The phone has been around for a very long time. Over the years, the phone became more and more integral to our daily lives. Back then, phones could basically do only one thing, call people. Talking on the phone with someone was the main function of the phone. The phone was very good at accomplishing this task. When we needed to contact someone, all that we needed to do was find a phone. I still remember the days when we had pay phones in public. Those were the days. You put quarters into a machine and could call someone. Then someone had to be at home in order to pick up the call. No cell phones back then so people could not contact each other instantly. So different now and I am only talking about calling someone. I have not even started on all of the different things that phones can do today. The past recent years have shown that the time to contact someone is diminishing more and more by the day. We just take our phones today and within seconds we can contact someone. Technology has truly become amazing at how far we have progressed. Information can reach its destination in just a few seconds. I would like to start this article out with all of the abundant opportunities today’s phones have brought up. Now we have our entire lives in the palm of our hands and can practically do anything anywhere now. This is a moment that some people might have never thought to be able to be achieved.
Our Phone Brings Us a Wealth of Information and Opportunities
I would like to discuss how phones have brought us not only a wealth of information but how that information has given us new opportunities in life. As I mentioned before, the days of pay phones and phone booths are pretty much over. The last public phone that I saw was just some years ago. I highly doubt that the public phone was even usable. Probably that public pay phone is just a relic that is being showcased like at a historic museum. That is the neat thing about life. Being able to experience the changes around us and thinking how we started back then and how we advanced to today. We are only talking about a short period of time but so much technological progress has been made. Progress will only move faster and we will see the future sooner than expected because technologically is advancing so quickly. I do want to bring up how all of the apps on our phone transformed it into something that does more than make phone calls. The apps do everything, they run our lives now. I almost feel like if we never made it this far with phones where would we be today? Also, since we made it here, could we ever go back? What would happen if things went back to the way that they were before phones arrived. Just tossing a few thought-provoking questions to make you think about what has happened. As one of the themes of this website, I want you to look back and reflect on what it means to actually reach a certain point in life and the impact it has had.
Finally the Digital Assistant Who Works 24/7: Push Notifications
We all remember PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). Our phones today have become our own personal digital assistants due to their ability to push rather than pull information. There is a difference between pushing and pulling information. Pulling information is what we have always done on Google. You search for information and receive a list of search results. This is called pulling information because you are literally pulling information off the search engine via your search. Pulling information was so common when search engines first started because it was very easy to send you information based on what you searched for. Search engines need to know what you are looking for. So they sit and wait for you to request information and then respond with hopefully a list of relevant information. At the beginning of the web, there was no information to search for. This changed as people created websites full of pages that could be found on search engines. Once there were enough websites and people using them, search engines could be used to help people find the information that they need on those websites. This worked very well for so many years. Search for information, find it. Such a simple premise right? This almost sounded so perfect that there was no need or way to improve such a simple basic process. Like with everything in life, we can always make things better. That is where push notifications come in.
I basically talked about pull notifications, which required someone to initiate an action to perform some task. I used looking for information on search engines as an example. What about push notifications? Push notifications relieve the need for someone to start an action. Instead push notifications will automatically send relevant information to users based on their phone activity. For example, if you like looking up certain services and products online, your phone will remember that. This is typically done through apps and web browsers that keep track of your browsing history. Pushing information to you is faster than pulling because pushing allows you to know what is going on not just on your phone, but your life. Do you have some events coming up soon? Placing them on a calendar on your phone will send reminders to you to help remind you that you have something coming up soon. This relieves the need for you to check your calendar and remember if you have an event to attend. This frees up your time since you do not have to constantly check your calendar on your phone. Push notifications really helped with managing our lives and businesses since we no longer need to look up information constantly. Instead, the information now comes to us.
This is very important because phones now alert us of any important events and this was a game changer. This is how we no longer had to always look for information. But now, rather the information comes to us. So we can spend more time enjoying our lives and just check in every now and then for new developments. We always have the option to look for information whenever we need it. We just no longer need to do it so constantly. This is how new opportunities are born because not only do we have more time to explore in life, but our phones do so much now that we can do new things without having to go outside. We truly have minimized the time needed to get things done. Everything can be done in the palm of our hands now. I mean almost everything. We are getting very close though. Very exciting times for those who know how to thrive in the new world.
Remote Communication: More than Just Talking on the Phone
As discussed at the beginning of this article, all that phones could do is just talk on the phone. I am talking about the phones a long time ago, where they only had the receiver and number pad, no display screen yet. Nowadays, we can use our phones to do video chats. This was great because we could physically see the people who we are talking to. This made it so that phone calls could be personal and more emotional. You no longer hear a voice but you also see a person. Another addition of having the screen on calls was that it was great for business. You could do desktop sharing and show your screen during a video conference. This allowed people to provide visual information during calls to make it easier to convey and share ideas. No longer did we need to be in-person in a conference room full of people. We just could share assets and resources while on a call and this made meetings so much better. Also, we could do video conferences with multiple people at once. So we needed a screen so that we could show all meeting participants and see who is talking. So the advances of the phone and a screen were pertinent to getting us to where we are today.
