A World of Technology in the Palm of Your Hand
Nowadays, people live lives far beyond the constraints of their neighborhoods. Even from the comfort of one’s home he/she can chat face-to-face with people in different countries, real time. But how is this possible? Well, technology is to thank. Technological innovations like high speed internet, cell phones and cars keep distant families as close as next door neighbors and reconnect long lost friends. To older generations, these hi-tech advances are unnecessary luxuries. However it’s doubtful that younger generations would be able to function without many of them. Personally, without my cell phone, iPod and GPS my life would be extremely difficult, if not totally impossible.
In this new millennium, constant communication with peers, parents and co-workers is an absolute must. I was given my first cell phone at the start of sixth grade. It was a purple candy bar Nokia, basically a plastic brick with a black and white pixilated screen and glow-in-the-dark rubber buttons. I was only allowed 500 minutes and no messaging and my contact list was no more than five numbers long. Since then, I’ve owned 17 different phones, but only 8 models and I now have unlimited talk, text and web on Verizon Wireless with a contact list more than 40 strong. I have had my cell phone confiscated before, but the consequences did not only affect me. Having no cell phone made it impossible to ask for rides after school, keep in touch with friends about homework and even my parents suffered for they were unable to keep in contact with me at all times. As a typical teenager I text much more than I call, it’s more convenient in my opinion. However, texting seems to have become an obsessive habit for those who excel at it. Texting in class, at the dinner table, sometimes even while driving. While I would not be able to efficiently function without my cell phone and texting, cutting back would not hurt.
Like the cell phone, most teenagers carry another hand held device in their pockets and purses, music players. Whether they are iPods or, less popular brands like Scandisk, music players seem to have become an absolute must for adolescents. At least for myself, I cannot live without my iPod. I was given it in the ninth grade and automatically loaded it up with everything from alternative music to classic Disney® songs. Before that I owned a Scandisk mp3 player, filled to the brim with pre-teen bop and the Freaky Friday soundtrack. With help from iTunes, I have expanded my musical taste into a library that confuses most people who witness it, but I cannot live without it. I have gone days, even weeks without music and it literally drives me into an almost manically depressive state. I tend to resort back to my out of date Scandisk or even taking my mom’s iPod to listen to. Between classes, during study halls, in the cafeteria, every time I get the chance, I listen to music. To some this will sound like an addiction and I am almost certain it is.
One technological device I am not particularly obsessed with, or at least not yet, is my global positioning system, more commonly referred to as a GPS. As a new driver, my GPS is absolutely essential. The fact that I’m not the best with direction is just the icing on the electronic cake. Over the summer, I was my little sister’s designated chauffer. I never had to go much further than downtown or a friend’s house, but one day she was intent on going to the Short Hills mall. Through the directions of a friend, we go there with ease, getting home was another story. I ended up turning the wrong way out of the mall and landed myself in the outskirts of Newark. I tried to follow back to the way I came, but only got more lost. Eventually, I made my way to the Livingston mall; I parked in the spots next to the Clothing Drop Boxes and called my mom in panic. She assured me it was a straight line home and she was right. After that, I insisted on a GPS to get me where I needed to be and back home. Now, I can use it to look up addresses and phone numbers of businesses far and wide, locate friends’ houses I’ve never been to and even help lower my impact on the environment by tracking my fuel usage and emissions according to my car’s MPG, braking and accelerating. My Garmin Nüvi GPS goes everywhere I go, car or not. With driving and pedestrian settings, I can use it whenever and wherever I go.
Whether it is calling to check it at home, entertaining myself on a long drive or not getting lost during a long drive, my cell phone, iPod and GPS are entirely vital parts of my day to day life. On a more relatable scale, communication, entertainment and travel are the basic vital comforts in everyone’s lives these days. Unless they are a basement hermit, in which case the only thing they need is some water and old cracker and they are set for life. Humor aside, these three little beauties are a must for everyone. Soon, they will be necessities, but for now they will just be considered palm sized luxuries.