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Mobile Phones: The Generation Gap

by Jord Tury 2 years ago in mobile

How trinkets became bolt-ons in under ten years

You may not see it, but mobile phones used to be a lot better way back when. Say, in 2006, when you and your friends had Motorola Razr flip phones and a whopping 100kbps bluetooth transfer speed. Those were the days to be alive. Not like now – what with the likes of Fibre broadband and "more convenient" ways of sending things wirelessly. These days suck in comparison, truth be told.

Whether you choose to believe it or not, phones used to have a unique characteristic ten or so years ago. There was this certain, I don't know, aura that bounced off of your hand when snapping the phone lid shut after a call. There wasn't any of this fingerprint recognition malarky or one-tap payment methods when buying groceries. There was just a bulky handset, and a million and one ways to explore your device.

Sure, they were much more blotchy and fiddly – but they were fashionable as heck. And, I can't speak for the world, but hanging up on somebody in this day and age just doesn't quite have the same affect to it. It's as simple as mushing your thumb down on a piece of glass. But, push back ten years, and oh boy – the options were endless. You could even go as far as to throw the phone against the wall and still feel satisfied when the lid slammed shut on impact. That's something you definitely can't feel with current-gen phones, my friends.

Phone developers were a little more adventurous back in the day, too. There was a common goal shared between rivals over who could create the strangest model. From the likes of slide-out keyboards to fold-out screens; companies thrived to create the next big thing that would hope to become the next groundbreaking design. But, take a look at today and what do you see? That's right –nothing. Perhaps a wider display, maybe. But, overall, it's essentially just the same old piece of glass with a different logo embedded on the back. That doesn't sound very fashionable to me, even if you can purchase diamond-encrusted cases for them.

Another thing that's changed drastically since the early noughties is the names of mobile phones. Somewhere, over a ten-year development race, we were able to go from the likes of LG Cookie's, LG Chocolate's and BenQ "Hello Kitty" phones to the mundane library of iPhone 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and so on. Now, I don't know about you, but in this day and age, we should at least expect developers to be a tad more creative with their brands. Because, honestly, even I'm struggling to point out the differences between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 11. And, other than a wider display – nothing really stands out to me like it used to.

I know, kids today live for the touchscreen. I also know that the thought of having no internet connection is beyond earth-shattering. But, back in the day, things like internet access and social apps weren't a necessity. They were more of an add-on which most people didn't really care too much for. That, in essence, seems crazy in todays world where ninety-nine percent of us rely on our Facebook news feeds and YouTube pings to get by. And, while it is technically more convenient, there was still a special thing about not having notifications interrupt us every six seconds of every day. There was a certain peacefulness that none of us have the privilege of experiencing anymore with newer phones. There was just text messages, a tiny music playlist, and a library of grainy pictures. That's all.

The early 2000's were not only a great time for teens, but also a blissful time for phone companies, too. Because, amazingly enough, internet and social networking wasn't a priority for most kids. It wasn't as shoved down your throat as it is in todays world. And, even if these things did happen to feature on your phone back then, chances were kids didn't really care a great deal about them. Instead, all it took to bewilder a generation was a snappy design and a cool ringtone. Nothing more, nothing less.

Today, we see kids glued to their phones like it's the only thing they're capable of physically touching. And, with the inevitable rise of social platforming and trending gadgets, teens are left with the option of moving with the herd, or losing the reputation they try so desperately hard to clutch onto. And, to be fair, that's the exact issue we, as a species, need to address.

In a world so sprinkled with micro-upgrades and pointless extras, kids feel the need to make each and every sacrifice just to keep up with the pack. And, at times, this has often set parents or teens back thousands of pounds just to keep a make-believe social status alive and pumping. But, beneath the covers, are there really any social statuses in dire need of an upkeep? That's something I, speaking from a previous generation of teen, cannot get my head around in this day and age.

Somewhere along the way we've seen the rise of the mobile phone and how it essentially spiralled from accessory to add-on. And, between the last ten years or more, kids have learnt to use phones as their main source of communication. Unlike 2005, where you'd have the option to text, but preferred the luxury of human interaction. That's pretty much all gone now, thanks to the likes of Bixby, Google Assistant and so on.

Some would say we live in a much more convenient time in terms of technology. I, on the other hand, have never felt more disconnected from the world than I do now. And that, is why mobile phones were better back in the day. That, is why I fear the marching progression of all things tech. But that's just me, and you might think otherwise.

The generation gap between todays twenty-five and eighteen-year olds isn't a huge one. But, in regards to mobile phones, there really is no stretch wider.

#Day1 #VocalChallenge2020 #01

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Jord Tury

Just a regular guy living in the West Midlands, UK.

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