COMMENTARY

It’s a smartphone world we live in

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What did we ever do before the smartphone? Crazy to think but the first Apple iPhone that was released in June of 2007 will no longer work.


Twelve years after its unveiling, the first-generation iPhone is dead as a doornail.


That was the second-generation iPhone for AT&T, which is now in the 5G wireless network. While the economy limps along, the world of the smartphone seems to be traveling at the speed of light until it completely overtakes our lives, I suspect.


I saw an editorial cartoon portraying the “Pearly Gates” and a lot of perplexed newcomers looking down. Two bearded gatekeepers were talking with the caption saying, “I wonder why this new batch just keeps staring at their empty hands?” I had to chuckle at that one.


I’m not sure how many smartphones I have purchased but I have several working iPhones in desk drawers at my home although I’m not sure if any of them would ever work again.


I’m happy with my latest — not the latest — model. Of course, when the next one comes out, I’ll be salivating all the more.


Like many of you dear readers, I’m attached at the hip to my iPhone. Where I go, so does the iPhone. I’ve turned my car around to retrieve my iPhone if I’ve somehow forgot it. Admit it, so have you. I digest my news, including Kentucky Today, via the smartphone. I read at least three other newspapers every single day, all from my smartphone and none the old-fashioned way. If you’re like me, send a text. Just kidding. Don’t do that. I get enough of those too.


However, if you want to contact me, I’m never more than a few steps away (and usually closer) from the beeping of a new text or even a new message coming in on Facebook. Like many of you, I’m “conditioned” to the sounds. Maybe a bit too conditioned.


For the vast majority of smartphone owners, the original iPhone no longer being revelant won’t register as much as a beep on their personal radars.


But I have friends who still had flip phones and use them regularly just a couple of  years ago. Not so anymore with the original Apple iPhone that has been rendered less.


The smartphone has become everybody’s favorite gadget and connection to the world, literally. You see people in all walks of life checking out their smartphones at lunch, in a checkout line and even, gulp, while driving a car. We read our Bibles from the smartphone platforms (or at least it looks like that’s what we’re doing).


The iPhone has improved dramatically since the first one came out a dozen years ago. It has more processing power and new features the 2007 handset couldn’t deliver.


The videos that I’ve produced for my former newspaper where I used to work, for Kentucky Today and for my own pleasure (and your entertainment) have been done solely with an iPhone8 Plus and an app (free) called iMovie. The last model produced is like the iPhone XR, or something like that.


My iPhone is one with the extra big screen which works well for my weakening eyes.


I wondered how it would feel in my pocket due to the extra big screen but, like everything else, you get used to it.


On my three overseas mission trips to Africa with Amy For Africa, it’s interesting to note that while the Ugandans don’t have much in the way of clean water or food, shoes on their feet or clothes on their back, many of them do have some form of smartphone.


The number of smartphone users is forecast to grow from 
2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019, with smartphone penetration rates increasing as well. Just over 36 percent of the world's population is projected to use a smartphone by 2018, up from about 10 percent in 2011.


It goes to show it’s a smartphone world we live in and it gets smarter with every generation that comes out. But as it gets smarter, are we becoming dumber? Reply with the proper emoji.


MARK MAYNARD is managing editor of Kentucky Today.Reach him at mark.maynard@kentuckytoday.com

 

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