I remember my first cellular phone. Or cellphone. I purchased it in 1994 while living in North Carolina. It was a state of the art technology that was suddenly available to the public, the second best thing after the Internet. It was huge, bulky and I grew very quickly tired of it. And angry with it as well. It used to run out of battery in no time and efficiently consumed my money.
The first time ever that I used it was on a trip out of state. Of course, this was when I thought it to be a marvelous idea - being able to call someone while traveling. It was a call to my neighbor who was taking care of my cat and as he was not at home, I made several calls. The bill later that month almost ruined me.
When I look at my iPhone today it makes me so brutally aware how fast the technology has evolved. This elegant, sleek, endlessly sophisticated item that I seem no longer to be able to live without. It can do pretty much anything I can think off, short of actually breathing. It can tell me the time, the date, the weather, my location in the world, both in numbers and show it to me on the map. It can show me how to get places, calculating the best route, navigating me through cities in Denmark and outside it, keep me updated on the news, let me send emails and text messages. I can use it to listen to music or radio and watch movies. It can make me relax, helps me pass the time by playing games. I can surf the net, pay the bills, purchase items, take photos, film movie clips. See where the inexpensive gas is, where the best offers are in my neighbourhood. It helps me keep track of my appointments, it reminds me of things to do, it wakes me up in the morning.
And, it is also a phone.
Making any landline obsolete. In fact I have not had a landline phone for almost ten years.
If I go back just a decade, the cellphones, or mobile phones as they are called in Europe, looked very different than they do now. It is amazing how quickly the design has changed and most of all, their intended use and the concept in which they are used as well. Still, when I moved back to Europe in 1999 with that bulky dinosaur of mine, I could not believe the beautiful design of the multitude of tiny Nokias and Sony Ericsson's around me. And I also marveled about the ease of their use. Everyone around me was on the phone, using their cellular constantly, to a fraction of the cost I was accustomed to.
My first European mobile was a flip Sony Ericsson, sapphire blue, with a little antenna and tiny, non colour display. It was a phone only and could fit into the palm of my hand. I got it for free when I signed up for a service with the company that offered it. Since then I have had many phones, but thinking back, the purchasing of my very first Ericsson was the most exciting buy ever. Even though it today looks very old fashioned and obsolete...
If you are like me and store all your discarded cellphones in your drawer, it might be useful to know that these can be donate or recycled.
There are many sites on the net that share information about this subject, here are a few examples: