There’s a fair chance that most people vividly remember the day when they got their first cell phone. We might all be capable of forgetting appointments, birthdays and even wedding anniversaries, yet there’s no forgetting that fateful day when we first became ‘connected’ to the rest of the world. Often that memory sits as comfortably at the forefront of our minds and when we fumbled through our first awkward sexual experience.
I’ll never forget the day I got my first phone. It was a Nokia 5110 that came via mail order and, simply put, it was the most glorious thing I’d ever laid eyes on. Not only was it capable of sending text messages to my friends, but I could also select my own ringtone, play the wildly addictive ‘snake’ game or – I hope you’re sitting down for this – change the face plate to an entirely different colour!
Obviously times have changed at a break-neck speed since then – as technology always seems to do – but what does amaze me still to this day is how, along with the advancements in cellular phone technology, our rate of dependence on our ‘smart phones’ in every-day life has skyrocketed.
When I was younger, I could leave my cell phone at home for hours – even days – and not even think twice about it. Today, I can’t get to sleep unless I have my ‘white noise’ app running and am zero chance of eating right unless I punch all the calories I consume into a fitness application I use.
It almost goes without saying that cell phones are now an integral part of our daily lives, yet that level of dependence stems well beyond our basic communication needs.
Let’s take a look at 3 iPhone applications that help explain our smart phone dependency.
Find My iPhone / by Apple / Cost: FREE
It used to be that when you misplaced your phone, you had a snowball’s chance in hell of ever finding it again. The thousands (if not millions,) of people that are notorious for losing their phones now have a lot less to stress about courtesy of Find My iPhone.
Once you’ve got this application installed you can make use of the app on any other iOS device to track down the exact location of your iPhone. This free app displays your phone’s location on a map, permits you to remotely lock your device in case of theft and can even play a sound to reveal which couch cushion you’ve left it under.
Five years ago, James Bond wouldn’t have even had this technology; I’ve already used it three times today.
Relax Melodies HD / by iLBSoft / Cost: FREE (Paid Version Available)
Who would have thought that one day we’d even need assistance from our phones to help us get to sleep? Regardless of whether or not anyone could have seen it coming, that time is most certainly here as literally millions upon millions of iPhone users are turning to Relax Melodies HD to help them get a good night’s rest!
Replacing the ‘white noise’ machine – or, in my case, a continually running floor fan – this application allows users to block out every creek and bump in the night that would normally rouse you from your slumber and replaces them with the sound of the beach, rain on a tin roof or even a cat purring!
For all of you reading this and rolling your eyes, try out the free version which has more than 30+ sounds and see what a difference this app can make to your sleep patterns.
Park Me / by Park Me Inc / Cost: FREE (Paid Version Available)
Finding a place to park your car in LA – or anywhere, really – can be a nightmare. Most would consider themselves to be good drivers but are the first to admit that the majority of the frustration we all experience behind the wheel stems from searching for a spot.
Park Me is an iPhone application that almost tops my ‘couldn’t live without it,’ list. This app searches your current location and – in real time – lets you know what parking facilities are nearby and exactly how much it will cost you to park there.
Arriving late to meetings because you couldn’t find a parking spot is fast becoming an excuse of the past. In addition to the overall rates, you’re also alerted to the exact address of the parking structure, as well as how full (%) it currently is! From there you set a timer on the app and it lets you know how long you’ve got left on your ticket.
These apps are all a far-cry from the humble ‘snake’ that I used to play on my Nokia 5110 but they’ve caused my current phone to be far more ingrained in my everyday life than I thought any cell could be.
As our smart phones become, well, smarter we seem to becoming more dependent on them for practically every aspect of our lives.
If we continue along on this path it mightn’t be too long before we’re all seeking out some sort of smart phone rehab.
Hopefully when that time comes, there’ll be an app for that.
As with all lists like this one, they’re subject to personal opinion. I’m not necessarily saying these are the best apps available but they certainly play a large part in my day-to-day life. If you’d like to share what apps you’ve grown attached to then please, use the comment section below and let us know!
Sharing is caring, after all!
Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be noted that I am in no way affiliated with any of the apps I’ve mentioned above. They’ve made their way onto this list as I believe they are all an accurate gauge of how far our dependence on cellular phones has evolved in such a short period of time.
Darcy Stach is a professional freelance writer. A self-proclaimed ‘video game junkie,’ Darcy writes about everything geek culture – from what she feels is the best flight simulator, right through to her thoughts on modern technology, comedy, comics and more. To follow Darcy’s work visit this blog.