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The Invasion of Smartphones: “Are they good or bad?”

Steve Jobs once said “every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” This is very true. I will be discussing the subject of how smartphones and touch phones have changed everything. Although my opinion is that the changes are more negative than positive, I will focus on positive changes and then negative changes and allow you to compare and make your own decision.

Ever since the beginning of time, we have seen enormous progress in technology. It was never possible to take advantage of Internet technology without owning a computer with a modem. It was made possible in the last decade with the growth of the mobile industry. You can now literally hold the Internet in the palm of your hands with a device you can carry in your pocket. Prior to this technology, phones and computing were separate entities that had nothing to do with one another. One man with a dream changed it all. It sparked a revolution that merged computing and phone systems together. With smart phones, in fact all of today’s mobile phones, you are not only limited to voice communication, but you can surf the web and play your favorite Facebook games, watch YouTube videos, and much more.

Research shows that a majority of smartphone users use their device to shop for products or locate stores and store hours. Voice and text communication with mobile devices has become a rarity today. My theory for this is that users who simply want to surf the web and shop online turned to mobile technologies instead of computers because it’s easy to use, accessible anywhere, and can be easily carried anywhere without much effort. People interested in using phones primarily for voice communication typically don’t purchase devices with the additional technology that smartphones have. Below is a chart to show the usage statistics of how smartphones are used:

Source: Proper Mobile Insights

In addition, you will find more people using their smartphones during odd hours when computers aren’t usually available or when there isn’t enough time to actively be involved in operating the computer, such as while traveling, relaxing in bed, or on lunch break at work. Below is another chart that demonstrates smartphone use throughout the day:

Source: Ericsson

In summary, the advantage of smartphones s is that they’re easier to use than computers, easy to carry anywhere, and can be accessed anywhere.

Of course, there are always disadvantages with everything. Smartphone technology has become so widely used throughout the world that it has become a part of everyday life for most. Much like an illegal drug addiction, gamer addiction, or alcohol addiction, smartphones can be addicting and, over time, have proven it. These addictions can be good or bad, depending on how they are used, controlled, where and when they are used. There have been many automobile accidents caused by drivers who were using their mobile phone while driving. According to the National Safety Council, it estimates that at least 1.6 million crashes each year involve drivers using cell phones and texting.

It is also a belief that mobile technology is a contributing factor for some obesity cases.  The more time spent with the phones, the less time there may be for exercise and other physical activities that prevent obesity.  Again, the daily usage chart above shows we use smartphones all day, and the number never drops below 20% for the North American population.

In order to assess whether the smartphone’s changing everything is good or bad, we must first ask ourselves if the negative risk involved is worth it.

–Matthew Leisy

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