Physical Brick-and-Mortar vs. Virtual Stores: Amazon
Another example of how our phones have made our lives easier is reducing the need to visit stores to purchase products. Today’s phones have an interesting side-effect of indirectly reducing the need for us to drive. Something that I have always found interesting in life is the concept of cause-and-effect. We already know what this is. Basically, something happens and it causes other things to happen as a result. Sometimes the additional effects of what happened first are unintentional. We do not always know what ramifications occur from a single event. If one event is strong and powerful enough, its effects can ripple across and cause many other events to occur. The point that I am trying to make is that as phones became advanced enough, they reduced the need for driving. So the effect of reducing driving was the cause by being able to stay home and buy stuff online from stores like Amazon. Instead of having to physically drive to a store, you can just buy it online and have products shipped to you. Again, this allows us to save time with our shopping so that we can spend more time doing other things. If we take this free-time and use it to be productive, then we are making the most of the extra time that our phones give us. This is what I mentioned earlier in this post when the successful know how to use their phones to create more time that is better used on productive efforts. This is what I want to share with you as you use your phones to do things faster and be more efficient with your life. This takes us to our next topic on reducing driving, the current cost of gas.
$6 Gallon Gas: Reducing Our Need to Drive and Be Physically Present
Speaking of reducing driving, today’s gas price at the time of writing floats around $6/gallon. So we really need to use our phones more, to do things that once required so much driving. Driving is expensive, adds more cars out there and wears your vehicle down faster. I understand that we still need to drive. What our current situation is showing us, is that whenever we are going through hardship, we need to explore new opportunities to weather the storm. This is where technology really helps with running our lives and becoming more efficient with what we do and how we do it. From what I am seeing now, we can identify new opportunities to reduce our driving. I mentioned buying stuff online as one, another is finding alternatives on your phone for places that you normally would have to drive and physically be present for. With our phones being so advanced as they are today, we should be able to find other options to reduce the amount of cars on the roads. Another plus out there, is just the amount of smog that cars release into the air. There are still a lot of gas-powered vehicles out there so less smog in the air would be a good thing for us. Again, we cannot go to the extreme ends and say, stop driving completely or drive everywhere at every single whim. This is not about that. This is more about using our phones to help us make better decisions and when driving is necessary. This is the power of information and how the web can greatly help us live better lives.
Watching a Movie Tonight? Just Stream It on Your Phone
The days before the Internet were interesting. You actually had to go to a movie theater to watch a movie. Now, you can just watch it online. The funny part is, movie theaters no longer have exclusive movies to show anymore. Many online streaming services have shows and movies that only they have. Of course today, if you still want to watch the latest movies, you have to go to the theaters. We have more options now and some people can wait for the movies to come out on streaming. I feel like movie theaters will be here for a while longer. One observation that I have noticed is that when everything closed, so did the theaters. The theater took this time off to upgrade their seating and make the experience nicer. I remember that most theaters had seats that made you sit upright. Now you can lay back and recline. Some theaters even have rooms with seat warmers in them. Movie theaters are competing with online streaming services and now have mainly the unique selling point of showing new releases. Other than showing the latest movies, theaters are battling it out with streaming services. Just think of it. The cost to watch one movie is about equal or might even exceed the monthly cost of a streaming service. Then you have to factor in that you are watching one movie with that cost of a ticket versus a whole month of being able to watch a lot more on streaming. So this is how competitive theaters are with just being able to watch movies on our phones.
Learning New Skills Online
Another example of phones running our lives is the ability to learn new stuff just by watching videos online. Do we even need to pay for school now? Now, I know that this is a loaded question with a lot of implications involved. I do have to say that watching videos online can show you how to learn new skills without having to take classes. This is what I meant at the beginning of the article that our phones open new doors of opportunities. Like I have mentioned in my other posts, we have to have the will to actually use what we have to gain something from these opportunities. It is not enough to have opportunities available to us. We actually have to want them and use them to make us stronger and figure out how they can help us.
Our phones have become our entire lives in such a small little thing that fits in our hands. Who knew when today’s phones came out that we could literally put everything in our life in something so small. Amazing is it not? We are using them everyday to do everything. These little things are really running our lives and our businesses. The convenience of your whole life that you can carry with you at all times just shows how far we have progressed in life. Just looking back and reflecting upon it, reminds me how the power and speed of information has made it so that we no longer have to go through such great lengths to get things done now.