Week 41: Changes

Can you imagine what life was like back in 1620? Some of my ancestors came to America from England in that time, maybe on the Mayflower. Imagine all the changes in lifestyle that have happened since then. Carriages and carts, not planes, trains and automobiles. Kettles hung over fires, not stoves that light at the press of a button. Town criers running from village to village, not news that comes to us through the air and appears at our beck and call.

Wall phone in my kitchen in 1968

Of all the changes I can think of, none has been more impactful on how we spend our time than the little device that we carry around and tap on all through the day. 97% of Americans own a cell phone and 85% own a smart phone. How smart is a smart phone? That little device combines and brings to our hands the telephone, television, camera, post office, newspaper, doctor’s office, calendar, dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, weather report, carpenters level, thermostat, magazines, game table, stores, EKG…the list goes on and on.

Wherever I am, as long as I have a cell phone tower nearby, I have the world at my fingertips in one little device…well almost! I can’t cook on my smart phone but I can order food and have it delivered. My phone doesn’t replace plumbing or refrigeration. It can’t physically move me from one place to another yet, but it can show me the way and show me a picture of my destination or of anyplace in the world.

Think of how you spend your time. How often do you pick up your phone to do something, find something out, make something happen? How would you have done that same thing 50 years ago? What will our phones be doing 50 years from now?

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