Random Thoughts

Smartphones: Smart or Not?

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Smartphones have had a fantastic impact on people due to the many methods that they make life easier such as having access to email, Internet, calendars, and primary phone features like texting and calls; These are tools we had to use multiple devices to access in the past. Now, we have everything on a device that can fit in a pocket and is getting smaller and smarter every day. Having access to just the Internet for example, vastly expands your knowledge base if you use it correctly. You can instantly get a detailed how-to video on YouTube or even work on a Word document while on the go. Not to mention, all the apps people create ranging from bar-code scanners, video chat services, rangefinders, to even apps to weigh things using your touchscreen. These show the high effectiveness and usefulness of a smartphone when applied correctly to any given situation because you are as intelligent as the tools you use.
However, there are definite drawbacks to the smartphone. It has become such an important piece of equipment in all our daily lives that we are way too dependent on it. Spoken words between humans are becoming a thing of the past with the amount of texting and social media interfaces that we all use now. Texting while driving is such a dangerous method of communication that you hear about the tragedies it causes daily. It might seem harmless to just quickly glance at your phone while driving, however, the minimal amount of time your attention isn’t on the road is 5 seconds, plenty of time for something horrible to happen. Another way smartphones negatively impact us is an invasion of our privacy. A lot of apps and websites use GPS location services which can detect where you are and where you have been. Companies like Verizon sell their numbers to the government so that they track your text and call usage if you are on a “hot list.”  Having access to various programs, apps, forms of communication, and other tools from a smartphone can offer a significant amount of usefulness to your life, but at what cost?
I view smartphones as a fantastic tool that can make life easier, but as with every advance in technology making a job easier, humans get that much lazier. It is simple to see a future where humans don’t even exert any physical activity due to having everything they could possibly need at their fingertips. (The movie WALL-E is a great example of this.) Even now, by just using a computer or smartphone you can order groceries, schedule an appointment for your doctor, file for divorce, and buy anything and have it delivered right to you. So, in conclusion, as with every piece of technology we have, the drawbacks and improvements it makes on your life depend entirely on how you use it. So, is a smartphone smart? I believe the better question is how intelligent is the person holding it?
 
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