Sunday, 2 August 2009

The World in my Pocket.

It's a funny feeling when you suddenly realise now much and how quickly the world has changed.

As I write this, I'm sitting on a park bench while out on a sunny Sunday walk. I'm writing it on my T-mobile G1, the google android based 'mobile device' and it's suddenly hit me - I've got the whole world in my pocket. Well, the whole of the internet and by extension the whole of the world.

And that's a very odd feeling to suddenly have.

It hit me as I took a photo of some graffiti on a gate in one of the fields I was walking through so that I could upload it to Twitpic. And after uploading it I scrolled through some of the other tweets I'd received and noticed a decidedly drunken looking tweet from someone in California where it must be the early hours of the morning right now and that's when it hit me just how powerful this thing in my pocket really was.

I’ve never been a big fan of the telephone – even the ‘normal’ ones that are tied to your wall – so it was reluctantly that I joined the 21st century and got a mobile phone a couple of years ago. Just a run-of-the-mill pay-as-you-go phone.

I never really used it for calls – I’m not a big talker – but I has taken to sending SMS messages on it to friends, family and, importantly here, twitter.

Trouble is, it was getting expensive to Tweet from my phone.

So I bit the bullet and got a contract. The phone came free, and it came down to a choice between the iPhone and the G1. Yes, Vodafone also have an Android phone in the shape of the HTC magic, but I like the slide out keyboard on the G1.

In the end, the fact that my primary e-mail account is google based was the clincher. That and the fact that the contract was £5 a month cheaper, I didn’t have to pay £60 for the handset (like I would have done for the iPhone) and I’ve now got more contracted minutes and text messages than I’ll ever use. But the important thing is the unlimited data. I can tweet, blog and surf all from my phone, anywhere at all (well, anywhere in the UK until the EU sort of roaming data charges) and it’s that ability that hit me today.

I wouldn’t have been able to do this 10 years ago. Or even 5. Hell, I’d have been hard-pressed to be able to do it for the cost I am now just last year.

It’s a different world we live in now. A smaller world.

And it scares the hell out of me.

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