The Impact of Smartphones on Society
Society and technology are closely connected with each other in XXI century. One should agree with the fact that young individuals who own smartphones interrupt live conversation almost every minute by checking their smartphone, googling some data, sending messages, taking photographs and uploading images and videos to Instagram, Facebook or other social networking sites. In the modern world, these gadgets play an imperative role in human lives as they keep people connected with each other. Smartphones influence the way people live and interact with other individuals, even their family members and close friends. Smartphones have changed the surrounding world in a remarkable manner by becoming an essential tool for young people and providing solutions, which might help in almost all situations. An analysis of the study shows that smartphones have substantially altered the lifestyle of people, transformed the world and society, and changed the means of using social media.
Smartphones have become an indispensable part of every person’s life. They account for four out of every five telephones purchased in the United States (Phillips par. 7). Approximately two-thirds of adults in America own this gadget. According to Phillips, “the smartphone paced the TV as the consumer technology with the fastest adoption rate,” which corresponds to about 40% of market saturation in more than two years (par. 8). Approximately 60% of the Internet traffic comes from smartphones rather than desktops that used to serve as the dominant online portal for a long time (Phillips par. 10). With more than a billion consumers in the whole world, these mobile devices substantially affect day-to-day lives and the way human brain processes information.
Smartphones change the lifestyle of people. They affect individuals in the way they interact with each other, behave in their daily lives, and engage in activities. These commodities offer a variety of applications, which comply with the personal interests and needs. Such innovations may assist in a manner that will help to increase productivity or organize time in an effective way. According to Barkhuus and Polichar, such mobile phones are a part of human lives as they incorporate applications with multiple functions, mainly personal digital assistants, alarm clocks, MP3 players, GPS navigators, as well as laptop computers (629). Phillips argues that smartphones serve as a source of external memory (par. 12). It means that human memory adapts to the advent of new communication and computing technologies.
Multiple functions provide consumers with an opportunity to perform the same task in a different manner or even combine functions in a new way. However, this is not physiologically healthy because a person cannot do several tasks at a time as multitasking lessens their ability to focus on certain things (Barkhuus and Polichar 630). Owners may also add functionality to their gadgets or ignore a function that is not suitable for them. Such distributors as the Apple Retail Store give a chance to customize the functionality of a phone to fit individual needs (Barkhuus and Polichar 630). Barkhuus and Polichar claim that over 90% of people who have smartphones do several tasks at a time with the help of their devices watching TV, talking sending messages, exchanging emails, and browsing social networks (630). People can also shop using their cell phones and at the same time send images or texts to their family members.
Since many individuals lead busy lives because of job, school, and personal affairs, they want their smartphones to help them cope with daily problems. As a result, people spend a considerable amount of money on their mobile phone services. The study of Hingorani, Woodard, and Askari-Danesh revealed that in 2012, the expenditure for their cellphone services of more than 50% of students accounted for nearly $75 per month (36). According to the survey, smartphones served as a primary camera for about 80% of 134 members, a video recorder for 70%, a music player for 60% of participants, and a gaming device for nearly 50% of all students (Hingorani, Woodard, and Askari-Danesh 36). For such people smartphones do not refer only to the process of texting or calling. These devices have become multimedia recording tools and small computers with access to the Internet.
Such an attitude has led to the increase of the time individuals spend using their devices. Phillips underlines that the average smartphone usage per day almost doubled between 2011 and 2013 (par. 20). It means that people spend a full day per week on their phones. During this time, users look at their phones approximately 1500 times (Phillips par. 20). About 60% of consumers do not spend more than an hour without using their smartphones (Phillips par. 21). About half of all cell phone owners report checking their devices in bed, before going to sleep, or during the night time (Phillips par. 21). The statistics shows that the use of these gadgets has profoundly altered the lifestyle of people, and the society in which they live.
Another aspect related to smartphones is the way they have transformed the world and society. It is obvious that the access that these devices offer to their owners makes their lives more convenient and easier. They have virtually changed the notion of access by making data available to consumers almost at any time or in any place. According to Sarwar and Soomro, the areas influenced by smartphones include business sector, education, and even health (218). Mobile technologies have substantially altered the cultural norms and behavior of people. On the one hand, they provide people with an opportunity to form their micro-cultures and engage in dangerous activities. However, on the other hand, they offer a chance to stay connected all the time.
In the field of business, these devices have opened new dimensions by creating new domains for mobile application companies, Internet service providers and other spheres necessary for gaining competitive advantages (Sarwar and Soomro 218). Sarwar and Soomro also claim that mobile application publishers, service providers, and distributors receive a high amount of revenue by providing advertisements incorporated into a mobile application (218). In education, the use of the Internet through smartphones has become a means to search for data when necessary (Sarwar and Soomro 219). The availability of the Internet, the growing demand for cell phones, and a high speed of mobile browsing provide alternative channels to deliver educational services (Sarwar and Soomro 219). The use of such gadgets in the classroom makes it easier for teachers and students to collaborate. The other sector affected by smartphones is the health care industry. According to Sarasohn-Kahn, over 10 million users in America use these devices to search for healthcare facilities and health related information (2). Their applications provide an opportunity to follow exercises and diets or even measure blood pressure (Sarasohn-Kahn 3). Specially designed programs are helpful for healthcare assistants as they offer medical calculators, drug references and reference guides.
However, the most influenced sphere is social life. The survey of 5,000 smartphone users in 2012 in eight nations showed that respondents believed that smartphones helped them to maintain closer contact with their family and friends, and always be informed (Phillips par. 19). Approximately 75% of participants reported that such constant connection was beneficial for them (Phillips par. 19). The statistics shows that people adapt their lives to mobile devices and see only positive features in them.
Smartphones also have a substantial impact on social media. Such social networks as Twitter and Facebook have a variety of applications that provide people with an opportunity to read, share information, and post something from anywhere and at any time. However, free access to social media sites has captured the attention of many students, who spend a considerable amount of time using these sites (Hingorani, Woodard, and Askari-Danesh 33). Twitter and Facebook have gained popularity on college campuses. Hingorani, Woodard, and Askari-Danesh, argue that, “It would be difficult to walk around a college campus without seeing several students using these social media sites” (34). The average time spent on using Facebook via smartphones in America accounted for more than 440 minutes in 2012 compared to nearly 390 minutes via computers (Hingorani, Woodard, and Askari-Danesh 34). The time spent on browsing Twitter corresponds to 114 minutes. Twitter is popular for the immediate services it provides. According to the survey, Facebook takes the second place in traffic among all websites while Twitter takes only the eighth one (Hingorani, Woodard, and Askari-Danesh 34). The study of 134 students also revealed that over 44% and 43% of students considered Twitter to be the most popular social media source respectively (Hingorani, Woodard, Askari-Danesh 36). About 38% of all participants used text messaging on their smartphones by sending up to 50 messages per day (Hingorani, Woodard, Askari-Danesh 37). More than 80% of the participants tweeted every free minute while 20% tweeted more than 20 times per day. The data proves the increasing role of mobile devices in social networking.
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In conclusion, the findings of the study prove the fact that smartphones have substantially changed the lifestyle of people, transformed the world and society, and even increased the popularity of social media. These devices have altered the ways of how individuals lead their everyday lives. It is undeniable that these gadgets exert a profound influence on society, especially in the spheres of business, education, health, and social life. If people use smartphones constantly, they should understand that their devices affect their lives both positively and negatively. It is personal liability that may help to control the use of such innovations.
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