3d pan white

Kids want their own cellphones, too, and it's amazing how young they are when we give in to their demands

This little girl, and her babysitter, were crossing 86th Street at Broadway.


Note: this photo was published in an undated (Feb 2010) Hot Mobile Phones blog with the same caption as the title that I used for this Flickr page. And it was published in a Jun 20, 2010 blog titled "¿Le has dejado el smartphone a tu hijo?"


Moving into 2012, the photo was published in a Mar 4, 2012 blog titled "Criterios para decidir "cuándo compramos el teléfono móvil a los niños", y pautas para educar en su uso." It was also published in a Mar 30, 2012 blog titled "Good for Nothing." And it was published in an Apr 19, 2012 blog titled "Blog Post #4: Increased Media Usage and Sexualization." And it was published in a Jun 11, 2012 blog titled "El 38% de los niños españoles de más de 13 años tiene un 'smartphone'."


Moving into 2013, a tightly cropped version of this photo was published in a Jan 11, 2013 blog titled "RS: aluno confere matrícula no celular." It was also published in a Jan 16, 2013 blog titled "Are Cell Phones Making Our Children Socially Awkward?" And it was published in a Jan 24, 2013 blog titled ”Därför måste Facebook ta hand om de barn de släppt in."




Looking back on some old photos from 40-50 years ago, I was struck by how visible the differences were between the culture of then, versus the culture of now. In some cases, it was evident from the things people wore, or carried, or did, back then which they no longer do today. But sometimes it was the opposite: things that didn't exist back in the 1960s and 1970s have become a pervasive part of today's culture.


A good example is the cellphone: 20 years ago, it simply didn't exist. Even ten years ago, it was a relatively uncommon sight, and usually only on major streets of big cities. Today, of course, cell phones are everywhere, and everyone is using them in a variety of culture contexts.


However, I don't think this is a permanent phenomenon; after all, if you think back to the early 1980s, you probably would have seen a lot of people carrying Sony Walkmans, or "boom-box" portable radios -- all of which have disappeared...


If Moore's Law (which basically says that computers double in power every 18 months) holds up for another decade, then we'll have computerized gadgets approximately 100 times smaller, faster, cheaper, and better -- which means far better integration of music, camera, messaging, and phone, but also the possibility of the devices being so tiny that they're embedded into our eyeglasses, our earrings, or a tattoo on our forehead.


So the point of this album is to provide a frame of reference -- so that we can (hopefully) look back 10-20 years from now, and say, "Wasn't it really weird that we behaved in such bizarre ways while we interacted with those primitive devices?"

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Taken on May 26, 2009