It’s been a long and winding road from the early cell phone years to what is now our beloved smartphone.
Who could have predicted the wild, snaking trail of cell phone technology would lead to a palm-sized computer on which you can connect to nearly anything around you? In one swipe of your fingers you can instantly communicate with friends, your boss, drop down a high-scoring Words with Friends word, and then, readjust the temperature of your house.
Your cell phone is the only thing keeping you on the tenuous thread that binds you to sanity, protecting you from madness, the rage, the utter insanity of waiting for a train, waiting in line, waiting for food, waiting for anything, really, without something to do. Let’s not forget the ability for us to make this technology seem weightless thanks to the Apple revolution and the accessories inspired by them, including our own Ultra Thin iPhone 5 Cases.
As an ode to our mobile friend, here’s how cell phones have reshaped and could have reshaped pop culture history at various moments:
1) McClane, Die Hard (1988)
Technically cell phones existed before Die Hard, with the first handheld cellular phone call placed in 1973. But, I’ve never been able to get over the fact that Det. John McClane’s one-man-army blood coup against his (German?) captors could easily have been circumvented with one cell phone call. Remember, it’s an unauthorized history. We’d just like to think about the cultural impact over the cell phone’s evolution. All those lives, all those bodies - so tragic. We know you were doing what you had to, McClane.
2) Zach Morris, Saved by the (Alexander Graham) Bell (1989-93)
Alright, bad joke. How could we resist? And, oh boy, look at that brick of a phone - it’s definitely a cultural icon. At the time it was the perfect implement to aid Mr. Morris’ scheming and scamming. It became an extension of his persona. Zach Morris solidified the techno-biological melding with cellular technology early on. We think if Zach Morris was a millennial he would be sporting a sleek Ultra Thin iPhone 5 Case. So Preppy.
3) Neo, The Matrix (1999)
The runaway cult phenomenon, The Matrix, freaked us all for a little while. Was it just me? Is any of this really real? A pivotal moment, the moment when Mr. Anderson’s world begins to come unraveled, when the program begins to fail, so to speak, is when he answers a call from the future (well, actually the present in the film’s continuum) on a crazy futuristic (for 1999) looking Nokia. Without the cell phone, he would have traipsed merrily along in the matrix, probably happy, but never knowing that he could learn how to fly and do all sorts of other crazy stuff. Thanks, weird phone! The cell phone links us to the future, but now it is the future from then, so I guess it just keeps us in touch with the future from the future?
4) Bryan Mills, Taken (2008)
We don’t have to say a whole lot about this one. Just one of those tender moments when a cell phone unites a criminal and ONE BAD DAD, who goes on the craziest warpath, maybe in action film history. The cell phone allowed him to calmly say, “I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you.” Cell phones, bringing people together again.
So, cell phones have lent credence to some pretty important pop culture moments over the years. We salute you, phones, inseparable appendages that let us stay connected to the world, find places we can’t find, access the internet, and spice up our bus rides! Keep the hits coming, guys.