The physical phone that is. Could this be an opening signal in potential changes in democracy? Smart Phones are rapidly replacing standard mobiles, and even standard phones offer more “community” type functions. Those that don’t use a Smart Phone in future could be missing out as society evolves.
Smart Phones enable greater connectivity, faster and more intimately than ever before. Not just en masse, but with our closer “cliques” within our spheres of interest. By participating we create personal “Social Value”, such as voting for stories on Digg or Mixx. This idea of “Social Value” lends itself to fairly ominous thinking of a connected future.
But we already can vote on the Web for elected officials. We can manage all our finances via the Web and Smart Phones. In some countries you can pay for coffee with your mobile. When a New York woman had her phone stolen a couple of years ago, the Web was used by her freind to get that phone back. But what was relevant was not the phone, but the data inside it; which resided in the Cloud, so she was able to get a new phone and upload the data. The phone was irrelevant.
Increasingly, we are placing our personal data in the “Cloud” and that means devices will become irrelevant over time, as Smart Phones themselves already are to some degree. So will Social Value become a part of who we are and how we conduct our lives? By participating in Web-based services, from voting on news stories to elections, to supporting groups and initiatives and playing games, will this all add up to show we are taking a part in society? Will this create “Social Rank?” and could we in future, vote on small municipal, State/Provincial and Federal issues more quickly? Can you imagine a constant stream of things you’re being asked to vote on? A bit of a frightening thought.