Technology has changed the world we once knew. It’s changed everything. For example, if we went on a trip we needed a map. Now we all have a GPS on our phones.
But map lovers might still be able to find all sorts of maps – if they know where to look. Maps are more than just a good way to get driving directions.
Jared Prince, the founder of Muir Way, describes why maps are more than just ways to find places: “I’ve spent my life exploring the outdoors and our country’s National Park system,” he says on his website. “I’ve always been excited to open the map I’d get at the entrance of a new national park I didn’t know so well.”
He saw these maps as more than just a way to get directions around the national park. They sparked a sense of wonder and curiosity about the adventure before him. It’s no surprise, then, that he saved his national park maps as a memento of his trips.
Our mobile phones have changed our lives in many other ways, too. Here are 7 examples of how we can now do a wide variety of things with them that just wasn’t possible before:
- We’ve gone beyond carrying around 5,000 songs in our pockets.
It was no small feat to be able to potentially access 5,000 songs wherever you happened to be at any time of the day. Our iPods used to be a big deal, remember?
We could enjoy our favorite songs while staring at ducks on a lake from a park bench or walking down the street. They were a huge upgrade from MP3 players, which, in turn, improved on CDs.
Now we have music on our phones and streaming services means we don’t need to download hundreds of our favorite songs. We can stream whatever we want whenever we want.
- We’ve all become amateur photographers.
Remember digital cameras?
We used to carry those around with us because the cameras on our flip phones weren’t very good. And even Blackberry’s much-touted camera wasn’t as good as proud Blackberry owners tried to claim to justify the high price they paid for their device.
Since digital cameras were expensive and awkward to carry around, only the most ardent photographers invested in them to store their pictures on their computers.
Now, all that has changed. Anyone with a smartphone can take a picture anywhere, which they can store on their device to share with anyone—and that’s pretty much what’s happened.
- We’ve run out of excuses on why we don’t get back to people.
There used to be a time when we could claim we didn’t know someone had called because we weren’t at home. Now people don’t even need to leave a message after they’ve called. Mobile phones notify us about the caller.
It’s the same story with email. We can’t say that we didn’t respond to an email message because we’d stepped away from our computers. Now our computers are in our pockets.
- We used to talk to strangers when waiting in line.
Waiting at the post office or some other long line used to be a way for people to make eye contact and start a conversation about the weather.
Now we manage our boredom in a much more sophisticated way—we check our Facebook app to chat with our friends. Some of us even play complicated games, like Chess, happy in our little bubble of abstract thinking.
- We’ve quit bouncing checks.
It used to be a lot easier to bounce checks. We didn’t have time to look at our latest bank statements, or we couldn’t find an ATM to check our balance.
Now, we can always check our bank balance when we’re on a shopping spree. We can always access our online checking account, and the worst-case scenario is that we must call our banks to get a robotic voice give us the bad news.
- We’ve become much better-looking.
Those who know a little about Microsoft Paint are often guilty of a little digital enhancement of their image. Meanwhile, those who are adept at Photoshop have enjoyed a complete makeover. We’ve learned a low-cost way to have more hair, flawless skin, and perfect smiles.
Overall, all this tech wizardry has been a boon. We’re now far more efficient than we used to be. That’s a good thing, right?