I noticed my alarm clock sitting forlornly on my bedside table last night as I was going to sleep. It got me thinking about all the things I no longer use. Sure, we all know that CDs have been replaced by mp3s and VCRs have been replaced by DVRs and DVDs. But there is a whole pile of things that have been replaced by just my iPhone. Take a look:
- Alarm Clock
I haven’t used my alarm clock in years. I never use the alarm clocks in hotel rooms, either. The alarm clock — and the countdown timer and stopwatch — all have wonderfully loud alerts that wake me better than any alarm clock ever did. And, as a bonus, they are always with me.
- Business Cards
I used to always have a few in my wallet, and I used to always collect them when I met people. Now I either enter details right into my iPhone’s contact list or I email someone my contact information in two seconds.
- Nintendo Gameboy
I used to always have Tetris in my backpack in case I got bored. Now I have 25+ games handy all the time.
I wear one to the gym to time my rest between sets, and every now and then I’ll wear one when I go for a run. But the stopwatch on my iPhone works just fine, too. If I wear a watch now it’s pretty much just as a piece of jewelry, like a necklace or an earring. I don’t need it.
My dad gave me a calendar for Christmas this year. Each month has a different photo of him. It’s really cool, but it’s the first physical calendar I’ve had in years. Who needs a one-year calendar hanging on the wall when you can have your entire schedule, with meetings and to-do items and birthdays and everything — in your pocket and synchronized in real-time all the time?
- Answering Machine
Remember them? The little microcassettes? Yeah, I don’t miss them either. Visual voicemail on my iPhone is infinitely better than any answering machine I ever had.
When is the last time you actually saw a calculator?
I have a fantastic Canon Powershot SD1000 Digital ELPH camera that has sat in the drawer of my desk, batteries drained, ignored and unused for over a year now. Why carry that thing anywhere when the camera in my iPhone takes great pictures and is always in my pocket?
- Notepads and Pens
I had an absurd fascination with pens up until a few years ago. I used to always have a pen (or two!) on my person. I would no sooner leave the house without a pen in my pocket than I would walk out the door without sunglasses or my car keys or wallet. Now if I need to write something I just enter it in Notes and it automatically synchronizes with my computer later. I go for weeks at a time now without remembering to put a pen in my pocket.
Yes, sure, I still have an iPod (and a Nano) that I use for running and, every now and then, on airplanes. But I can go for months at a time without using either of them. I listen to music on my iPhone almost daily.
- Maps and a Thomas Guide
The people that publish the Thomas Guide must either have gone out of business years ago or are now just spending every afternoon in a bar somewhere drinking themselves silly with remorse. When I moved to LA a decade ago, everyone had a Thomas Guide. People that had lived here their whole lives had a Thomas Guide in the car. (LA is a pretty big and confusing city.) A few weeks ago I noticed that I hadn’t seen a Thomas Guide on someone’s back seat in years. I mean, seriously, these things went from being an absolute requirement for everyone in a city of 14 million people to completely GONE.
- Cell Phone
Obviously my iPhone replaced my previous cell phone, but it’s worth mentioning because I don’t even think of my iPhone as a “phone”, really. It’s more like some crazy, 22nd-century, hyper-advanced super gizmo that does anything I need it to do.
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