Recently I discovered a video of a man named Otis Johnson. Otis was recently released from prison after 44 years of incarceration. For him, the evolution of twenty-five cent pay phones to Bluetooth headsets has been overwhelming. In an interview with Otis he describes what he sees as people dressed as CIA agents talking to themselves. He says he is impressed by the many people walking through Times Square who look more at their phones than they do where they are walking. He also noticed that if you use a pay phone it will cost a full dollar instead of just a quarter as it did when he was incarcerated back in the 60s. When he was told that cell phone repair costs approximately $75 now, he was amazed. We didnt mention iPhones cost $1000+.
I’m writing about Otis Johnson as a refreshing reminder of how quickly technology can change and how much it effects our daily lives. In only 44 years phones have evolved from rotary phones to smart phones (and Iâm sure smart phones will soon be a thing of the past). This drastic change in technology did not happen immediately, of course. New inventions and innovations inspire more inventions and innovations. For example, after the rotary phone came the push-button phone, then the addition of answering machines, the first portable phone, caller ID, and flip phones. Remember antennas?
It really is amazing how much time we save by integrating our phones into our lives. Instead of being stuck in the house on a two-hour call with a family member you can take that call on a long walk through a beautiful nature trail. Even Otis Johnson recognizes the convenience of smart phones. Check out the video
While new technology is made to solve old problems, it has a tendency to introduce new problems as well. Bumping into walls, causing traffic jams, and experiencing that awful tingling sensation when you miss a step going down the stairs. What do these things have in common? Well, a person is more likely to have these experiences if they are attempting to text, talk, or search the internet on their cell phone as they move around. Luckily for us, there are plenty of quality cell phone repair shops around to save our phones when we run into a post and smash our screen on the cement. The less lucky scenario involves a person being injured rather than a cell phone breaking. Granted some people are naturally clumsier than others, but itâs not like looking down at your cell phone while crossing the street will help improve coordination.
Those of us who are used to living the fast-paced modern life see no harm in walking and talking on a phone or walking and texting. The reality is this has become part of everyday life. There just isn’t time to stop. It’s especially true if you only have a 15-minute work break or five minutes to catch your next bus. Innovations such as wireless Bluetooth headphones and Siri allow users to use features on their phone without needing to hold onto it. I think Otis Johnson would agree that this is a step in the right direction