I recently searched Google Play store for spy apps. While browsing the various apps and reading the reviews, it struck me that the android market is probably not the most discreet place to begin my covert operations. Its probably not even the most reliable place to get high quality surveillance equipment for free. I was curious anyhow and, with the mindset of a ten year old boy, I continued my search.

I suppose the main question was “How can I turn my phone into a Secret Agents toolkit?” There are some pretty inventive apps such as Night Vision, Spy Camera, Ear spy (for increase listening distance), A diversion kit w/ timer, text and GPS tracking, a spy trainer, and then some spy-based games.

The reviews are most entertaining. Users complain about the performance of a particular app, while suggesting government level functionality. Expectations run extremely high nowadays with all these technological advancements. I must admit that my immediate response was to ridicule the people writing the reviews, but why was I looking for these types of apps in the first place? I expected similar technological achievements to flood the search results page.

Then the sociological imagination kicked in. What does technological advancement do to a society where OnDemand results become expected? Does this expectancy drive technology, or counteract reality?

Then my reality surfaced. I am 38  years old this year. My twenty year reunion is staring me down, and I have no apparent mid-life crisis on the horizon. Perhaps the best part of growing up in my generation was the movie “The Goonies.” I won’t even bother with a description, if you don’t know it, too fucking bad; watch it.

We had adventure growing up. We had a Vietnamese kid decked out with the latest in spy equipment showing us the ropes. The character of Data spring boarded the imagination of so many youths during my generation. We loved his inventions, and felt pity for him when he felt the discouragement of the others- ”Then some guy tells me I have stupid inventions. I’ve been spending months and months studying on them and inventing them. God! ”

So what does all this mean? What do I expect from a device that can show me satellite views of places 2000+ miles away? Is it so unseemly to suggest better GPS tracking capabilities on all my contacts? Why shouldnt my phone be able to sniff out hard wired network activity?

With programmers, nothing is impossible. I love that. I eagerly wait to see what is next. Expectation IS just about everything.