A few days ago, the iPhone turned 5 years old. Since it first hit shelves, Apple has released just as many versions of the phone as years it’s been sold. Even though it’s an inanimate object, many news outlets across the country decided to acknowledge this turning point for the device. The iPhone, of all the smartphones, has probably led the charge in making these devices seem like a cool, sleek, vital part of any modern person’s life. It’s helped create the illusion that not only should everyone want a smartphone, but that everyone needs one.
I think this has created a smartphone expectation. This idea that even though this is not the case right now, the connectivity features and access to app stores found in some phones will eventually be the norm for all devices. From your mp3 players to phones to tablets, everything will be connected to the Internet and life will be amazing. Considering so many students’ reactions to the Three Books choices – it appears that we understand that smartphone ownership isn’t a requirement to be a full participant in academia or life in general. (If you haven’t read it, I think there was a fair explanation from Dean Julie about UAR’s choice published about a week later.) But some may say that Stanford’s campus is the poster child for owning a connected device. With wifi seemingly floating through the open air, our campus encourages people to stay connected wherever they are. Although we understand the divisive problems this may cause when students initially come to campus, owning a smartphone eventually seems like the norm.