As the mobile phone turns 30, I can’t help but wonder….Are you smarter than your smartphone? Ok….so you have the latest smartphone. You’ve downloaded the games, the apps, the ….whatever. But are you really getting the most out of your phone? Take a look at what you have in your hands.
Apart from the phone function, what do you see?
I took a brief survey of the smartphone users in my house (read EVERYONE) and was quite impressed to see the following (ranked in no particular order):
- Google (anything)
- Movie Guide
- Chatting (WhatsApp)
- Games (Words Free, Angry Birds, Bejeweled)
(The criteria was what do you use at least 5 times a day)
Then I decided to ask myself the same questions. Here’s my list:
- Prayer book
- Chatting (WhatsApp)
Think about these lists – how do they compare to your usage?
Now that the mobile phone has become so many different things, do you find that there is now a blurred line between work and personal time?
One major complaint I regularly receive –“I get calls at all hours of the day and night….it really annoys me”. You can picture the reaction when I suggest either not answering after hours, screening the calls (using caller line identification), using the “off” button. (Ok….so their expressions did confirm I have two heads and am obviously from out of space!). Seriously though, we are in control of our communications. Just because a device can do certain things, it doesn’t mean it has to do it all the time.
The polite art of communication is dying – and I do believe the smart phone is partly to blame. Actually, the smart phone is NOT to blame – we are. Go to any restaurant, coffee shop, cinema, sporting event or more, count five people around you to the north, south, east and west, and you will be amazed how many are using their phones – ignoring others they are sitting with.
And what about spelling? I would love texting applications to have spell checks. I get the abbreviations, but once you are out of the messaging application, why does “great” remain “gr8”?
What makes a phone a smartphone?
In the “good old days” we called them PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). Way back then, we used to have a mobile phone (that cost at least twice as much as the top of the range phones today), and a digital diary. (I had a Casio electronic diary – what a great toy that was!) Then the guys at Palm revolutionised the market .Remember the Palm Pilot? They, along with the Windows based devices from Casio, HP and others gave us a computing power in our hands (or stylus). The rest is history.
A smartphone is – in essence –the combination of the old PDA and a mobile phone. No longer is it defined by what it is, but rather, what it can be and what you can do with it.
Back to an earlier question – the blur between work and personal time. The smart user of a smartphone knows when it is appropriate to use it and when its best to let a call go through to MessageBank.
We must be careful not to judge the constant holding of a smartphone in apparent inappropriate places. For example, my smartphone has a prayer book application that I use regularly. Only a few years ago it would not be seen as acceptable to pull out your phone during prayer times. Now its commonplace. Using your smartphone whilst driving is both against the law and dangerous. Using your smartphone (appropriately secured) as a GPS device is clever.
Remember the first Mobile Phone 30 years ago was revolutionary. From those humble, expensive and bulky days, it has evolved into the smartphones we know and love/hate.