This is not a big secret. There are a gazillion reasons why using mobile devices are beneficial. There’s even more press about why mobile fits the needs of our world culture today and how it’s going to be our destiny. With this, comes an increased need for more devices, apps, and accessories to make the mobile experience a better one. So with greater demand, so comes the race to build a better device.

In the Beginning

When I think back to my first mobile device, I get a chuckle. My first mobile phone was a gift from my husband Peter in 1995. I was working as a marketing consultant who did quite a bit of driving regionally in the New England Area. He felt better about me having a phone so if I experienced any car problems, I could call him or AAA for assistance. Amazingly, I was the only person employed at my company who had a mobile phone. How cool was that, right?

Actually, when first seeing it, my initial thought was, “Wow, it’s monstrous!” It was so large, I had to carry it in its own case that was about the size of an overnight bag. When I wanted to use it in my car, I had to place the antennae on the roof for proper reception and heaven help me if I was near any mountains, tall buildings or in a rural area… reception was not going to happen. The phone reminded me of something used in the old spy-style movies. In terms of today’s devices and technology, it was a dinosaur. It could only make and take calls. It didn’t have email capability, couldn’t give me weather reports, provide driving directions, play music or take pictures. But truth-be-told, I was glad to have it. Actually I was so glad, that the thought of not having a phone was no longer an option for me. So began my love affair with the mobile phone and newly found freedom.

Prior to my first experience with this enormous mobile apparatus, I was tasked with hunting out pay phones wherever I was travelling for business. Of course I was not alone in this search, so waiting in line to use a pay phone was not uncommon. When I think about searching for the pay phones, waiting in line for my turn, the public mouth piece that was a vat of germs and bacteria, it makes me cringe, but as a society we didn’t know any better because we hadn’t experienced true telecommunications freedom on a wide-spread basis.

It didn’t take long to realize the benefits of mobile phone ownership, and I considered myself fortunate to have possession of one and to experience the luxury. Over time, my behemoth travel mate became a trusted friend. I came to rely on my mobile phone for a plethora of business needs, as well as personal ones. Flat tire… no problem; I just had to call AAA. Heavy traffic and going to be late for an appointment… no worries; just call and alert my hosts. In addition to communications, this phone had magical powers. It relieved me of potentially stressful situations and made my life easier. Thank you Peter and Martin Cooper (inventor of the cell phone); I was sold on this technology.

Fast Forward to 2018 and Beyond

From the year of my first mobile phone to my present-day iPhone, I’ve owned approximately 14 mobile devices through five different carriers. I don’t know if these numbers are excessive in relation to other people’s experiences and years of use, but as technology changes and improves, so do my expectations for what I want from my mobile device and service. I started out happy with having a communication device that could make phone calls, but my taste in technology has changed over the years.

Of course, modern-day phones are much more sophisticated, accommodating, purposeful, and called smart for a reason. Today’s mobile (smart) phone provides access to the Internet, games, a camera, social media sites, app readers and even coloring books designed for the adult user, and much more. When looking to the future, technology soothsayers claim there will be very sophisticated smartphone functionality that will aid doctors in detecting and diagnosing diseases, as well as technology to help firefighters to better and more quickly identify sources of potential fires. No doubt, these will be tremendously helpful tools.

Though I look forward to the next generation of smartphone technology, every now and then I do a reality check and recall my first mobile device and think about the value it provided me. It wasn’t slick. It wasn’t nimble. It wasn’t always reliable, but it was this: a provider of freedom, and of course, giver of magical powers.