Okay, so phones are pretty useful…

I was a teenanger when cell phones really exploded on to the scene. Middle school offered flip phones and semi-flat, sleek smartphones that were nowhere near as smart as today’s phones. But what I am getting at is, I have seen what the mobile phone explosion did to my age group, it reshaped everything about the way we communicated and it actually broke down barriers, while constructing a few in the process. I have always thought these new technologies have been more effective at alienating people and destroying the idea of face-to-face communication and relationships. I took those thoughts and constructed a personal hate for some of these technological innovations. 

I am going to admit something. I was wrong about technology. Its great. 

Something that has resonated with me lately, mobile devices are excellent resources for growth and learning and collaboration. I keep my phone on myself nearly 90% of the day and probably use it just as much. I keep in constant interaction with information through the podcasts I listen to, use different apps to check my emails and watch lectures for iSchool, and have recently worked alongside another librarian to incorporate the use of the social-gaming network, Discord, as a resource to strengthen internal communication among staff. My opinions towards technological have begun to evolve.

There was one item I wanted to address before concluding my thoughts on our most recent modules. From a historian’s perspective, while reading “Smartphone ownership is growing rapidly around the world, but not always equally”, it was stated that “In most emerging economies…ownership rates [of smartphones] across all age groups tend to be lower than those seen in advanced economies” (Silver, 2019). My question: If developed countries have a wider access to information and the ability to create information on greater platforms, what will this mean for the history and the future of third world, developing countries? What information will be lost because of a lack of access to new technology? What information will be manipulated by other countries? What if those countries aren’t friendly? Will unequal access to technological innovations create a skewed, unequal history of the world? Not that history is balanced in the first place, nevertheless, I am sure the future will witness the loss of cultural and social histories of some groups of people due to this unequal mobile access.

Reference

Silver, L. (2019). Smartphone ownership is growing rapidly around the world, but not always equally. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2019/02/05/smartphone-ownership-is-growing-rapidly-around-the-world-but-not-always-equally/

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2 Comments

  1. I am glad to read about your relationship with your phone. I feel similarly connected – especially with my podcasts. I feel like every walk I take I can learn, hear a story, get a glimpse of someone’s life etc. I think it’s cool you view lectures on your phone as well. I think many students may do that.

    Your points about the tech divide are well taken.

  2. Hi Adam,
    I liked learning about your experience and history with phones. I honestly remember when the Nokia aka the brick, Blackberries, LGs, and Motorola Razrs and the sequel Crazrs came out. I myself had a Motorola Razr but it wasn’t until I was 13-14 that I received it. I honestly had no real use for the phone back then to be honest.

    I liked learning about your revelation about how these flip phones and pager phones transformed communication despite them just exploding in the scene. They were simple yet effective. I barely even used it to send text messages. It was great for what I needed back then: just to contact my parents and friends over a phone call. Nowadays I realize how I mostly communicate via messenging apps. Even texting is a rarity.

    Despite my personal frustrations with technology at times, like you, I’ve found the beauty in what technology has achieved. It has perhaps enriched the day to day experiences and habits of the average person.

    In terms of the technological divide, I’m honestly curious to see what will happen in the future. Because it’s true countries that might not be able to afford that access to technology might find themselves at a stand point.

    I have felt this to a small degree when I returned to visit family in the southern part of Taiwan where they do not have Wi-Fi nor do they have heating. They primarily used large fans to create a sort of AC effect for the living room. In this, I do wonder what we can do to provide access to them when funding and location can be a concern.

    Tiffany

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