Have you ever sat back and wondered what you would do without certain gadgets in your life? The old school saying is “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, I’m glad there was always someone bold enough NOT to take that advice. As time has revealed, there’s nothing wrong with a little…or a A LOT of improvement.
Thanks to innovation, the gizmos we use on a daily basis have totally evolved in ways we would have never imagined: making our way of life easier, saving space, cutting costs and providing convenience.
Check out my top five ”Tech Pastimes” that have become scarce thanks to innovative smartphone advances.
Compact Discs once ruled the music industry. We’d wait in long lines just to be the first to hear new releases. We put ourselves in imaginary music videos as we walked down the street listening to our favorite jams while holding our CD players and rocking our earmuff-style headphones. Huge stereo systems were all the rage at parties before Beats Pills and portable bluetooth speakers came along. Nowadays, everything is easily accessed through the almighty storage place in the internet sky we refer to as THE CLOUD. Streaming services like Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, YouTube and Amazon have made CD’s, iPods and MP3 Players (which were the coolest invention of their time) a thing of the past. Personally, I’m relieved that I don’t have to carry all those CD books around anymore — just to hear one song. Plus, paying a monthly subscription fee really saves me some dough. But fear not, if you haven’t hopped off of the “Compact Disc Train” you still have a short time to hit up a Walmart $5 CD bin before they become archaic memories like 8 tracks, records and tapes.
The day I realized I didn’t have to rewind a VHS video with my finger because the rewinder wasn’t working was heaven sent. I had a conniption when I realized all I had to do was pop a DVD in the player and I could rewind using my remote. DVD’s introduced a more convenient way to enjoy movies, allowing for an easier travel and a more compatible use (computers, game consoles, etc). What more could I ask for? Uhm… Netflix! When I say streaming services totally changed the game. THEY WERE A STRAIGHT UP DISRUPTION! I have the ability to basically watch whatever I want by the click of a button. Everyone is doing it: Apple TV, Hulu, Google Chromecast, Roku and Amazon’s FireStick all conveniently rule my world.
Okay, so here’s an embarrassing story… One time I called 411 and asked for Michael Jackson’s phone number and the operator told me he wasn’t listed (such a bummer). I would actually get scolded for calling 411 considering the fact it was not free.. Well, thanks to the internet, I no longer had to risk paper cuts from phone books or pay phone bill fees for using 411. Even then, typing has transitioned to voice command; we can ask Siri or Alexa for a phone number or address, retrieving an answer within seconds.
Who can forget about the bulky clock on their nightstand that woke you up everyday with an annoying chirp or your preferred radio station? I do and I definitely don’t have one anymore. If you do, more power to you! I’d rather use the outlet space to plug in an air freshener or a lava lamp – anything but a clock! I mean, really, I can set like five alarms on my phone, hit snooze from anywhere in my bed, pick the song I want to wake me up and so much more. If you’re into antiques, I can understand the purpose of having an alarm clock but waking up to it must feel pretty archaic.
Mapquest was the innovation of its decade but GPS systems were hands down the invention of a lifetime. Thanks to Tom Tom and Garmin, there was no longer a need to read a map or stop at every street to follow a set of directions. It felt like you had your very own assistant reading each step to you. The ETA feature was a big deal; you didn’t have to constantly wonder how much longer the ride would be. And then there was the smartphone. Why carry that bulky GPS back and forth and tuck it away every time you park when you could just do it all from your phone? We already do everything else from our phone, what’s one more thing? People love convenience; therefore, Google Maps sealed the deal. Google Maps has the ability to re-route based on traffic hold-ups, in between stops and detours. Even Garmin and Tom Tom have shifted their focus to the fitness tracker industry.
There you have it! If you didn’t think your smartphone played a major role in your life I’m sure you do now. Any thoughts on what you think will be replaced next? Share it in the comments below!