In the early days of this blog, one of my post popular posts mulled over what I then considered to be a smartphone dilemma. On retiring I was obliged to return the iPhone issued to me for work and was trying to decide whether or not I would actually need one solely for personal use. That's definitely not a blog entry that has stood the test of time.
I did resolve the issue by purchasing an android smartphone and have, of course, never looked back and to the extent that I have recently updated it for a second time.
Keeping in touch with friends and family via WhatsApp, especially the eldest when he was living in New Zealand, is an imperative and with the opportunity for group chats it's so much more useful than text messaging with of course the option for video calls too.
Then there's the app I use to book gym classes and one to synchronise with the Fitbit on my wrist.
It carries my electronic calendar and To Do List as well as my contacts' telephone numbers and addresses.
It can serve as both a SatNav in the car and to help me find my way on foot, something that has proved itself indispensable on our various travels. Although I still prefer to use a camera for photographs, it connects by wifi to the camera enabling me to transfer photographs seamlessly and then back them up from the phone to the cloud.
Best of all with its internet connection, it's my pocket encyclopedia and fact checker, updater of news and events manager all in one. I can do my banking, order repeat prescriptions, make medical appointments, read library books and listen to podcasts from it. I keep my rail card, and travel tickets on it.
Back in 2014 I was musing as to whether or not retirement would herald a less complicated and simpler lifestyle compatible with the pre-digital age. Now, although I continue to simplify, the one object with which I could not part is that smartphone. It's become such an embedded part of my life that I'm convinced it has helped in the mission to disentangle myself from the intricacies of personal organisation if only by reducing the number of gadgets and papers that would otherwise fill my home.
I know they are often viewed as a scourge of modern living with millions staring seemingly zombie-like at them in restaurants and on public transport but seriously, does anyone now survive without one?