Can you even try to imagine what life was like before we had mobile phones? Many of our app developers do not remember life before the mobile phone took over. Mobile devices are just a part of everyday life. It appears to be common to sit in a restaurant and see a family having a meal with their pre-teen clicking away and the younger kids watching YouTube or playing games on a tablet. How did parents manage before mobile?
The first mobile phone call was made in the UK on the 1st of January 1985 using a phone that weighed a whopping 11 lbs and was the size of a brick. Not only was it huge in size and weight, but it also cost over £2000. Now complain about the price of your latest Samsung!
Before mobile phones, you actually had to plan things in advance. What time your parents expected you home from your friends. How to get to a work meeting. There were no navigation devices to depend on after all, and how did you contact your date to let them know you were running late and weren’t standing them up? Life was just so much more difficult, don’t you agree?
Mobile phones have brought the world closer. Families living in different countries can often share a fun experience in real-time through Skype. I can tell you a personal story recently. I took my children away to London for a holiday, and while enjoying a London attraction we Skyped their dad so he could join in and be part of the experience.
Mobiles are also used to share experiences online. This is not only for personal use. We often see people on social media posting video clips and images from incidents that have occurred, from political events to accidents. Many times this has proven to be a great invention, but there are times when mobile phones have had a negative impact. So today, we want to look at some advantages and the disadvantage of smartphones.
8 Advantages of Cell Phone
1. Learning tool
Students can take lessons online or do research and complete homework. Tutors can also share learning materials and the students will access them online via smartphones. School-related communication can also be passed successfully through mobile devices. Thanks to these devices, it’s easy to take courses offered in a university of your choice from anywhere in the globe. Learning can now reach the marginalized so long as they have acess to a smartphone.
2. Tracking devices
A cell phone can double up as a tracking device since most of them have GPS capability. This feature has helped to save situations where someone is lost, kids are kidnapped or the device itself is stolen.
3. Quick access to emergency services
Cellphones have saved lives. Since people are always carrying their phones, when they are in danger they can quickly dial emergency lines and ask for help. Smartphone users can also install specific apps to send alerts to identified persons or authorities when one is in any form of danger. For instance, Apple has an emergency attack and failsafe detection feature that make it possible for iPhone devices to automatically detect possible danger (for example, a car accident) and send alerts to request help.
Using your mobile phone, you can now listen to the radio, play music stored on your device, or connect to the internet and stream any type of content on your mobile device. Additionally, most phones come with games and puzzles that one can play at any time and have some fun.
Today, people can access their banks through mobile phones and there are numerous ways of doing so. For instance, those who own a Smartphone can access their banks online by connecting the internet service. Banks are also creating mobile apps to allow their customers to access banking services on the go. Also, for non-smartphone users or those without access to the internet, it’s possible to query or do transactions using the USSD codes. So, with a mobile phone, you don’t have to visit your bank or waste time in long queues to enjoy banking services.
6. Keep tabs on news and everything happening around the globe
Mobile devices have decentralized news and information. Anyone with a phone can now follow news and current trends right from their palms. It could be through listening to the radio or reading social media and website news outlets. One can also subscribe to specific services to receive broadcasts related to their topics of interest in SMS format.
7. Jobs and business opportunities
Mobile phones have created various business opportunities, from cellphone repair and selling phone-related products such as screen protectors, to online eCommerce. But that’s not all. One can now create revenue from building mobile apps. Cellphone users can pay a subscription fee to use an app or the developer can make money by running adverts on their free apps. Appreneurship has become a big business today since you can start small and you stand chances of making a life-time passive income from just one app.
8. Manage Office Work
Today, people are using portable devices for valuable work-related tasks such as cold sales calls, SMS marketing, customer surveys, managing to-do lists, sharing office documents, teleconferencing/online business meetings, and phone interviews.
5 Cons of Cell Phones
1. Time wasting
The average user picks up their phones 58 times in a day! Sometimes even checking a buzz eats into your time. On average, US adults spend 4 hours 45 minutes on phone each day. That sums up to approximately 87 days in a year lost checking your phone. How much can you accomplish in such a time?
2. Social disconnect
It’s no longer uncommon to see families sitting in restaurants glued to a screen and dates being spent checking social media updates. Even at home, family members don’t converse over dinner as they used to. This causes people living together to become disconnected, something that can result in various issues such as struggling relationships, family break-ups, poor social skills, and others.
Some phone users get so engrossed in their devices that they become unaware of their surroundings. It’s not unusual to see someone crossing the road while looking at their phones or picking calls while driving.
A notification buzz will distract you from work and hurt your productivity. It takes about 20 minutes to get back to productive mode after you’ve been interrupted from your work. Unfortunately, cellphones are among the leading causes of distractions in offices.
4. They can be addictive
Thanks to the invention of portable devices, we now have a new medical condition known as problematic Smartphone use. This is a psychological disorder that’s associated with overdependence on cell phones. It’s a serious problem to a point that victims can suffer anxiety when separated from their devices. Mobile phone dependence is also closely related to social media and digital addiction.
5. Insecurity and lack of privacy
Mobile phone users share a lot of personal information through these devices. Any app you use on the portable device whether online or offline does require your personal information. Even though vendors promise to ensure your privacy, some of this information ends up in the wrong hands. Besides, on social media apps, we use our phones to take pictures and share. We share our location, where we work, our relatives and other details. Cases of phishing, cybercrimes, kidnapping, and child trafficking have been on the rise. These cases are partly associated with the information the perpetrators can access thanks to the increased availability of smartphones.
The constant need to be connected at every moment of our lives has no doubt had a negative impact on interpersonal skills. But as with everything in life, if you use them in a sensible manner, mobile phones have helped bridge distances and bring the world closer together, offering us many new and exciting opportunities. The benefits of smartphones outweigh any disadvantages related to these communication devices.