Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Apple that shook us to our core

Time flies when you're checking your email or scrolling through social media.

Something happened 10 years ago today that has literally changed the way we live.

In fact, I would put it right up there with what I still consider the single most important invention - the one that fundamentally changed our lives forever. That, of course, would be the TV remote control.

My kids still don't believe that not that long ago you actually had to get up out of your seat, walk over to the TV, and adjust the knob if you wanted to change the channel.

If you don't think that simple activity changed our lives, look around. We are all less active, less inclined to get up off the couch. And that says nothing of the thunderbolt this delivered to advertisers, who suddenly realized they no longer had a captive audience. Instead, they now had to cater to people who had the option of 'surfing' through their commercials.

So what happened 10 years ago today?

Apple rolled out its very first iPhone.

There are days I curse this gadget. And, of course, days that I don't know how we ever lived without it.

There are days I long for the times, such as when I set off on my first cross-country drive to Colorado. No credit card, no cell phone, a car that I probably shouldn't have been driving across town, let alone across the country, mom and dad standing in the driveway waving and saying, 'Call us when you get there.'

The smartphone has done some I'm not sure anyone realized. It has brought us all closer together, and in a way driven us all farther apart.

Don't believe me? Try this test.

Next time you're in the mall, check out the food court. There was a time, not that long ago, when people would be sitting at all those tables conversing with each other. Now you see them all with their heads down, staring at their phones.

It is the Apple curse.

We no longer talk. We text.

We no longer write. We push out messages 140 characters at a time.

We no longer keep two hands on the wheel. We reserve one for our phone, so as not to miss the latest text or social media update.

We are a distinctly different society than we were 10 years ago.

I'll leave it to you if that means we're better off or not.

Happy 10th birthday.

Woops, gotta run. Have to check my email, of course.

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