A few years ago, I was asked by a friend if I would be more worried about losing my wallet or my cell phone. This was before smartphones were the norm, but it was a question that made me think and pointed out the dynamic shift our culture had taken.

Now that question would be easy to answer. I could survive a few days without credit cards or a driver's license -- but my iPhone? I may be lost just walking to the store a few blocks away. Combine that with my Mac, and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has taken a central role in my daily life. And I don't even own an iPad.

The same can be said for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which dominates the search engines that fuel our instant gratification culture. Google had a 65.4% share of search in April, according to comScore, and if I didn't have Google I don't know what I would do. How would I answer bar trivia questions or find directions to the nearest Chipotle?

And Google has an even larger share of smartphones using its operating system than Apple. According to comScore, Google has a 34.7% share of U.S. smartphone subscribers, and Apple has a 25.5% share. Of the 72.5 million people in the U.S. who owned smartphones in March, 43.6 million of them used Apple or Google.

Imagine if you didn't have search, maps, or a cell phone, and you had to rely on (gasp!) Windows products.

And that just scratches the surface of what these companies do. Google has a big venture capital arm that invests in energy, health care, and information access. Apple has a big hand in the music business. And who knows what business they'll revolutionize next?

So this begs the question: Do Apple and Google now control my life?

Their power is just beginning
The one space that Apple and Google don't control is the television, and even that is changing. Google made an effort with Google TV, which I didn't think was too bad, and Apple has the Apple TV and iTunes combo. They aren't exactly challenging Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) now, but you can see that Apple in particular could do so in the future. A subscription model for content on Apple TV has long been discussed so if that is realized, watch out. Apple and Google may completely control my life.

What it means for investors
Apple and Google controlling my life may be scary for a lot of reasons, but it shows the competitive advantage they have in their fields. Like Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the 1990s, their competitive advantage is only getting stronger as they grow and their platforms spread far and wide.

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Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Chipotle, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying puts in Netflix, creating a diagonal call position in Microsoft, and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.