I am an app-based lifeform

We are living in a rose gold time of Tech - whether that be contact lens implants that can allow us to zoom our vision to simple mobile phone apps that can simulate life in the form of a pocket pet.

Today I want to focus on just how intelligent our smartphones can be but also how far we can take our reliance upon them to keep our lives in working order. Whether it be by messaging the group chat about work plans, scheduling your next yoga session or dentist appointment or planning your next trip away. So much of it is now all done on our no-longer-pocket-sized yet still small-for-the-power devices.

For some mobile phones are still nothing more than a way to connect with friends and family. Letting them know where you are. That you're safe. That you might be a bit late home for dinner. To message them a funny meme you found, with a ‘totally you!’ caption.

But for some - for the app based life forms - they are much more. They are a way to document, measure and check up on your health, a device to work from, a device to consume media, a device to learn, to make friends - to thrive in the world of the internet.

I am, admittedly, one of those. In recent years, especially with the use of a more decent phone, I find myself thinking that there must be an app to monitor this biological mechanism, I'll just install it! And with 32GB of internal storage and an SD card of 16GB I'm certainly not short of it. I suppose I'm kind of like a kid in a candy shop. I spent five years with an old HTC Desire. The flagship of 2010 or so. 8 megapixel camera. Something crazy like 8GB of internal storage (for the time anyway). I loved that phone. And I used it for five years before eventually I gave up the ghost (like, it was on Android 4. Wouldn't run Whatsapp or Snapchat or YouTube. Google Hangouts was still called ‘Talk’) and got a newer HTC One M9 which was a stark contrast, especially in size (which I also realise it grossly out of date).

So with this new-found freedom I still - even with the phone two years old and still performing like a boss (with no battery-related software slowdowns on the horizon. Don't @ me iPhone goons) I find myself constantly finding apps to install. Currently, I have four health related apps on my phone - one for yoga, another to track my nutrition and calories, one that monitors how long a sleep for with smart alarms and another which monitors my water intake. It's called Plant Nanny and I installed it because I am bad at ensuring I drink enough. Plus, I get to be nanny to a cute plant that slumps when I'm dehydrated and sings when it's well watered. It's the most empathetic an app has ever been, I do believe.

Do I think this monitoring of basic human processes - that ought to be innate and therefore carried out autonomously - is perhaps taking my reliance on smartphone use a bit too far? Perhaps. Well, probably. Will I continue? Most likely.

More later,


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