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5G - The Good, bad and ugly

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

It's only been 20 years since the mobile phone has caught on, Only really invented a decade before. In the last 10 years the mobile phone has dominated society and changed the way everyone does life - we are addicted to our phones.

Our addiction may not be a bad thing, after all I can remember life back in the 80's when I carried around a big diary, Calendar, notebook, Camera, Walkman, UK Map, To Do List etc. This doesn't mention our chain to a Desktop Computer, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Acrobat, etc.

The smart phone has changed the way we live, it merged all of the above into a single device and to be honest the development of the use of the phone was only limited by the connection speed and reach.

Apple last year launched a 'Screen Time' notification to try and level the addiction of our devices that they have in part created. That sounds harsh, but it's progress. I reduced my own screen on their devices from 3 hours per day to less than one. I feel better, I read books, I walk, focus on diet and general health.

Society is about to make a major jump to a new technology which will rapidly thrust us into a whole new world.

What we've had up to now is a society which demands, faster downloads, more apps, easier connections to everything to make life easier and more connected. Society has pushed the envelope, but in response the tech community has been developing something to propel the future.

I was brought up before this mobile age. I remember when our neighour had the first land line on our street. We had to book a phone call through the operator and Mrs Rees was so obliging, I think the company was what she was looking for. When I write this I sound like I'm 120, yet I'm 49 next birthday - this is how rapidly tech is changing the face of society.

5G will usher in a new revolution in tech. It proclaims 50 times the speed of 4G and also massively reduced 'latency' which is the speed we make the initial connection to the internet. These two things alone will change the face of the earth. Car companies, airlines, Medical and Energy companies will all use a technology that is so pervasive they will be able to monitor and provide almost instant connection between subscriber and supplier in a modern world.

On the plus side, 5G, will help doctors be in real time be able to monitor heart behaviour, blood results - it will turn around the need for a patient to go to the doctor. With these monitoring solutions the medical community will come to us. For travel, we will get into a car which using AI will bring together Weather, Navigation, Carr maintenance, nearby friends, automatic driving, etc. When there is a guaranteed super fast instant connection, things move forward so fast.

The down side is it's a microwave frequency that no one really understands the widespread impact on our physical frame. Has cancer increased because 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G is pumping increasingly high frequency radiation across our society ?

Then of course there is the question of reliance. I've noticed ever since the prevalence of smart phone, I can't turn up anymore to a friends house without first making an appointment. Everyone seems more busy, more diverse in their daily activity and much more swayed by our modern world.

None of us can stop the revolution of tech, no person, company or government. 'Progress' is a word which demonstrates the 'desire of the people' which in reality means which company gets the most customers and therefore the most profit.

Whether foldable phones, AI, Machine learning and VR, will all be part of our future.

I can see the benefit, but will likely become a realic as I try to reduce my time with a device which has more influence than my wife or child in my wakening hours. I will read books printed on paper. I will not let phones be used at meal times around the table. I will not allow funeral notification of my death be sent by text !!

Life is a complex mix of influences. 5G will help us all (even considering the health impacts). Don't let yourself be completely sucked into this new tech.

I hope you get to walk on the beach, or swim in the sea soon, without your mobile phone.

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