Seven Years of the iPhone: hard to believe it hasn’t been longer

I was reading an interesting article the other day about the the fact that it was the seven year anniversary of the introduction of the iPhone and I confess that I was flabbergasted that it had only been that short a period of time. Afterall, the iPhone begat a number of other smartphones (I am looking at you Samsung), killed (effectively) the previously dominant smartphone brand (Blackberry) and has changed the way we live: all in a very, really, short period of time.

Reading the article last week left me to ponder two things:

1. How much my life has changed in the last seven years since the introduction of the iPhone; and
2. Whether those changes have been to the betterment of my life.

The iPhone, and by extension, the iPad has changed so much about the way I, and most others, live that I will only note the top 5 things that have changed in my life since 2007:

1. My days start more swiftly now: I start my day now by checking my iPhone. Actually scratch that, I start my day now by turning off the alarm that wakes on my iPhone and then I check emails, twitter and a couple of news websites before I get out of bed. In the pre-iPhone world I had a clock radio to raise me from slumber and after hitting the snooze button a couple of times I would get out of bed, shuffle to the lounge room and turn on the TV to start the information flow of my day.

2. How I receive news: I once was a newspaper reader, buying up to 3 papers a day most days. Now I can not remember the last time I purchased a newspaper because I read the news of the day either on my twitter feed or on the voluminous number of news aggregation apps I have on my iPhone and iPad.

3. How I place bets: One of my regular Saturday rituals used to be waking up early, doing the form for the coming day of racing and then walking down to my local TAB to place my bets for the day. Now I can place bets without leaving my house on the various betting apps on my iPhone / iPad. This ease of punting has extended to me not going to the race track anywhere near as much as I used to because it just easier to watch the races at home.

4. I follow much more sport now: I am a lover of all sports but before my iPhone / iPad I limited my support of sport to basically Australian sports (save for baseball which I have always been a fan of). Now it is so easy to follow sport world wide because every sporting code has its own app that feeds one news about the code, scores for each week and player movements. I have become much more knowledgeable about the sports that I follow because I access all of the information about each sport straight from my phone rather than having to search for it.

5. My work day is much longer: I often joke with some of my staff about how things are different for them now than when I started my career and the more I think about it the more I am certain that my working days are now longer than they were before smartphones came into my life. Before when you left work you simply left work and the next day would be the next time you would be called on to do anything. Now, with emails coming through to phones / tablets, we are constantly connected with our places of work and have to make a choice to either read the emails and respond or ignore them. I can not resist reading the emails as they come in which often means my working day extends long into the night.

Obviously there are a number of positives that have come from the changes that have arisen in the years post 2007: life is simply faster now and the flow of information, if you love news and sport like me, presents constant fodder for active minds. Equally, the constant connectivity with our places of work and the lack of down time that said connectivity leaves us with has changed my life, I am certain, for the worse. Being always contactable, coupled with suffering from anxiety, has lead to an unhealthy addiction to my devices that I am unsure I will ever break.

So in one way I am extremely thankful for the revolution that the iPhone’s introduction has begat, but I confess that I remain to be convinced that my life is a better because of it.

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