30 years ago, if someone told you that you can not only carry the telephone around but also read books, watch TV, and access the email with it, you might have found it difficult to believe. In 2018, those details do not surprise us anymore. The technological wonder, i.e. the smartphone, allows you to do a lot more than just access your email or watch live TV. Today there’s an app for everything you do.
Well, no one can deny the fact that smartphones have made our lives a lot easier, but it is also true that all the ease and comfort come at a price, and we are not talking about money. Yes, if you are buying a smartphone with cutting edge technology, you may need to pay a huge amount of money, but there are several other ways in which these smartphones are taking a toll on your quality of life as well.
- The Price Is Too High, Literally:
Before talking about the other downsides of owning a smartphone, let’s talk about the actual price that you are paying to own a smartphone. As you may already know, the more advanced a smartphone, the higher is its price. At the beginning of 2018, the average price of a smartphone was $363, which was a result of 10 percent increase compared to the previous quarter.
Ironically, the investment of hundreds of dollars in a smartphone serves only a year or so. After a year, it either starts exhibiting various technical issues, or the features slowly become outdated as smartphones with more advanced features come out in the market. Even if you decide not to invest in another phone, you may find it difficult to stay relevant in today’s digital world.
- Smartphone Addiction Is Real:
We all know what the addiction of drugs and alcohol can do to a person, but most of us don’t pay attention to an issue that is more immediate – the smartphone addiction. According to Statista, an average smartphone owner in the US uses his/her phone 47 times a day. In fact, 85 percent of the users use it while talking to friends and family.
Smartphones may have enabled us to stay connected to the world all the time, but it has also made us distant from the real world around us. Most smartphone users have the tendency to check their phone in every 5 minutes for no reason at all. Whether we acknowledge it or not, smartphone addiction is affecting our quality of life in more ways than we can imagine.
- Our Attention Span Is Reducing And Smartphones Have a Role In It:
A 2015 study has revealed the fact that we humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. While the study highlights multiple reasons behind the reduced attention span (i.e. 8 seconds), the effects of an increasingly digitized lifestyle on the brain are primarily responsible for the occurrence.
You may have observed that it has become a bit harder to focus on a particular task as you are continuously intrigued to check what deals they are offering on the food ordering app, or what’s the score of a game that you had to miss because of office. If you are an essay helper or any other professional who needs their complete attention to their work, having a smartphone around you can affect your productivity.
- Smartphones Are Making Us Lazier:
One of the basic objectives of buying a smartphone is to make life easier and more comfortable. However, most of us do not notice that we are getting lazier in the process. Earlier, you might visit a grocery store or a shopping supermarket to get the essentials you need. Now you can just use an app on your smartphone to get those things delivered at the doorstep.
A lack of physical exercise is putting most of us at the risk of some major complications like obesity and diabetes. Even though it’s unfair to blame the whole thing on the use of smartphones, we cannot simply ignore the fact that smartphones are influencing it in some way or another.
- Phones Are Getting Smarter, But The Users Are Getting Dumber:
With smartphones, it is a lot easier to deal with a number of problems. Since it allows you to access the internet, finding the right answer to a question with a smartphone is just a matter of seconds. But have you noticed that we no longer try to learn how a problem is solved? Since we are getting it all in an instance, we tend to skip the learning part.
It is very common among the students to Google the necessary information on their smartphones instead of doing proper research for their pending college essay. Yes, the smartphones are quite useful in getting a quick access to the information. However, the convenience is actually keeping us from learning.
- Your Data Is No Longer Safe:
With the introduction of online payment gateways and various banking apps, most smartphone users are now storing their account details and other confidential information on their phones. Even though most app companies claim their apps to be safe, just one malware can put your sensitive information in the hands of hackers.
Recently, Port of San Diego was under a ransomware attack. And while the high profile places are being targeted by the hackers, it will take them only a minute or so to hack the vulnerable smartphones we use. You can imagine a person can do if he/she has your credentials.
- We Are Forgetting How To Write Properly:
In today’s age of instant messaging, we often use abbreviations like LOL, BRB, ASAP and much more. While they may help you convey your message to the other person (or a group of people), the frequent use of such words and phrases is actually affecting our writing abilities. For obvious reasons, you cannot write TBD or FYI in your office presentation.
Besides the use of abbreviations, typing on smartphone with the autocorrect on is another reason why we are not learning the correct spelling of words. We no longer need to check the dictionary or thesaurus to learn the actual spelling of a word. Even if you type the spelling wrong, the AI in Autocorrect rectifies it. While it may be useful for the users, the practice is actually affecting the writing skills of the users.
- Your Safety On Road Is Compromised:
There are a lot of instances where individuals have lost their lives or injured themselves, just because they were busy on their phones while driving or crossing the road. According to Edgar Snyder, 1 in every 4 car accidents in the US is caused by texting and driving. The report also suggests that around 660,000 drivers attempt to use their phones while behind the wheel.
Trends, like playing Pokemon Go or performing KiKi challenge on the road, have put a lot of people’s lives at risk. Nobody can deny the role of smartphones in these unfortunate incidents.
- Our Personal Relationships Are Being Affected:
While smartphones may help you stay connected to the world, it is actually causing a negative effect on your personal relationships. A study by Brigham Young University found that technology not only interferes with relationships but also affect our psychological health as well.
According to Psychology Today, when one partner attends phone calls instead of talking to the other, it appears like rejection to the second person. This often leads to feuds and even separation.
- Health Hazards Relating To Smartphones:
Besides increasing the risk of developing obesity and diabetes, there are other health risks that are associated with the use of smartphones. We all know listening to loud music affects our hearing, but we still prefer to keep the headphones’ volume high on our smartphones.
Besides, looking down at the mobile screens can lead to knots or spams and even nerve pain. Also, staring at the mobile phone has a negative impact on your vision. Even though there is no solid evidence that establishes the link between increased risk of cancer and the use of smartphones, but being exposed to cell phone radiation is not good either.
Well, there are certainly a lot of reasons to appreciate the technical brilliance of a smartphone, but at the same time, you cannot really ignore the disadvantages it brings along. At the end of the day, it is solely up to us, the users, how we want our life to be.
Adam Paul is a PhD in Psychology who has served as a guest lecturer at several colleges in Australia. He has also been a part of MyAssignmenthelp where he usually helps students in assignment writing and other academic needs.