I got my first cell phone when I was 14. According to today’s standards, that’s actually not that bad - but back then, it was a pretty early age to have your own private line. Even though I went out and got a job in order to pay for the phone myself, looking back it probably wasn’t a terribly good idea to get one so early; all of those late nights spent texting and gossiping with my friends led to a lot of tired days. Regardless, it is what it is, and at the time having my own cell phone was a pretty boss aspect of my life.
I didn’t do much with my phone. As I mentioned, I spent a lot of time texting, but I also spent a lot of time talking on the phone with my friends. Ten years ago, texting and making phone calls were all I thought I would ever need.
Then the feature phone came out.
I think it was sometime in 2008 when I got my first feature phone, the Samsung Instinct. The phone was completely touchscreen (pressure sensitive, so it worked wonderfully with my nails but didn’t really respond well 100% of the time) and it included more than just the ability to talk and text. With this feature phone, I could also use the Internet much easier - I even installed Opera mobile for an easier browsing experience. This was also the first phone where I could store a good chunk of my music library on it, and had a dedicated e-mail application. Clearly I was wrong about my first couple of phones - this phone was all I ever needed.
Then smartphones came out.
If you want to get technical, I got my first BlackBerry long before I got my first Android. While BlackBerry devices were considered smartphones, it just didn’t have the same effect on me as my first Android did, so I’m going to start off with that.
I had my first Android phone sometime shortly after I had my son in 2010. I completely missed the iPhone train - not only was the phone beyond my price range and my parents had no intention in getting me one, but I also didn’t use AT&T. This made it impossible for me to get one until sometime after 2011 (which is when I did get one), but let’s back up and get back to where I started: Android.
My first Android was a Samsung Galaxy Vibrant, the first Galaxy S phone to hit the market. I loved it. It was big, yet small; slim, yet powerful. This touch screen was so much better than the pressure sensitive touchscreens on feature phones. Most importantly, this phone had a ton to do on it. I could text, talk, e-mail, and do everything that I was already used to doing on phones... and then way more. Designated social networking apps made it them so much easier to use. IM applications of almost any type made it easy to keep in touch with all of my friends. There were tons of games, productivity, and media apps to use. The possibilities were virtually endless. This wasn’t just a phone anymore. This. Was. Everything.
And, at some point, I really stopped using my phone for what I initially bought a phone for in the first place. Rarely do I ever make phone calls if I have to. For the most part, my phone gets used for five things: texting/messaging, e-mailing, games, productivity, and Netflix.
Technically, modern day “phones” are more useful than my old phones ever were - but it’s still weird to think that my main method of communicating with people when I was growing up is quickly becoming a fairly outdated method of communication. I don’t think making phone calls will ever actually be obsolete, but it’s certainly not as popular these days as it once was, at least not in my world.
Readers, when it comes to using your phone as a “phone” in the traditional sense, where are you at? Do you still use phone calls as a main method of talking to people, or have you switched to mostly using text messages and instant messaging?
Image via All Things D