I began my freshman year of college in 2008, and the bulk of my experience was spent walking to class (uphill, both ways) texting friends on my archaic Blackberry.
Before I get into it, I know this wasn’t that long ago. But still—so much has changed since smartphones became the standard.
It’s made our lives a lot easier, and quite frankly, a lot safer.
I was recently ordering at Starbucks when I realized I didn’t have my wallet. But to my pleasant surprise, I didn’t even need my wallet. I have the Starbucks app which enables me to easily reload money via my stored debit card in 10 seconds or less.
Convenience at its best.
Instantly, my life flashed back to the campus Starbucks I used to visit on the way to class. Making it easier to burn money is probably not a good thing, especially for a college kid. If I had apps to pay for things on my phone, or even worse—the ability to use freaking APPLE PAY—Fifth Third Bank would have been sending me daily overdraft love letters.
The convenience (or obsession) of the smartphone has led me to consider all the other ways my life would have been different in college.
Call it a game changer, in a good or bad way.
I had multiple cab numbers saved in my cell phone. Yellow Taxi, yellow taxi 2, Jason cab driver, Ibrahim with yellow taxi, etc etc. During the winter after a night out, trying to find a cab was the worst.
The absolute worst.
A) it was cold.
B) you would call a cab company and it would either ring and ring OR they would actually answer and lie about one being on the way.
C) if you managed to get one, no one ever had cash to split the fare.
Uber, on the other hand, would have been safer and way more magical.
This app has answered every college prayer.
Your portion of the rent is due but writing a check is way too tedious. Pay the roomie on Venmo.
Going on a beer run? Venmo baby.
Paid for all the late night drunk food but no one remembers, and now you don’t want to sound cheap. No need to bring it up in person, just low key charge all your friends $3.50 on Venmo!
You may be poor right now, but in college you’re really, really poor.
And then I see things like Amazon Prime.
To be fair, Amazon launched Prime in 2005 but I never used it until post-college. Free 2-day shipping for pretty much anything you could ever want is amazing. It also stores your debit card information, so you really don’t even have to move. It’s 1-freaking-click.
Game over for your bank account.
How many of you have considered this? If Tinder had existed in college, let’s just say college would have been a lot more college.
But also, meal swipes.
Remember how those swipes at the dining hall were sometimes use it or lose it? Or maybe you just really wanted to hit the dining hall but didn’t have any swipes left to give? Put it in your bio you’re looking for (meal) swipes and voilà.
Tinder would have been a great match-maker in more ways than one.
Who remembers when Instagram was just a filter app?
Five years after launch, Instagram was pulling 400 million monthly active users and almost half of them are under 25.
There are countless articles on the psychological effect of the photo-sharing app. Because duh! It makes our peers’ lives look glamorous, and almost attainable. Then we get into comparisons, and begin to think maybe we should be brunching harder, posing in front of more wall tapestries, wearing more of those fake silver tattoos to music festivals, contouring our faces?!?!
Comparison is part of human nature, but now you can do it on an extreme scale.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on Snapchat.
I cringe at the thought of having Snapchat and the ability to screenshot in college.
What are some things you would add to the list?