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Smartphones and Humanity: recipe for success or disaster?

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In our lives

Have you ever noticed on restaurants, parents provide their smartphones to their children in order to enjoy some privacy and relax without having to interact with them? 

As time progresses, the influence of technology over our lives grows exponentially. From daily household chores to our professions, technology has become an indispensable tool to say the least. Perhaps the most ever present of these technological marvels is the smart phone- the next step in the evolution of mobile phones with greater functionality and features similar to a mini computer.

Anna-Maria Giannattasio

It is estimated that over 2 billion people own a smartphone globally and this number is on a continuous rise. With such a vast user base, one has question what has been its impact on our lives and ,more importantly, our humanity which has been under threat of being drowned out by fast paced nature of today’s life.

The benefits

Do you remember Nokia’s campaign “Connecting People”? Well, that’ a big truth considering the fact that communication among people had never been so easy and direct.  

Focusing on its benefits first, the smartphone has played a key role in increasing connectivity and adding weight to the “global village” concept. Coupled with increased coverage of 3G/4G networks in the developing world, it has established a bridge that can help in solving global issues.For instance, a healthcare issue such as poor drinking water can be immediately brought to light to the concerned authorities all around the world with a simple post on the social media accompanied with pictures and videos. This mobilizes the masses and brings people together for good. Similarly, it can be a great tool in taking the first step in solving various geopolitical and social issues.

Smartophones in education, Image by – stories.avvo.com

Furthermore, it has become an instant source of knowledge and information. Children without access to schools can be educated through it. In general, it can provide information to anyone at any desired time and that too on the move. Then there are its entertainment applications as it provides its users with a gaming device and a music player all jam packed in one.

Apart from that, smartphones provide us with high level apps that can assist people get fit, exercise their mind providing also a strong contribution on health and wellness industry.

The drawbacks

That being said, the smartphone is not without its negative aspects. Perhaps the greatest drawback of smartphones is its addictive nature. People are often found glued to the screens of their smartphones. This has become a detriment to our physical and mental health. Social apps such as Facebook and Tinder are removing the need for in person socialization.

This develops issues like a sense of loneliness and depression since human interaction is one of our basic needs as social animals. Many people are suffering from insomnia as they are unable to put away their smart phones even at night thus disrupting their routines.

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Furthermore, while it makes things easier but by eliminating the need of physical activity, it has played a key role in the deterioration of health standards. In fact, many recreational activities like going to the park or physical sports have been shunned due to being unable to let go of our smartphones.

Nomophobia – ragan.com

Conclusion

Having viewed the smartphone from both ends of the spectrum, it is fair to say that the smartphone has both its pros and cons. The key, like most things in life, lies in moderation. We have to accept that the smartphone is here to stay but one must maintain balance in its usage and not ignore what is essential for their well-being. Be a “smart” smartphone user and ensure that you use it instead of being used by it.

Kostas Deroukakis
Love to search, to try, to give, to learn. Knowledge, is the road for this achievement
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