Some people are dumping their smartphones and returning to old-fashioned hand-held devices. Eddie Redmayne did so in 2016, stating, “It was a reaction against being glued permanently to my iPhone during waking hours. The deluge of emails was constant.”
“Flip phones… are back, with low prices, great battery life and some modern conveniences,” noted The Wall Street Journal back in April. Smartphones can be addictive and everyone has a right to switch to a cell phone or no phone at all. That said, let’s remind ourselves of the positive changes that smartphones have brought into our lives.
In the 1987 Oliver Stone movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko, an immensely wealthy investor played by the actor Michael Douglas, walks on a beach, watching the sunrise, and talking on his Motorola DynaTac 8000X phone. “I wish you could see this,” he says to his young protégé Bud Fox back in New York, “Light’s coming up. I’ve never seen a painting that captures the beauty of the ocean at a moment like this.” When it was released in 1983, DynaTac was the world’s first handheld mobile phone. It weighed two pounds, took 10 hours to charge and offered 30 minutes of talk time. In 1984, the phone cost $3,995. That’s $10,277 in 2018 US dollars.