We spend lifetimes accumulating the network of people that inspire us, keep us on track, help us have fun, and make us stronger. We call them friends. We call the family. The network of people surrounding us serves to hold us aloft throughout our years. They provide companionship in the quiet times and support when need it most. More and more, our smartphones fulfill some of the roles traditionally held by the human beings in our lives. But what role does your blessed little rectangle fulfill the most in your life?
You could shell out a couple hundred a week at the gym for a personal trainer, or simply download one of thousands of free and paid apps that track your weight, calories, and activity. Fitness focused apps encourage you to hit milestones like 100 push-ups or sit-ups. Tabata timers allow you to pick-up a quick workout in the stairwell of your office or while waiting for the bus, leaving musclebound trainers in the gym to flex their muscles alone.
You could listen to your mother, or you could hire a personal assistant. Better yet, program your rectangle to take care of you. Many mobile devices, including the Galaxy S4,come programmed with calendar functions and a to-do lists. Apps like Astrid also help nag you stay on track by sending push notifications about unmet goals and unchecked tasks. Advanced users may also be encouraged to turn down their heat, turn off their lights, keep tabs on their belongings, and even eat their vegetables by their smartphone. Your smartphone can also remind you to call your actual mother on her birthday, which prevents your mother from feeling supplanted by an inanimate object.
Chat apps and traditional texting gives you unprecedented access to potential dates and hook-ups. Additionally having access to social media like Facebook and Twitter means that you may quickly learn things about people you have just met, and alter your approach to conversation accordingly. Is the beautiful blonde in front of you a vegan, or a dyed in the wool carnivore? One misstep in proclaiming your intense craving for jerky might turn-off an otherwise steamy flirtation. With a swipe and click it is easy to steer the conversation in the right direction.
The vast array of gaming apps like Draw Something allow players to have fun playing together from states away. Additionally social planning apps make it easy to invite people to small intimate affairs, giant soirees, and keep tabs on the hottest things to do in town. With a few taps, you can find your friends hanging out at the newest food truck or that girl you don’t want to run into is planning on hitting up the same concert as you. The rectangle keeps the fun going by keeping you connected to the best places to eat, play, and helps you avoid the low-rated and underattended places that might otherwise have ruined your evening.
Ultimately our little rectangles help enhance our lives by keeping us connected to the vast networks of real people and place we enjoy. It is a good idea to set the smartphone down every once in awhile to appreciate the those other connections–but keep it handy just in case something cool happens so you can post it to Vine.