Depending on how old you are, you may remember a time when you did not rely on a device in your pocket with more computing power than what was available to the astronauts on the first moon landing. Since buying my first smart phone as a young adult I have not gone a day without one; until last week. There are few things more eye opening to a young person than trying to function in the real world without the unlimited possibilities available through smartphone technology. Initially losing my phone made me feel cut off from the world, and after finally saving up enough money to replace my device I realized that I had been a global citizen without thinking about it, and that the smartphone is key to living in a global society. I was definitely not alone in my family when it came to these improvements. For example, my grandfather’s relationship with extended family was enhanced when he realized that he no longer had to wait for his yearly trip to Albania to meet with his cousins. When my uncle bought him his first smartphone, he taught him how to video chat his foreign family and according to him it was as if he had travelled to his cousin’s house in an instant. Similarly, ever since I showed my mother how to use an online shopping app on her device she has had access to her favorite foreign products that were no longer sold in our local stores, and she admits that the discovery has improved her shopping for the better. The lifestyle improvements people in the United States experience from technologies like smartphones are generally due to a convenient and useful connectivity to the far reaches of the outside world, which has ushered in an age of globalization that has generally made the US more prosperous both economically and culturally.
-By Connor Marren