5. The Proliferation of Cell Phones and Hand-Held Computing Devices
As big as the advent of social media is, the big technology story of the past decade is the unprecedented, mind-boggling, world-reordering spread of cell phones. In 1991, 10 years before 9/11, there were 16 million cell-phone subscribers worldwide. Today, we are rapidly approaching 6 billion cell-phone subscribers. Eight trillion text messages will be sent in 2011. Within three or four years, more people will access the Internet via phone than via computer. And growth is fastest in the emerging world. There are more cell phone cameras today than all other forms of camera added together. Everyone is connected. Everyone is a witness. Everyone is part of a global news network, an instant coalition, a mob, an electorate.
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