Let’s just startwith a question –
Do you know the feeling when you go out and realize you left your phone at home? Some might run scared others are completely lost – I think we can sum it up: it’s not very enjoyable. Smartphones have become a vital part of our lives and an unavoidable part of the world we live in. Without them one may feel like only half a person. Even if you don’t own one, you’ll find yourself exposed to them on a daily basis.
When the editors of Popular Mechanics drafted a list of “101 Gadgets That Changed the World” in 2012, the smartphone topped the heap, trumping technological milestones such as the Radio (No. 2), the TV (No. 3), the personal computer (No. 5), the telephone (No. 7) and the light bulb (No. 10).
Its the consumer technology with the faster adoption rate. So what has the smartphone changed exactly? Let’s take a look at some of those things.
How Smartphones Change the Way We Consume Information and Communicate
The way we consume information has changed from talking to each other to reading the newspaper to watching television, to gathering info on the web using a computer and now a smartphone. Today we can access any kind of information 24/7, wherever we are. That’s both, convenient and overwhelming. Same is true for communication. Our smartphone offers us several ways of communication: calls, text messaging, instant messaging, email, social media, blogs, etc. Seeing the stats for this blog which only I can see, chances are pretty high that you are reading this on your smartphone.
The fact that we can get any information anytime we want has quite an impact on our way of living. A recent study by Columbia University found that we are very likely to forget information which we know we can easily retrieve again. Also, when we are asked questions, we tend think about how we can find the answer on the internet rather than thinking about the actual question and answering it ourselves. Basically, we’re getting lazier, because we know that we can access all kinds of information anytime.
How Smartphones Change the Way We Behave and Feel
It starts early in the morning. The first thing we do is reaching for our smartphone to turn off the alarm clock. Some of us don’t have one set up but the first thing we do is grab that phone and check notifications. As the day goes by we use our smartphone on the way to work, during mealtimes, at work, on the way home, in the bathroom and in bed. The smartphone has made us more sociable, or is it the other way around?
We are constantly connected and expected to have a mobile phone with us at all times. Of course, that’s convenient, but being available 24/7 is tiring, it’s a blessing and a curse. “Sorry, I wasn’t at home” has worked as an excuse 20 years ago. Today it’s like you never leave the office or even home for that matter.
How Smartphones Change the Way We Use Technology
Our society tends to use devices that make our lives easier and more convenient. Taking this fact into account the mobile industry developed one device that made several others obsolete. Sales dropped for landline phones, desktop computers, digital cameras, mp3 players, gps devices, etc. Not too long ago there was a time, when you needed to carry all those things with you.
The desktop computer used to be the most irreplaceable tech piece in our lives, but during the last few years the smartphone has taken its place. We still like to use desktop computers to handle practical tasks, while we prefer our smartphone to handle emotional ones.
How smartphones have further improved the speed of information transfer
One of the most significant improvements the mobile revolution has brought about is the speed at which information spreads from one part of the globe to another. It doesn’t matter if the content is to our liking or not. The visionaries who foresaw that people would like to own a small handheld device (i.e. the smartphone) that can connect them to millions of their peers over the internet were proven absolutely right!
Have a look at this infographic about how phones influence our family lives: