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My first mobile phone

March 1997

I bought my first mobile phone at the Era GSM shop in the Opolanin shopping centre, Opole, Poland in March 1997.

A small, brick-like Ericsson GA318, blue version, with a tiny screen.

I was amazed by its chirping ringtone and strange feeling of being able to carry it anywhere with me. And back then in Poland they were still somewhat of a status symbol.

Fast forward 17 years. I bought my first smartphone in December 2014, this time on the web from Amazon. I was no longer impressed by the endless march of technology and had held back for years since the arrival of the iPhone in June 2007.

Just like no CGI film since Jurassic Park has amazed me since I emerged stunned from the Clifton Moor (York) Warner Bros multiplex cinema in 1993, no mobile phone could stir the same excitement within me since my first one in 1997, smart or not.

I regret delaying that purchase now. For smartphones are not just computers in phones but lifeloggers that can give you intricate little clues to where you were and what you were doing at any particular time. They are a gold mine of information that sometimes later in life you scramble to find. I so wish I always had had that option. But back in the pre digital age there was no such thing. There was no digital footprint.

Now I upgrade every few years, mainly for the increased memory, performance and of course, superior camera.

Once we called them mobile phones, then mobiles.

Later smartphones.

Now we just call them phones. It seems we have turned full circle.

What will we call the cyborg devices of the future, that merge with our bodies?


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