Assuming that you’re here reading this article on purpose and not by accident, I feel that it’s safe to assume that you have a dear place in your heart that you’ve set aside just for phones. It might sound weird because, you know, they’re just phones, but just like anybody else living here who has a hobby, when you find something you really enjoy reading about, using, or doing, you place that thing that you enjoy reading about or using above other activities in life.
I love phones. Anybody that knows me knows that I spend a lot of time learning about phones and using them. They’ve been a part of my life for the better part of ten years now, but aside from just seeing them as something that I use daily, I do see them as a hobby of mine. Even before I actually worked in the mobile industry, I would spend hours reading up on different phone models, watching review videos and unboxings, and visiting stores just to tinker with different phones. It’s basically what I do now, except for before I just did it just because I wanted to. I enjoyed it, and I still do.
I started thinking about this over the past week when I was approached two times by two different people talking to me about phones and why I liked them so much. I didn’t really have a response other than “I guess they’re just what I know.” But I knew there had to be a reason behind why I liked them so much. There has to be a reason that I’ve always had this draw to phones, whether it was a rinky dink flip phone, a messaging phone with a QWERTY keyboard, a touchscreen phone, or a smartphone. I liked learning about them all, even when it seemed like the coolest things phones had to offer was whether they could play Pac-Man or change colors when it rang.
Maybe it did have something to do with the fact that phones allowed me to stay connected to my friends almost any time I wanted, and it was easy to be discreet. Texting allowed me to say whatever I wanted and nobody around me would know what it was I was saying. At the time, Facebook was just starting out but was already extremely popular. You could even access it from your phone. At first, phones were only important to me because I could communicate with others. It wouldn’t be until later that I starting finding other ways to appreciate what phones could do.
My first real touchscreen phone was a Samsung Instinct. I liked the phone well enough, but the Internet browser that I used for it was heinous. I wanted something faster, and although applications weren’t really a big thing then, I somehow managed to finagle Opera browser onto the phone. I think it was this moment that I realized that somehow phones could be altered to perform better. I would later go on to expand on this further when I rooted a sluggish Windows Mobile phone, and then even further on down the line by rooting Androids and jailbreaking my iPhone.
I think I like phones so much because the industry is constantly changing. Even though it might feel like we’ve hit a standstill for now, I know that it won’t be long before the winds of change come around again. This industry has a tendency to stay fresh, and that can go a long way in holding onto one’s interest.