But what would Albert Einstein make of the latest technological craze to hit the UK?
“It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.” (Albert Einstein)
Albert Einstein, now he was a clever guy. Some might say he was fairly high up in the perception stakes too. I would have to agree with these people of course.
Although this quote has to be taken in context, Einstein clearly believed that even before the evolution of the computer and latterly the internet, humanity had already begun to lose its way.
So this quote was perhaps never more pertinent than it is today.
We are firmly in the grips of a digital age being driven forward by the power of the World Wide Web.
But I wonder what Einstein would make of the latest technological phenomenon to hit the UK, the Smartphone.
This is not a craze, it’s a revolution and it’s changing the way we interact with each other and the world around us at breathtaking speeds.
And Wimbledon folk appear to be no exception to the national trend of Smartphone consumerism.
Smartphones are selling like hotcakes in all the major phone stores in Wimbledon town centre boosted by this summer’s release of the iPhone 4.
Asam Mohammed is the assistant manager at the 3 Mobile Store at the Centre Court shopping centre.
He said his customers usually buy Smartphone’s so they can get emails on the go and so they can browse the web whenever they feel like it.
He also cited the use of ‘apps’ such as Facebook and GPS mapping as being high on customer’s priority lists.
“The kids are still crazy for BBM messenger too,” he added.
This is a service on Blackberry handsets which allows users to message each other for free.
Statistics revealed by the latest communication’s report from Ofcom this August, expose the staggering figures behind this Smartphone revolution on a national basis.
Over a quarter of adults (27 per cent) and almost half of teenagers (47 per cent) now own a Smartphone, with 59 per cent acquiring them over the past year.
These include devices such as iPhones, Blackberrys and Android phones.
Shin, a T-Mobile worker also in Wimbledon, said that the iPhone 4 was extremely popular with customers.
He said: “iPhone’s set the standards for Smartphones in the beginning and customers are attracted by the brand and all the built in features.”
These features include fast browsing, crystal clear graphics for watching video, and a built in 8-mega pixel camera.
According to the same Ofcom report, 37 per cent of adults and 60 per cent of teens admitted they were ‘highly addicted’ to Smartphones.
And it is hardly surprising given the amount of interaction these phones can now offer, from social networking to games or even watching live TV and film.
Maria, 24, a student in Wimbledon, cited the introduction of the Smartphone as the beginning of her obsession with social networking site twitter.
“Phones have definitely made it worse, I am a twitter fiend,” she said.
“I’ll be sitting on the train and all I can think about is getting my phone out and getting on twitter.
“Sometimes you use your phone so much during the day now that you don’t even feel like using it when you get home.”
Maria said that being able to access twitter instantly made her feel like she can keep up with the issues of the day and particularly breaking news.
Personally it took me a long time to come round to the idea that owning such a device would be of any real benefit at all.
However, my curiosity finally got the better of me last year and I joined the revolution by buying a Blackberry.
And now I have to admit I would feel lost if didn’t have my Smartphone for the latest news or to check my emails.
And where would I be without all the latest live football scores!
Rayners Park resident Tom James, 22, said that before he got his Blackberry device he hardly used twitter at all.
“If you’re going to tweet, you want to be tweeting there and then about what is happening now and phones make that possible,” he said.
Tom said that he uses twitter to keep up to date with sports news in particular as well as other friends who use the site.
So where does all this ‘tweeting’ and ‘browsing’ leave our dear friend Mr Einstein?
Still dead unfortunately, but I reckon this latest technological revolution does highlight something fundamentally wrong with his quote for me.
I don’t think technology has surpassed humanity, I think technology is merely reacting to it.
I would say the reason these devices are so popular is because as humans we crave all the things they offer; information, interaction and most of all, fun!
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