After last weeks Osama Awara’s “10 things the Internet has slaughtered”, I decided to write something in a similar vein, except of course exchanging one vital invention (internet) of our lives for something equally important (smartphones). So here goes (in no particular order).
Dedicated hand-held gaming
Apart from a few notable exceptions (I am looking at you Pokémon), smartphone gaming has dominated this market. It has lead to the decline of Sony’s PSP line, as well as curbing any future dedicated consoles that may have arisen. I mean, why shell out several hundred pounds on something that can only play games that also cost 30-40 pounds a pop, when you could use that handy telephone of yours, spend 5 quid and get the same amount of pleasure. In fact some people suspect smartphones will have a bigger impact on the gaming industry as a whole!
With everything that these little wonder machines have to offer right at your fingertips, some people find it hard to keep their instant gratification monkey in check. Want to check that hilarious YouTube video in the middle of a lecture? Sure go ahead! Want to buy something on amazon? Go ahead, your smartphone can do it! In fact smartphones have managed to kill this off so well, that some people can’t even control themselves longer than 5 minutes, without compulsively checking their phone.
MP3 players (AKA iPods)
These little gadgets were the bee’s knees back in the day, ready to on one hand wow your friends with awesome tracks that you never listened to, and on the other croon to you on the bus with the tracks that absolutely embarrassed you. However with the advent of the smartphone, the device that could do all of the above AND make phone calls, the future of the one-track gadgets was doomed.
Why wait when everything is just right in your pocket? What is the point of waiting to see a message, email or tweet when you could see within a matter of seconds? In fact why doesn’t everyone answer right away? With the advent of smartphones and constant availability, any need to wait necessary or unnecessary is questioned.
Kind of obvious isn’t it? Why have a boring old feature phone (you know those ancient things that have physical keys) when you could have a super-duper awesome califragilisticexpialidocious smartphone that does everything you could ever imagine?!?
The magic of a portrait
In the past portraits were reserved for the rich and wealthy. Even with the invention of cameras, people would not have wasted their money, time or film (hopefully) on taking a selfie. However with the ease of snapping a quick pic introduced by smartphones, this inhibition of blatant self-love has been eroded. Nowadays you can’t escape the outstretched arm and pouty lips/tensed muscles that accompany many a selfie on any social media sites that you visit.
Saying: No I don’t want to send this picture of my genitalia to this random stranger I just met
Come lets face it, how many of you never attempted to sext with someone? Yeah I thought so. The promised instant gratification, and assurances of deleted messages have to often led some of astray. However before the dawn of the smartphone, sexting was almost unheard of. Yes once in a while you did get that pervert who tried to send you a grainy picture of themselves butt-naked, but all in all this is a newer phenomenon. Yet not many are aware of the dangers that can happen when you send something so private to anyone, so beware!
The Beauty of Shakespearean prose
Wen u abbreviate everythin it aint hard 2 understand that spelling skills are fading, innit? Well after you read through that cancer-inducing sentences, consider the impact that text speak is having on English. Textspeak is endemic in todays youth. Some of these even use textspeak for official documents and emails. Yes you may argue it is faster to use, and quicker to read. However when you look at all the beauty that the English language possesses, and then imagine it all written in numbers, single letters and completely wrong spelling its enough to really become depressed.
Treasuring your possessions
Since your smartphone becomes obsolete every year, it is not hard to imagine why people in general tend to update theirs on an almost annual basis. However this lies in stark contrast when durability and longevity of a gadget were prized, and the affection that grew towards something that you used over the years. I mean remember that old indestructible Nokia that you used to use? Exactly! Nowadays you can’t wait to throw that one year old trash out, to get the absolutely newest piece of tech.
Talking to real biological entities
Afraid of having to actually talk to people, but still in need of not feeling so alone in the world? Then you are not the only one at imperial! Enter the smartphone. Snapchat, iMessage Facebook messenger, among many others, have circumvented the actual need to look into someone’s eyes, while still allowing you to fulfil your daily communication quota. This easy road has manifested itself in more and more ridiculous ways. Smartphones are banned from dinner tables, which then feature stony silence. Groups of friends will often be seen all staring at their smartphones instead of actually having fun. Surely soon enough any form of communication will be replaced by a 4-5 inch screen.