iss061e011828.jpg

Christina Koch 2019 Spacewalk courtesy NASA

The majority of people would not have expected that a few generations ahead of them, that people would be able to watch this extraordinary event on a device small enough to put in their pockets. Although having a portable phone was being predicted a century ago, and the horror of it possibly going off at weddings and other inconvenient times was lampooned with uncanny accuracy back in 1919 in the Daily Mirror. 

The daily mirror's cartoonist W.K Hazeldean wasn't the only one prescient of today's technology. Nikolai Tesla was recorded in Collier's magazine 1926 saying "We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket."

04851_150pxTesla  Library of Congress.jp

Serbian inventor Nikolai Tesla

How many of the 478 billion cell phone users know to take precautions? 

Tesla's prediction was correct and the take up of all kinds of electric and electronic technology has been exponential. These days we do not undertake projects without a slew of power tools and if a computer crashes or we have a power outage, our working and domestic lives come to a standstill.  In 2020, 478 billion cell phones are in use around the globe. Not only are we able to do the amazing things Tesla predicted, but we are also paying the price by being addicted to our devices. Electronic devices are now so incredibly enmeshed into our lives, that we have pretty-much outsourced our memory to Google and feel naked without our smartphones or similar devices. However, pervasive does not equal safe. How many users even know that buried in their phone's safety instructions is advice to keep the phone a distance from your body?

Safe Information and Communications Technology for New Zealand