Think back to the last time you were out somewhere in a crowd. How many smartphones did you see? Most likely as many as there were people. Nowadays smartphones feel as much a part of life as breathing, and many people would think a life without them would be impossible. Smartphones are without a doubt one of the most incredible inventions of all time, certainly the most life changing. With the advent of the smartphone many new things came to fruition: instant communication, with text messaging, email, and video chats, as well as navigational tools, and entertainment. Suddenly you can carry a computer, book, movie, and music in your pocket, all on one device. While not all bad, smartphones do have their very obvious drawbacks, such as being constantly connected to the world. People have lost their ability to go somewhere without their phone in reach. Conversations between two strangers in lines or at the park are almost all but gone. People don’t like to be uncomfortable, and that is one thing a smartphone offers its user: the ability to avoid uncomfortable or awkward moments, by simply looking down.
First on the list of the plus of a smartphone is having the ability to communicate with anyone anywhere on the globe, instantly. Being able to call or video chat a friend or family member out of arm’s reach is something that has changed the way we live. Travel has changed so much because of it, having the ability to check in on someone thousands of miles away, or video chat, and see their faces.
Another benefit that smartphones can bring is the ability to have GPS tracking, allowing you to explore new areas without the fear of getting lost. There are a few heavy drawbacks though to the tracking features of a smartphone that can pose a major security threat to the user. The ability to go somewhere without the whole world knowing is something of the past (as is the idea of having a private conversation.) The many ways that your data can be stolen and exposed to third party companies is definitely something that hasn’t been dealt with in the past, and a problem that will definitely need to be addressed in the present.
Thirdly, smartphones offer a connection to the internet, letting you check your email, social platforms, and search for information from almost anywhere, which is both a blessing and a curse. Having the ability to have constant connectivity is not something that is healthy for the human brain, and what happens when we start to train ourselves that every question can be answered with a fast five second Google search is we lose our ability to wait for something, or to retain a question or a thought long enough to then back it up later. It does however provide the benefit of helping out in sticky situations, as well as times when having connection to the world is a necessity, such as working remotely, or when out of the borders of a city, or town, while still needing to have a lifeline.
Without a doubt, smartphones have changed the way that society approaches life, work, and entertainment. With the power to communicate with anyone anywhere, as well as having access to the internet, smartphones are incredibly powerful tools, and can benefit the lives of those who own one, if they make the right choices in their way of handling them. While in their own sense smartphones have no ill intentions, it is the user that must decide how to interact with their devices. Either you can own the phone, or the phone will own you. The decision rests in your hands.