Now in 2020, the smartphone runs a close second to oxygen as an essential. It can quickly call up any ounce of information discovered in human history, letting us answer "How to calculate the length of a circle" via
Google and end stand-up debates on any topic. It lets us produce art, document global events and let our voices be heard at any instance from anywhere. It can help us find like-minded people, organize online meetups on special days without borders, save and share our memories, even translate from an alphabet which does not exist anymore — or hang in uncertainty in the endless hunt for "Likes". It has engulfed our wallets and stereos, diaries and sketchbooks, cameras and maps, newspapers and game consoles. Apps let it transform into a book, a TV remote or a carpenters' level.
However, the smartphone has shaped the "Always online" generation, where most of us become neurons of the huge global brain, ready to respond to each kind of stimulation. Laptops made the workplace mobile, but smartphones tethered people to the workspace in a way we never thought possible — and when the iPhone gave out, plunging humans first into panic and then a kind of calm.
The strengths of 5G and cellular connectivity will make us more reliant on the smartphones because they'll interact with more things throughout our worlds, adding to the ways these devices become extensions of our bodies on the way to the stars.