I think people mistakenly believe that the phone was invented so one person can talk to another person without that person being physically accessible. That’s a fair perception, except that it’s an anachronism. The phone was never about talking. The purpose of a phone is in essence to connect people. It always has been. Being able to talk to someone might have been the best method of connecting twenty years ago, but that has changed. The nature of being connected has completely changed. (By the way, shoutouts to my former employer Cisco for being ahead of the curve in defining connectivity in this new generation.)
The smart phone is a tool more than it is a phone. It allows you to connect to almost every avenue of communication that has ever mattered to you. It’s a way to update your digital presence (Facebook, Twitter, Google Latitude, online chat, etc.) without a computer. It’s a way to plan your evening when you’re already on the way. It’s a way to jog down notes and ideas when there’s no pen and paper to be found. Heck, I wrote most of this blog entry on my iPhone 3G during my commute today
Most importantly, the smart phone enables you to connect to other people in so many different ways. It’s more of a Swiss Army Knife than the actual Swiss Army Knife ever was. It’s a personal assistant that keeps your schedule, figures out where you are, figures out where your friends are, finds the best restaurants, books travel arrangements, checks you in for a flight, allows you to read the latest news of any category, allows you to listen to music or watch TV wherever you are, and so much more. That’s what it means to truly be connected.
Now more than ever, it’s the right time to have a smart phone. I strongly encourage you to get one at the next feasible opportunity. As a young professional in a fast-paced city, it’s a tool to live a very rich life but to also keep it manageable. Some people will say “I don’t need a smart phone.” When all of their friends are picking a place to meet up and the only information they have is a fraction of a restaurant name and a general vicinity, may God bless their long and exhaustive journey.
Sure, you won’t die if you don’t have a smart phone, but you’ll live so much better if you do have one. Don’t be the person slowing down everybody else in 2011. Blackberry, Android, iPhone, it’s all good. Think about it.
I will now submit this entry with my phone. Ta-da!