An year ago around same time, I was at my hometown. There was a TV commercial which made my dad’s head turn, he looked at us (me and my sister were lazing on the sofa), and asked “What is that ?”. My sister was the first to react, she started in an exclaiming voice and said, “That’s iris scanner papa. To unlock the phone you just have to see into the scanner and boom it unlocks the phone in a ziffy !!”.

I jokingly told my dad to buy the phone to which he wittily replied saying I should be the one buying such phones. It was the Samsung S8+.

Oh!! In olden days … (as per my father) 

There were books, journals, magazines, weekly and monthly issues. While embarked on a train or bus journey we used to take some books or buy news paper on the railway platform. For the latest happenings in the country or even our county we have to wait for a day for the information to be presented to us in the form of  newspaper

There were landline phones, though the name sounds funny, they are fixed devices. To be able to make a call, we either have to be at home or find an STD booth. While walking along the streets we used to remember where the STD booth’s on the way were so that we can contact our family in emergency. When we shift homes changing the connection means raising a support request, wait for at least 2-3 days until the connection is moved to new place. If there were rains or huge winds, the lines used to go bad making the phone dead.

To apply for jobs we have to wait for the circular to be published in the newspaper, or there were special job vacancy catalogs which we could buy in book stores. 

Fashion magazines were the only go-to for latest fashion trends. Word of mouth was a great advertisement tool back then.

To listen to our favorite songs, we have to wait for a week so that the music show/dial-in program will be aired. Even the radio had programs solely based on latest songs. Entire family gathers near the radio for the program eagerly waiting for it to start and sing together, it was such a fun waiting for those songs.

To pay the electricity bill, we have to collect our bill, take proper change (as in dime/paise), stand in the queue to pay the bill. If there is any discrepancy or mistake it takes days together to get it corrected. It is similar case for bus or train reservations. All of this has changed due to technology… 

He took a pause and said, “Life is so convenient now, we don’t have to invest so much of time on all these important things. Auto-register for payment of the bills and we are done”

Really, life is very convenient now. Let me give you my own example.

(Contd.,) Few months later, I was looking for a phone with a good camera. Due to my health condition I was no longer able to carry any weight on treks, carrying my body from one place to another was very tough. So, I decided to replace my DSLR with a phone camera. I wanted good quality pictures that look good even on a 32 inch screen. After several options I resorted to buying the S8+.

Before buying the phone there were several thoughts. Mobile phone is for the purpose of communication and staying connected. There is only my family and couple of other people whom I constantly keep in touch with. Do I need to spend a hefty amount of money for this ? The phone cost was 1000 US dollars and it sounded like a waste of money. May be I could put the same money to better use ? After a lot of debate, finally I placed an order, the phone arrived after 3 days.

Right from the day I unpacked the gorgeous box it came in, I fell in love with the phone.  If I keep the camera aside, my phone keeps me engaged all day long. Though my sole purpose of changing the phone was for camera, the Quad HD screen makes reading enjoyable. Now all my educational apps are on my phone, so is my kindle. Some book I start reading on kindle follows me on the phone app, I can read it anywhere.

Since the amount of calls/messages I get is very less, one fine day I decided to mute all the notifications from social apps. Twitter, whatsapp, Linked-in – name any network, it would be on mute for notifications. I thought I might feel lonely but strangely I did not. Instead the notifications from other educational apps keep reminding me of the projects I need to complete, lessons that are still pending, approaching target date for exams – wow, I am enjoying all these completely. Somewhere inside me I felt these apps are better than me in making a schedule, they make a schedule and I have to stick to it, simple..  

My phone takes care of almost everything for me, starting from water intake reminders, step counter, bank transfers, bills, weight management, sleep measurement. With secure payment I don’t even have to carry my credit card, I can tap my phone (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and be done with the payment, this is more secure than swiping a physical card.. All the documents I may ever need are securely stored and are always with me. This saves a lot of time that I can invest on doing productive work that can make a difference some day.

All the tasks that used to consume so much of time and travelling to many places now happen in the vicinity of home, right in the palm. The device that is so sleek is very powerful, we have to use it the right way !!! 

“Mobile phones are misnamed. They should be called gateways to human knowledge.” – Ray Kurzweil



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