Commercial Cell Phone Usage Turns 30

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's hard imagining not having a cell phone handy during an emergency or for anything else for that matter. Some of us probably have a hard time remembering life without cell phones. It may be hard to believe but Sunday marked the 30 year anniversary of commercial cell phone usage.

It really wasn't too long ago when bug bulky cell phones were revolutionary, let alone expensive. Today what used to fit in only a shoe box fits comfortably in your pocket.

The first ever commercial cell phone call was made 30 years ago Sunday in Chicago. Three decades later there are more active cell phones in the US than the number of people with technology advancing at record paces. Big bulky phones with a half hour battery life costing thousands of dollars now cost hundreds and can do whatever you want them to.

"I have to have it with me all the time," said Zoey Walker. "I text, call, internet; everything. It's pretty much a computer in my hand."

With information flowing through the internet like never before some wonder how our privacy can be protected.

"The world has just become so much bigger now," says Zoey's mother Jennifer Walker. "I think it's just too open now."

Social media sites and internet companies keep rolling out new features and changing policies removing certain restrictions that may have made users feel safer.

"You have to be aware of your own social network," says Rockford University IT Director P.J. Way. "It's not up to [internet companies] anymore to protect you. You have to start being a little more vigilant making changes saying you want to not be published."

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