The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Life-Changing Creations

On July 31st, 2017, posted in: Just Because, Uncategorized by

man holding iphoneWhat does one get for a 10-year anniversary gift? Well, traditional giving acknowledges that tin or aluminum is the norm. Tin? Aluminum? Tenth anniversaries are a long way from the gold of 50 or the diamond of 75, but tin? Oh, well. I’m sure Tiffany’s can do something with tin or aluminum and charge an arm and a leg for it. Such is the world of capitalism. I love it.  

Speaking of capitalism, Apple is celebrating the invention and release of the iPhone this summer. Ten years ago, our world changed forever. Here’s your tin cup with which to make a toast to Apple for both simplifying and complicating our respective lives.

I spent almost 50 years without a cell phone, but now if I leave the house without my iPhone, I have to make a quick return home. After all, how does one survive not being connected to the rest of the world? You talk about creating demand that never existed. A phone was once this mundane device that one may or may not use based on the flow and urgency of the circumstance. If it rang, we answered it (maybe). When I left home, the phone stayed. Now, I have to have it at all times — just in case I need to look up something like what to get as a 10-year anniversary gift. WOW! Revolutionary and repulsive both come to mind.

Let’s think back to some of the early life-changing creations that made a big difference in our daily existence. I’m a big fan of a number of inventions. There are too many to mention, so I’ll hit on the really big ones. Air conditioning is way up there. So is the automatic garage door opener. TV remotes (the simple kind…not the ones that demand three devices to turn on the set) are way up there. Microwaves have to be in the category of “revolutionary.” So is cruise control. Medical advancements are high on my list, along with the technology that accompanies saving lives. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

But this iPhone phenomenon is something that literally took the ubiquitous and mundane and made it, arguably, the most important device we have in our lives. A mobile phone, for me growing up, was a really long cord that stretched from the kitchen to the sun room, where it would provide privacy as I would sit for hours saying nothing to my girlfriend. Then it was great (a rite of passage for a young man). Now — a grand waste of time.

Today, we are never out of touch. We have access to people, places, information, directions, the stock market, and literally thousands of other “apps.” Another example of just how big this iPhone phenomenon has become is that a cottage industry was developed to create shortcuts to things that mean a lot to us, i.e., an “app.” And the incessant need for the “app” has created jobs for thousands of young entrepreneurs who otherwise might be stuck in their mom’s basement without anything to do.

I’m telling you, this iPhone thing has legs. Wait, there’s an idea for an “app” — make it walk over to me if I’m on the other side of the room. Maybe the next version?

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