Smartphones Have Changed The Way People Live Everyday Life

Smartphones make is possible to always be present. You don’t have to worry about missing a phone call while you’re connected to the Internet. You are reachable 24/7 365 days a year either via text, voice, video or image. You cannot say definitely it has made life worse or better, because for every reason you give there is another to counter it, as with anything there is a relativism at play. Being always present means you can be in contact when you want to be. No waiting around for your sister to get off the phone.

Our limited human knowledge has been expanded by smartphones. Need to know who that actor is? What that song is? There’s an app for that. Being connected to the Internet is akin to having the entirety of human knowledge at your fingertips. This makes intelligence a much more fluid concept- do you know it or do you just know how to search for something properly? Do you understand something or are you just reciting something you read?

Smartphones enable us to pursue the most neurotic fantasies with have, they encourage us to occupy ourselves not with what surround us but with what is directly in front of us. Sitting together, eating and watching a TV show still happens, but what also happens is sitting together, eating, watching separate shows (not on TV anymore but on YouTube or Netflix) with headphones in. We’re allowed to do what we want with so much ease, no more haggling over what channel to watch, simply retreat to the black mirror in your pocket. Everyone is a winner.

Smartphones are individual consumption devices. They have the potential to be so much more. But the things that work smoothly on them are not tools that inherently want you to make the world a better place as their inventors would have you believe, they just make your world a better place for a little while. Twitter was essential to the Arab Spring, but it the lack of revolutions in the US, the UK and France show that it isn’t a service with revolution built in. Was it a bug or a feature?

Not that I’m complaining. I love my smartphone. But I put it down. I let it run flat. I don’t top it up so I can’t use it. Just because it can do something doesn’t mean it should be allowed to do that thing all the time. Use them, but also don’t use them. Don’t let smartphones narrow your horizons, use them to expand them.

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