Smartphones have become increasingly popular in the last ten years, and are expected to grow at an astonishing rate, everyone from your grandma to your 4 year old nephew have probably come into contact with a smartphone.
But how has this affected the society?
What impact does mass smartphone use have on businesses? And ultimately, is the popularity of smartphones good or bad?
Firstly, smartphones have a lot to offer, but not only that, they offer it fast. There was a time where you would have to wait a week or two for a reply from a letter you wrote to one of your distant friends. Now with smartphones, or any old average mobile, you can be assured your message will be sent to their device almost instantly. And with many IM apps out there, communication really is instant - no matter where you and your IM buddy may be.
Another great factor of Smartphones is mobility. If you’ve got a phone in your pocket, you’ll always be in contact with your friends when you need a chat. And with fast data connections such as 3G, you’ll always be updated everywhere you go. Just make sure you don’t walk into any lamp posts...
This fast paced approach that smartphones offer has changed the way businesses work, many businesses offer their services on smartphone apps and because of this, businesses normally work faster as the customers are buying their products quicker.
Also a lot of businesses have been created around the smartphone industry. Many companies compete to create the ‘best smartphone’ so tablets and handsets are released at a very quick rate. Some businesses make money by selling their apps on smartphone app stores; most smartphone applications sell for a very low price. Because of this, popular apps normally receive millions of downloads.
Smartphones also offer quicker communication in the workplace. If you worked as a builder and your company were to give employees complimentary blackberry handsets, you would be able to stay in contact with each of your workmates quickly via Blackberry Messenger, so communication could be done over the noise in the work place.
I believe the smartphone industry definitely has improved business capability, for the customers and the business itself. And it’s expected that smartphone business integration will continue to grow. Smartphones are only going to get more powerful and even faster, offering more and more features at the tap of a button. But what is this doing to us? Smartphones, personal computers and other electronic devices all work so quickly these days that having patience is becoming less and less ‘necessary’. Social media is affecting our social skills by allowing users to share what they are doing the second they are doing it, potentially limiting the ‘need’ for users to interact in real life.
I’m sure smartphone users of older generations have more discipline in these matters, as they’ve grown up without this ‘instant access’ that smartphones and the internet provide.
But how are newer generations that have had this ‘instant access’ the moment they were born going to be affected?
I think it definitely affects our level of patience and when the youth enter the big wide world for themselves for the first time, they are going to have trouble learning that not everything in life comes instantly. It’s important that newer generations have patience as this is needed throughout different situations.
Not only that, but social media effects social skills. People are able to tell their friends exactly how they feel over Facebook, but they may not feel comfortable doing this face-to-face. It’s hard to know how a person is really feeling online and listening to body language is an important skill to have in social situations. By going on Facebook and Twitter more than going out and socializing, could potentially limit social opportunities as people may feel more comfortable talking online than face-to-face.
The internet is a great place. Smartphones let us access that in even more ways than before. It’s important to remember that there is a whole world out there, and I think this needs to be addressed to the younger generations because they need to be given the chances to learn life skills that can’t be learnt while spending their time online.
What are your opinions? Please share them in the comments.