Personal Reflection on Cellphones

My passion to analyze and investigate got me into technology. I liked that I could investigate and research. But that alone wasn’t enough for me to be able to talk and investigate this topic. I am usually disinterested in different topics and ideas easily. I would switch hobbies and passions every couple weeks or months. Because cellphones are relevant to my everyday life and had made an impact in my life since I was a little kid, I thought it would be a great idea to investigate even more.

I was fortunate enough to have access to different technologies growing up. As a little kid, I didn’t have a phone but I would use my parents’ cellphones and play with it. I remember playing Snake on their phone. By 4th grade, I already had my very first phone. I don’t remember the exact brand but it was a flip phone and small. After that cellphone, I switched phones every now and then. By now, my Samsung S5 is my 7th phone. The evolution of the phones I had are very like how phones had changed over time. It started with simple and small. Each phone I owned, had a special feature. Whether it was the incredible music player, camera, messenger, and now having it all.

Just having experienced different cellphones wasn’t enough for me to want to investigate about it more. The main reason is seeing someone that didn’t grow up with a cellphone their whole life use a cellphone now is what got me interested in this topic. Those people are my parents. My parents didn’t always had a cellphone or knew the concept of a cellphone their whole life. Even when the first cellphones came out, my parents didn’t have the money to afford them.

For them, cellphones only had one purpose, calling people. That idea didn’t change until a couple years ago. They bought cellphones so it would be convenient to contact and call others. Even though throughout the years my parents have switch to better and smarter phones, they didn’t see the necessity of the other features cellphones had. Even earlier when phones added cameras into it, my parents would rarely use it. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school when I could start to see changes. My dad would take pictures and record videos with his cellphone. He wouldn’t carry his camcorder around anymore. By my senior year of high school, my mom got an iPad so she could communicate and FaceTime me when I was going to go away for college. With her iPad, I made the initiative to download WeChat, a voice messenger app popular in Asian countries. She barely used it. She didn’t have any interest in learning about the app. She only wanted to learn how to FaceTime with me.

As I was away in college, I would FaceTime my parents often. Slowly our conversations were shorter and shorter because they were on their “phone”. I went back to New York during Thanksgiving break to find out my parents have all upgraded their cellphones to a smartphone. They all knew about the different features in a cellphone. They would constantly take pictures of everything they saw and recorded many videos. They have also started using WeChat. I remember that Thanksgiving dinner was very different. In the past, the kids in the family would be on their phone most of the time but during this dinner, it was my parents who were on their phone. They would keep on taking pictures, message others through different apps and looked for new online.

Seeing how even though my parents had cellphones that were capable of doing more than just making a phone call, they chose to not use the other features to seeing them wanting to learn about every single feature in cellphones now is interesting. I don’t know what made them want to learn but seeing how they are adapting to the way technology and life is now made me think if in some ways, technology is an extension of us. In this case, seeing how my parents now rely and make their lives easier with cellphones. Are cellphones an extension of us?

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