Six years ago, I took a photo of the things I carry around in my pockets every day. I hadn’t thought of that picture in ages, and was surprised when I found it while browsing old photos. Today, some things have changed, others haven’t. To satisfy my curiosity, I compared that photo to what I carry with me today. Here’s what I found:
In 2007, I carried:
- Keys with a LEGO Chewbacca keychain
- A 512MB flash storage
- Pilot G2 05
- Pocket sized Moleskine notebook
- Original iPhone with earbuds (fitted with Griffin Earjams, which are no longer available, unfortunately)
Compare that to what I carry today:
It’s interesting to note what’s missing, and what’s been replaced. For example, online storage offered by services like Dropbox, Box.net and Apple’s iCloud have replaced the flash drive. When I carried that in 2007, “the cloud” didn’t exist as we know it today. Moving files between computers or locations often meant physically carrying it from place to place.
I now work from home, so if I have my keys with me they are usually in the car’s ignition.
I’ve also replaced the Pilot pen for the space pen. Sometimes I must quickly write something down, and the nearest flat surface is a wall or something else that’s not parallel to the ground. Or, I’m out in the rain and the pages are a little wet. Since the Fisher’s ink is in a pressurized capsule, it doesn’t rely on gravity and can write in any position and on almost any surface. Plus it’s smaller, more durable than the Pilot and easier to carry around.
While I love Moleskine notebooks, I replaced it with Field Notes because the Moleskines are too bulky and the hard cover makes them uncomfortable in a back pocket. Yes, there are soft cover Moleskines and they’re great, but at $9.99 for a three pack, the Filed Notes are very affordable.
I’ve also replaced some other things that you can’t see, and I think those are the most interesting:
- Photos of loved ones. Like countless parents before me, I kept photos of the kids in my wallet. Now my iPhone handles that job.
- Maps. Again, my iPhone has replaced the need for pocket-sized travel guides and maps.
- Phone cards. Before mobile phones were as prevalent as they are today, I kept an emergency calling card in my wallet for pay phones and long-distance calls. That’s not necessary anymore.
- Cash. This is the most fascinating one. I rarely carry cash. In fact, I sometimes wonder if paper money really exists anymore. When I get paid, it’s via direct deposit. I never see a check, a bill or a coin. I physically receive no money of any sort. When I purchase something, I swipe a debit card. I hand no money to the cashier and s/he hands nothing back to me other than a slip of paper.
- Consumer loyalty cards. Granted, I never carried many of these in the first place, but Apple’s Passbook lets me pay at Starbucks with my phone.
How about you, readers? What do you carry around, and how has the list changed over the last few years? Has technology had an impact? Please share in the comments. Thanks.
And as for Chewbacca, he’s officially been retired.