There is no denying the role of technology in today’s communication. The options for getting in touch with people seem almost endless. There is social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat let you communicate with anyone in a variety of ways. There are more “traditional” options such as phone calls, emails, texting (either natively on your phone or through an app like WhatsApp), FaceTime, and Skype. Your smartphone houses everything you need to get in touch with the people that you care about. You are always accessible. Everything is at your fingertips, as well. Has this ease of communication improved our culture? Has constant connection made things worse? Both sides of the argument have valid points.
Smartphones Have Helped Us
Ease of access has streamlined the way that people live. Today, people can get almost anything they want at any time they want with the click of a button. They can organize and manage their entire lives from a smartphone. Streamlining less exciting tasks makes time to enjoy what really matters. Why waste time standing in line for presents during the holidays? Instead, you can order everything from your phone and spend more time with family.
Communication has become easier and more effective with the smartphone. In the past, when people moved away or fell out of touch, it was nearly impossible to reconnect. Such is not the case now. Smartphones allow for many ways to get in touch with people. You can share your life with your family through Facebook. You can text a friend you haven’t seen since grade school. You can FaceTime with your significant other traveling the globe. Genuine connection with others is what makes human beings unique and it has never been easier.
Safety is more assured than ever since the introduction of the smartphone. For example, if you run into trouble on the road, you can search for a tow service on the fly, call a truck, and be on your way. In the past, you would have had to flag down a stranger or walk to the nearest place with a phone. Even then, there’s no telling what else you might run into. Smartphones have changed the way people deal with other emergencies, too. You can call for help from anywhere and it will arrive. For serious emergencies, 911 dispatchers know exactly where you’re calling from. They can effectively direct police and EMTs if you are in the middle of a life threatening situation.
Smartphones Have Hurt Us
Experts in different disciplines argue that the advent of the smartphone has decreased the quality of culture at large. Smartphones and the bevy of features they offer have made people more lethargic, more antisocial, and more narcissistic. Even though it is easy to communicate with anyone, they only want to talk about themselves. People have difficulty when trying to connect with others. They get so used to conversations through text or videos that meeting face to face feels foreign.
Smartphones have made people more restless. With so much information available, people live in a state of constant stimulation. Boredom is all but extinct. People dread the thought of not having something to occupy their time. Yet, boredom has always been a necessary part of the human experience. Anxiety today has replaced boredom. When people don’t have something to do, they feel panicked and stressed.
People have differing opinions about smartphone. Their utility and ubiquity are proof that they aren’t going anywhere soon. No matter how you may feel about society’s reliance on them, smartphones have changed the way that people live. One thing is for sure: smartphones are here to stay.