Your Morning Matters: Recalling a world without apps

In this installment of The Earnheardts, Mary Beth describes the end of her family’s “big life,” noting that it “came to a screeching halt in March.”

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It’s Monday, June 29, 2020, and on this day in 2007, the Apple iPhone was released.

And this terrific story from Business Insider from a couple of years ago details just how primitive Apple’s first iPhone was when compared with the phones of today. Check out this list:

  • It was a phone that ran on painfully slow 2G wireless. In today’s “Internet of Things” era, phones are optimized for 5G.
  • There was no app store. It was pokey slow with no Pokémon GO! Directions were not a snap without Google Maps!
  • Users could not choose their own “wallpaper” to personalize the black background.
  • In creating texts, users could not “cut and paste,” nor could they add a photo. Worse: Instagram was still three years away!
  • There was no landscape mode.

And while this all seems like an era of innovation to my generation, imagine this: If you were born in 2000, you likely can’t recall a time in which you didn’t have this technology at your fingertips. You may have never used a map or collected Pokémon “cards” (pieces of brightly colored, thick paper).

So the iPhone spawned competitors, apps and unheard of instant connectivity. Armed with these tools, a new era of civility, information awareness and scientific appreciation was born, right? Nope. People mostly play games, post pictures of their meals and share hateful memes.

Sigh. Let’s be careful out there!

And now, more of the things you need to know about what’s happening in the Mahoning Valley:

In this week’s installment of The Earnheardts, Mary Beth describes the end of her family’s “big life,” noting that it “came to a screeching halt in March.

“At first, it was novel, but now, it’s starting to feel like we’re stuck in a rut. What’s the next big challenge? The best we can come up with is searching Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for a secondhand couch. Our instincts to grow and advance have been stifled by the pandemic.”

Other matters

Although states with surges in coronavirus cases are scaling back reopening, Gov. Mike DeWine has given no indication that he’ll respond to Ohio’s record spike in cases by taking that kind of step. Last week, more Ohioans tested positive for the coronavirus than during any other week since the pandemic began. Mahoning Matters

State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, and Tavia Galonski, D-Akron, filed legislation June 26 that will criminalize the harmful use of chokeholds by police officers or peace officers in Ohio. Mahoning Matters

A bill to allow schools in Ohio to open this fall is prompting more questions than answers. “Any decision on reopening schools next year must be driven by guidance from public health officials,” Scott DiMauro, Ohio Education Association president, told the Senate Education Committee last week. Mahoning Matters

Although reaction to COVID-19 has delayed some aspects of the 2020 Census, it is still expected to be completed by the end of the year, as required by the nation’s Constitution. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall]

The Georgetown banquet center in Boardman, closed earlier this year after 45 years, is up for auction. The 15,570-square-foot facility is located in the Matthew Square Plaza on South Avenue. WKBN

Warren Assistant Law Director Traci Timko-Sabau will be suspended for three days and was given a written reprimand after a post that some deemed offensive on her Facebook page. WFMJ

Prima Cucina Italian, 103 W. Federal St., will become the newest entry in the downtown dining scene when it opens today. Chef-operator Josh Santangelo said the eatery will feature regional cooking from Italy, with an emphasis on the cooking of Rome. The Business Journal

Mover and Makers

Warren’s Elm Road Triple Drive-In Theatre gives moviegoers a retro cinematic experience, as one of approximately 310 drive-ins in the United States. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the drive-in to take on some “firsts” this summer, from concerts to graduations to classic movies. Mahoning Matters

This story was made possible by Farmers National Bank.

Your comments matter

“What an awesome accomplishment, Sophia! Congratulations! I look forward to viewing your documentary.”

Beth Buchman Dunn, on Ursuline High School student Sophia Alleman, who was awarded second place and honored with the Next Generation Angels Award for excellence in historical filmmaking in the National History Day competition.

Registered readers can comment on a selection of our stories, and all readers can comment on stories on our Facebook page. Opinions published here do not reflect the views of Mahoning Matters.

Event of the day

Warren-Trumbull County Public Library is presenting “Didgeridoo Down Under,” a high-energy, Australia-themed show that combines music, comedy and storytelling. The free Summer Reading Program performance will be live from 4 to 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. Call the Warren Library Youth Services Department at 330-399-8807, ext. 206, to register and get the Zoom link.

To see what else is going on around the Mahoning Valley, check out Mahoning Matters’ event calendar here, or click the Events tab on the top menu at

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