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Smartphones Are Changing Our Future Essay

1867 words - 7 pages

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone back in the 1870s, I’m sure he never expected the telephone to morph into smartphones such as the iPhone a little over 200 years later. The introduction of the telephone to homes changed the manner in which society communicated. Gone were the days where one had write a letter, or go to see a neighbour, simply to communicate. The social change was much greater than technology behind the telephone itself; it changed the landscape of communication. As the telephone progressed into a rotary dial telephone, then to push button technology, the means of communication did not change much from then, until the invention of the mobile phone. The mobile phone freed the user from the ties of their homes and offices. With the advent of the mobile phone, consumers could be reached anywhere, whether they were at the grocery store, or around the world. The user’s demands on mobile phone developers have taken smartphones such as iPhones to new heights by becoming a new form of commodification. With the introduction of the internet to the mobile phone, a whole new information portal has opened at our fingertips. The smartphone is not just a mobile phone, rather it has replaced the need for many items such as cameras, home landlines and at times even your wallet.
As technology has advanced, so has society’s demand on technology. While smartphone innovators create and change technology, they must keep the end user in mind. No longer is the average consumer looking for a phone to solely make phone calls, rather most users have expectations of the phone doing more. Consumers want smartphones which can access the internet, and has the capability of using apps. The designers of phones are not just trying to advance the phone or upgrade it instead they are trying to come up with innovative ways that the consumer will want to use their phone, and answer the requests for change or to fix a problem for the consumer (Elliott 2012). The technological development in smartphone technology can be looked at from a Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) view, as the advancement of the mobile phone industry has been driven by its users who have changed not only its shape and features, but also its primary use (Elliott 2012).
SCOT is a theory studied by many sociologists in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) which approaches technology from a social approach. In SCOT, it is society which guides technology. Kline and Pinch (1996:765) explain how the creation and modification of technology involves relevant social groups or those who may be involved in the creation of the technology, such as engineers, designers and even the user. SCOT allows for interpretive flexibility, which means that the object may have multiple means to different groups (Novas 2013: 17). When one looks at the interpretive flexibility which SCOT allows, we see that this theory allows different interpretations of the technology by different...

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