The Poison of Easy Research – My First Smartphone [2011]

I received my first smartphone in July of 2011. Everything changed.

My family had just received a large windfall of money from the government, so I got a top-of-the-line LG Revolution (it was pretty bad) and got a hand-me-down car after I passed my driver’s test shortly afterwards. In just a couple weeks’ time, my whole life had changed. But only in retrospect do I realize that.

It’s flabbergasting to think that, ten years ago, smartphones were not actually that popular yet, and the technology was still in its infancy with slow 3G speeds and clunky apps. My first experience with a smartphone blew me away. The touchscreen responded fluidly; websites loaded in mobile form most of the time and when they didn’t it was easy to zoom and fix; there were so many arcade-y games, all for free! I could message friends instantly on the go without typing for ten minutes to get a 15-word sentence.

What mattered most to me, though, was the fact that I could look up anything I wanted, wherever I wanted. The world’s encyclopedias encapsulated in a small square that fit in my pocket.

Really, here in 2020 it feels like a different era. When have I ever been without the ability to access almost any information or contact almost any person? Aside from intentionally avoiding the internet, the only other time I’ve felt this way was a month in Japan as an exchange student, where public wi-fi was rare and I didn’t get a hotspot until later.

But back in 2011, it opened my eyes to a brand-new life I only thought possible in science fiction movies.

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