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The Convergence of the Internet and the Cell Phone Has Given Birth to A Societal Reliance on the Smart Phone



           When cell phones were first invented and sold to the public, their sole purpose was to make calling more accessible. The invention of cell phones took the stationary telephone and made it mobile - nothing more. Consequently, the cell phone made it easier to keep in contact with friends and family, and perhaps more importantly, contact authorities in the case of an emergency. The idea of mass socialization might have been on the list, but it was not a top priority for the producer or consumer. "They were primarily used in the sales and business world, but not often for personal use like you see today," says Kreg Jones, an industrial designed and Industrial Design instructor at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Some people had cell phones, others didn't. They weren't a key element of society.

            In today's technologically obsessed society, cell phones have evolved enough where they now lend themselves to being used in 'nontraditional' ways. The convergence of the Internet and the cell phone changed the entire game - it has allowed for constant socialization, instantaneous enlightenment, and immediate satisfaction. People have come to expect these things from the cell phone to the point where they are not even called cell phones anymore, they're called 'smart' phones. The 'traditional' cell phone isn't even being produced anymore, thus it has died, and the era of the smart phone has been born.

            Along with calling, features that utilize the Internet such as text messaging and social media apps have made socialization easier and more available. The camera quality on smart phones has become so high that people can take videos and post them on the Internet immediately, whether it's for leisure or in the name of advocacy. For example, many people have taken to filming police officers when they are interacting with other citizens, and have exposed the current (now very public) police brutality problems in our country.

            Smart phone videos are not only good for raising awareness, they are also a source for testimony. Smart phones can also tell us the weather forecast, work as a GPS and provide real-time directions, work as an alarm clock and a calculator, keep track of all our appointments, hold our grocery lists, and notify us the second we get an email. I suppose it would be more realistic to say that the cell phone is no longer a cell phone; it has evolved into a mini-computer. None of this was possible when the first cell phone was invented. The convergence of the Internet and the cell phone have completely changed the way society functions as a whole. Society has become entirely reliant on the features of the current smart phone and even continuously expects new, more advanced features.

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