Info Gluttony

We Are So Lucky

Posted in tech / Internets by echan on August 1, 2008

I think there was an article in Business Week or somewhere else a while ago that outlined how we (as in middle class Americans) are all really rich in terms of the technology we have today, compared to what was available to the super-mega-wealthy at the turn of the century (i.e. fridges, air conditioning, the Internet, etc.).

I’ve been turning this idea around in my mind lately in terms of today’s crop of cell phones.  I remember distinctly back in college that there were moments when popular media had the ability to make us gasp in envy at a new phone.  Two such examples are the collective gasp that my friends had when we saw Neo’s slide phone in the first installment of the Matrix.  Similarly, the season premieres of mid-late seasons of the X-Files fueled conversations about Scully and Mulder’s new handheld devices. I haven’t had one of those moments lately.*

But those phones are now relics, as most of my circle has transitioned to some sort of smartphone that we would not have imagined back during the Clinton administration.

* As this link from GeekinHeels points out, other people had one of those moments with the Dark Knight.

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4 Responses

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  1. dannebrog said, on August 1, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    I have envy for a shoe phone (a la Maxwell Smart).

    Maybe we’re at the point that the only envy moments are going to come from people with much more tech savvy. That is, (as your starting premise goes) cellphone technology is far enough advanced that even Hollywood can’t top it. So envy comes from features that the masses won’t notice or care about, but the tech-nerds will salivate over.

  2. A N N A said, on August 3, 2008 at 5:28 am

    You’re making me reminisce about my first cell-phone, that brick from Motorola which I got in early 1992. All the kids in my high school class were in awe, I was in hate– the only reason my hyper-strict Dad let me have it was

    a) because I could bludgeon someone with it, so it served a dual-purpose as a weapon and

    b) so I could call him 20 minutes after I left the house in the a.m. and 20 minutes after I left school in the p.m.

    My school was exactly 15 miles away. The extra five minutes was in case I had to park in the “far” parking lot, which I was obviously to do if any of the “closer” spots might result in dents.

    Ah, I miss my Indian, proto-helicopter daddy. 🙂

  3. ToastyKen said, on August 3, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Hm. So I just got a slider (a Sony Ericsson W580i), and while it’s not technologically fancy (basically same features as my previous phone of two years), the sliding actual does feel great. I love the tactile feel of sliding the phone closed to end a call.

    So I think the mechanical stuff can still hold something over the new smart phone software functions.

  4. eflan said, on August 4, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    @A N N A, I’m impressed by your early adopter status.

    My personal favorite phone was my old Silver Startac flip phone with the green/orange/blue display.


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