Things That Were Much Harder Before Smartphones

man using smart phone

Those born before the turn of the millennium can probably remember life when computers were simpler, and the internet was rare. Those born just after the turn of the millennium probably has memories of basic phones, the types with analog signals and physical buttons alongside.

Technology has progressed by leaps and bounds in the last ten years, enough to create eras with distinctive technology that becomes its defining factor.

But the latest innovation that has taken the world by storm is a game-changer. Everyone in this modern era, regardless of age and experience, cannot deny how much this piece of technology has permeated our everyday life to the point that we cannot live without it. Yes, we’re talking about smartphones.

Despite the numerous claims of people saying that ‘the 90s was the best’, it’s undeniable that many of the conveniences we enjoy using our smartphones today are simply light-years ahead of the technology from 20 years ago. Many tasks that used to take hours or even days to accomplish can now be done in a few minutes, and it’s all thanks to the continuous innovations in science and technology.

From watching YouTube to paying your bills online, here’s a list of activities that used to be difficult but not anymore- thanks to smartphones.

Getting the Latest News

Back then, to get the latest news, you need to watch the evening news or read the morning newspaper. You need to catch the broadcast at a certain time if you truly want to hear the latest news, and newspapers tend to release yesterday’s events.

This delay in information dissemination is all but forgotten now as we can check the news in real-time as they happen. With the thousands of online news outlets, it’s easy to stay updated with current world events. No need to wait till the evening or next morning- all the information you need will be updated in real-time.

Online Banking

Doing any banking operation normally meant waiting for seven to ten businesses to be finished. Even simple things like depositing money, checking your balance, or updating information would take at least half a day to accomplish.

These inconveniences are now but a matter of preference, as with the right smartphone app, you can check all the information you need. This has made personal and business banking activities all the more convenient, allowing for better control of your finances.

Public Transportation and Navigation

Who remembers having to bring physical maps? You know, the one that folds out to a 6-foot by a 6-foot wide piece of paper? If you lived through the era of using those when driving, you understand how much a heaven-sent GPS and navigation apps are. They show you your position relative to a map, making navigation easier.

You can even put in options such as show the directions to your destination, display the traffic density in the roads you’ll be using, or even use artificial intelligence to assist you while driving by telling you when to make turns. Even parking and your car’s position are now included in many navigation apps.

navigating using a map

Communication and Expression

There was a time when a real-time conversation between two people in different countries was either very expensive or impossible. If you bring up the concept of a video call, people will say that it’s simply science fiction. Not anymore. The 21st century is the era of chat and video calls. People worldwide use online messengers and video calls over the Internet to talk to their loved ones, and some use them for work (as remote working has been increasing in popularity).

International calls using a telephone are costly, making it impossible to have long conversations. Today, with almost everyone having smartphones, instant communication is possible, to the point that it’s commonplace.

Online Shopping

Back in the old days, shopping meant physically going to the mall and choosing the items you wanted to get. Shopping was a multi-million dollar industry, with large retail chains appearing all over the country.

However, these shopping malls are now threatened by the presence of a really convenient technology: online shopping. No longer do we have to go out and be content with what’s available at stores, no. Now we can go on the Internet, look for specifically what we want, and have it delivered in a few days.

This online shopping trend has taken commerce by storm, taking around 15% of retail purchases and transactions worldwide. We can only expect online shopping to grow even further.

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