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How the mobile revolution is impacting our lives

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FILE PHOTO:  REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

Mobile technology impacts all areas of our lives today. The revolution in mobile technology began in the 1940s with the use of two-way radios when engineers working at AT&T developed cells for mobile phone base stations.

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Then in 1973, Motorola launched the first mass-produced handheld mobile phones. These early mobile phones, often referred to as 0G mobile phones, led to the phones used now which rely on 4G or 5G mobile technology.

The mobile revolution has enabled global communities to form, but there are concerns too, the impact of which we look at here.

Online entertainment
The mobile revolution has seen all of us spend more time online than ever before. Whether catching up with family, shopping, doing research, watching movies or gaming, all of this is now all possible at any time, wherever we are.

Nowadays, almost all businesses offer mobile-accessible sites for smartphones and tablets. Whether you are placing an order for a new pair of jeans, researching the best financial advisor or wanting to play a casino game on the move like blackjack mobile, it is really easy to do all of this. You can begin a game of blackjack at home and continue it on the bus or train.

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Increased use of social media platforms
Since the launch of social media in 1997 with Six Degrees, which allowed users to upload a profile and make friends with other users, there are now many other social media platforms like Facebook (2004) that give us real-time access into the lives of friends, family, celebrities and businesses. These offer global communication on a scale never seen before which have led to the rise of social movements such as Black Lives Matter.

The impact is not all positive, the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving Facebook involved the harvesting of Facebook data of 87 million people that was used for advertising during elections. Also, for young people in particular, social media can harm their self-esteem.

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Broader communication channels
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, and now most people carry a mobile phone with them. However, communication is now not only audio but through messaging, social media and video calls.  2020 was the year where lockdowns and social distancing laws saw Zoom become a household name, being used globally by 300 million people each day. Issues with security and privacy have been flagged, issues that are the highest priority in the mobile revolution.

Safer in-store shopping
Shopping online is practical and convenient for many, but a visit to the high street is still popular and stopping for coffee or a leisurely meal provides the social contact we all need. The mobile revolution has given us contactless cards and phone payments, providing additional security with regards to our finances as keying in a pin number is no longer needed and we need not have to access cash from an ATM.

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Fast access to information
Mobile technology means that we have access to information at our fingertips, wherever we are. “Google is your friend” is now listed in urban dictionaries, showing how many of us search for instant answers without doing more than pull out our phones or ask Alexa. From information about travel, weather or legal information there is app technology that will make the searching simple.

Accurate health tracking
The mobile revolution has also seen a rise in fitness devices worn on the wrist offering instant feedback and recommendations. Not only recording lap times, fitness devices can also monitor pulse rates, blood pressure, sleeping patterns.

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