10 years of being smarter?

10 years of being smarter?

Yes, it’s been 10 years. 10 years since we’ve had unbelievable power literally at our finger tips, and in our pockets, handbags and other small spaces. It’s hard to describe the change that we have witnessed due to this gadget but can you imagine a world now without the smart phone?

My first mobile phone was a Semiens S3, it was 1995 and I was eighteen at the time. I had just left home to go to university and I thought it (and I) was the coolest thing ever. It could make phone calls and I could text people. Nokia (remember them) were a BIG player in the mobile market, with the Nokia 3310 selling 125 million units in the early 2000’s. I owned a number of Nokia’s over the years, they were robust and did what they needed to, the battery also lasted nearly a week!

The first time I came in to contact with a ‘smart’ phone was not until 2008 when I bought the first touch screen phone by Nokia (I was loyal) it was the 5800 Xpress Music and came with a colour touch screen and a stylus. It ran on an operating system called Symbian. A year earlier Apple had just released the iPhone and the first generation of iOS and Android didn’t hit the market until later in 2008. The mobile phone market was starting to take shape.

Some people have always had an Apple device, whether it’s because they are simple to use or the apps or well just because they like them. Some people have always had Android phones whether made by HTC, Samsung or Sony to name a few. Blackberries have come and gone as have Nokia and the Microsoft phones didn’t really get mass market penetration. Like so many things and in many walks of life it is the survival of the fittest who survive and thrive.

Whilst smart phones have only been with us for 10 years it feels quite nostalgic to look back at our own mobile phone usage and our preferences through the years. To bring back those memories take a look at the evolution of mobile phones from the telegraph below.


Can you remember your first mobile phone – what was it?

In this relatively short space of time smart phones have become so integrated in our lives that they stopped being ‘just’ a phone years ago. In fact, they stopped being phones when a music player and camera were added. These gadgets have evolved in to powerful computers with a huge array of tools and apps that can do almost any digital task. As mobile internet speeds have increased from E to G to 3G to 4G the speed in which we can find almost any information have reduced to the speed it takes to type in to Google and press ‘go’. Location services mean we have GPS and high detailed navigation tools like Google Maps or Waze to help us find directions, never again will we get lost or need to read an Atlas. Until we run out of battery any way.

Then of course we have social media, billions of people connected via networks and platforms where sharing information happens just in time and content can go viral in seconds and reach millions if not billions of people. Likes and shares have become a false economy of popularity and does the number friends or followers make us happy? All these platforms are easily accessible via a smart phone; in fact, the smart phone makes so many tools so much more accessible as they are in our pockets. Not only our phones are connected to the internet but a whole gaggle of gadgetry is surrounding us from smart watches to smart toothbrushes to wait for it…driver less cars. It’s not too far in the future.

Perhaps it’s too easy and in this relatively short space of time we have become too reliant on smart phones and become lazy. Why learn anything when you can Google it? Why learn to read a map when you have Google Maps, in 20 years we may not need to learn to drive.

There is also a dark side to smart phones, with kids getting complexes because mum and dad always have their faces in their phones. To remind you of that here is a lovely video called ‘look up’.


In terms of games, Supercell the mobile game creator is worth 2.3 billion after games such as Clash of Clans and Clash Royale rake in millions and millions in ££££ from in-app purchases. I’m sure many of us have had mobile bills from youngsters buying things they didn’t mean to. Cyber bullying is also rife and we have a duty to protect our children from technology as well as helping them to harness it in a positive way. How many families now use mobile phones or ipads as ‘child control’. I’ve done it myself so I’m certainly not judging anyone else.

When you really think about it though it’s not just mobile phones that have evolved. The way society connects and communicates and how we live our lives has changed for ever and smart phones have played and will continue to play a significant part in how we live our lives.

In 10 years have they really made us smarter and more connected or just the opposite?

I listened with interest to the latest Good Practice podcast on this subject which got me thinking about this today. Give it a listen and think about how smart phones have changed your life.


I’d love to know what you think in comments below.

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