Joining the Mobile Digital Age

Tonight is the last night before I have a smartphone. Tomorrow, I will be getting not only my first smartphone, but my first touchscreen mobile device. I’ve resisted thus far, but the difference between basic phones and smartphones is financially negligible, as far as I’ve found. And I worried about my ability to learn to use the device? No; I’ve had iPod touches, and I’m familiar with Apple interfaces. I’m worried about how the device will shape how I interact with my environments.
So, I’ve made a list of things to bear in mind when using the iPhone:

  • No paying for social media apps. If I have to spend money to talk to people, I might as well be able to shake their hands.
  • The iPhone isn’t an end in itself. It’s a way of connecting to people. It’s no substitute.
  • Don’t take pictures or videos of an unrepeatable event, especially if that gets in the way of enjoying the event itself. This especially goes for concerts, weddings, baptisms, tours, and most of all, anything the kids are involved in.
  • Research can be enhanced through the use of an iPhone. Taking pictures of places, of artifacts, and of documents is valuable, but only in addition to examining them in person.
  • Teaching shouldn’t happen through a smartphone. Learning can happen, but not exclusively, on the iPhone. If I’m teaching a class actively, I should be as engaged with the class as I want them to be with the material/subject matter.
  • The iPhone is not an extension of my body, my personality, or my being. It is not my self.
  • The iPhone is not a substitute for the real world.
  • The iPhone is not the real world. </

About j.d.grunert

Historian, Science and Technology Studier, Librarian, Academish
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5 Responses to Joining the Mobile Digital Age

  1. A. Nelson says:

    Just wait until your Iphone finds your Ipad and all of your bookmarks, notes, etc. are synced and accessible on both. I promise you will feel more powerful and connected (even if it does feel like the genie has pushed the lid off the bottle….)

  2. Liz Liguori says:

    Way to take the plunge! I like that list, it’s reassuring. I especially appreciate your willingness to be present to an experience rather than living it through the screen of your smart phone… very wise indeed.
    I did not see a claus that would protect you from the vortex of gaming.
    I look forward to seeing how this list might evolve for you.

  3. Childpsychprof says:

    I hope you also find a number of great tools that the iPhone gives you! I got mine during my 2nd year of grad school, and haven’t looked back. My grandmother was a librarian so I am hard-core into books and calendars and all things hard-copy…but I will say I have moved almost exclusively to using iCal which syncs with my MacBookPro.
    An instance of the smart phone’s value….relative to my academic niche, we are entering our interview phase for our year-long internships. Once you get the invite to interview, some Interview Days book up completely in SEVEN MINUTES. My older colleagues highly recommend using smartphones and email notifications to keep on top of this. This is an example of how the world moves so fast some days that I want/need to be able to keep up!

  4. Miko says:

    Jon, welcome to the smartphone world 🙂
    It is convenient and nice. I am glad you have all these considerations before getting started. I love my iPhone and it has really helped me to stay connect. Good luck with your phone.
    Please, keep us posted…we want to know your adventures with your new iPhone. Cheers!

  5. Marian Georgette says:

    Now I get why everyone was talking to you about your gadgets…When we were in the same group I thought it was so odd that people would comment on them. To me they are just second nature. I remember having a flip phone, an ipod, a garmin, a digital camera, and a planner/agenda and thinking…”there has to be a better way than lugging all of these things around” about a year later the first iphone came out and I haven’t looked back. Now I wish I could just have all of these things attached to me on a wrist watch and nothing else…we’ll see when that actually happens. Samsung and Apple both have watches to accompany your smart phone, but the day the phone is the watch I will not look back. Be nostalgic about misses times with a diseased relative, not about a gadget.

    BTW, I love your blog interface…how did you do it?

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