10 “Other” Ways the iPhone Changed Our Lives

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Happy Birthday to you, dear iPhone. It’s only been ten years and we don’t remember a time when you didn’t exist. Nearly a billion people own you but it’s more like you own us. You created industries, you eliminated entire industries, you changed us in ways that have researchers scrambling. Unintended consequences of your presence are everywhere. For better or worse, and with an eye toward those changes not usually mentioned, here are a few of those changes wrought by the iPhone after only ten years.

  1. Children have learned independence. Because parents are always on the iPhone children have learned independence in new and creative ways. Note the youngster being pushed through an intersection in a stroller while the adult is looking at the iPhone. The child needs to make decisions about traffic and when it is safe.
  2. The importance and appreciation of electricity has never been greater. Before the advent of the iPhone we never paid attention to the location of electrical outlets. Now we covet and fight over outlets, especially at airports.
  3. Time management is now part of our DNA. We are now both efficient and effective because of the iPhone. We can order a latte before we even arrive at the coffee place. We can find our car in a big parking lot. We can talk to the phone and ask for the correct spelling of paralyzed.
  4. Places that used to be really noisy are now quiet. We all seek solace and peace and quiet and the iPhone has been instrumental in creating those quiet spaces. Instead of talking to each other at restaurants or coffee shops, people are now quietly looking down at their phones.
  5. Discipline and planning skills are now learned at an early age. Young people learn how much battery life is left and to keep keys next to their phone. Life doesn’t exist without the phone so anything important needs to be next to it.
  6. New innovations were developed just to enhance the iPhone world. Selfie-sticks are the best example of the new adjacent world that has been created. And we all know the positive impact that selfie-sticks have had on our lives.
  7. The job of babysitting is now much easier. Instead of battling over who is winning at Chutes and Ladders, now it’s easier to just let the youngster play alone on the smart phone. Television is not even required.
  8. Creativity is now enhanced through the miracle of auto correct. Not only do we get to learn new words, we wonder how the phone came up with the translation. Everyone’s favorite is the conversion from hungry to horny.
  9. Multi-tasking can hit new levels of complexity through the iPhone. In the old days we could be on a conference call and check email at the same time. Now we can do all of that and watch a movie at the same time on the same device.
  10. Research is showing that time on the smart phone can interrupt sleep patterns and that we tend to sleep less when we spend a lot of time looking at the little screen. Think of how effective we can be if we only get four hours of sleep each night.

Thanks iPhone, the world has changed in so many ways since you arrived. I am as guilty as anyone; I can’t live without you. Like the rest of the world, I am addicted to having you in my life. I look forward to more years together. Happy birthday and many happy returns.

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