of this blog entry, with my WordPress app, it was accomplished in it’s entirety for the first time using only my little friend.
I have seen in my lifetime private written messages that we once called “letters” taking days for our family and friends to receive them. Oh how we waited in anticipation for day after day after day to receive a reply. Now the back-and-forth process, no matter the distance — or the time or circumstances that separate us — takes only a matter of seconds through our handheld gadgets. Is it any wonder the U.S. Postal service lost $16-billion last year? We now have an entire generation that has never even licked a stamp!
My music collection once numbered more than 400 CDs and amounted to around 5000+ songs. Stored in two heavy suitcase-like carrying cases, and weighing around 60 pounds, it could take several minutes to find and finally play a song of my choice. Todays modern technology has reduced my collection to one easily controlled device weighing a miniscule 4 ounces. And now with just a few taps of the screen any song in my now 18,000+ collection can be playing within a matter of seconds. Amazing! And this but scratches the surface of the tremendous power and capabilities of — yes again — my little friend.
I never thought much of the ability to make video phone calls. Like many things, I just didn’t get it! But now I have the opportunity to engage in frequent Facetime conversations with a few friends and my son who lives thousands of miles away in Brazil. It’s amazing the new dimensions this feature offers and the clarity of the video. No longer is it a mere phone conversation. Instead it’s like a living room visit as we converse back and forth sharing not only words but sights as well through our two-way cameras. Only problem is… you gotta dress for it!
Finally, my long-time goal to free myself from the entanglement of paper has begun to see the light of day, and in a big way! All those loose slips of hand-written notes, the to-do lists, the reminders, the memory joggers those scraps with no rhyme, reason or organization now at least have found some order. The myriad pages and pieces of paper are no more and only a couple of small spiral notebooks, some files and notebooks remain. Life is great thanks to my little friend!
To say I’m amazed with the technological advances we’ve seen would be understated. All of this goes far-beyond anything I would have imagined just a decade or two ago. I envy what my children and their children will someday be able to do that by today’s standards are difficult for us mere mortals to conceive, to even imagine. I read Bill Gates’ 1997 book The Road Ahead, he wasn’t even close! And we’re using words now that 15-20 years ago would have sounded like something uttered by an extraterrestrial! (Google?)
“Never in recorded history has there been a period of such remarkable progress in terms of science and technology. These advances have helped to facilitate … growth and expansion throughout the world. But they have also contributed to the rise of materialism and self-indulgence and to the decline of morality.”*
So, there you go. I’ve introduced you to my little friend and have included him in my life at the risk of materialistic self-indulgence and moral decline. But you never really know, for as horrible as it can be — at the hands of the heartless and utterly fickle — friends can be easily forgotten when new ones come along. I’ve been recently introduced to iPad.
*M. Russell Ballard, Learning the Lessons of the Past, April 2009, LDS Church General Conference