It’s been over 34 years since Britain’s first cell phone call was made and since then mobile devices have evolved significantly to revolutionize the way a lot of people live their lives and changing the way the world communicates.
There are many valid arguments both for and against mobile phones with some people stating that they are taking over our lives – but for every negative effect of a mobile there are also several positives.
Have they stopped us socializing?
Now some people argue that people don’t socialize anymore and the reason for this is our mobile phones. You’re sat in a restaurant and you glance around and instead of folks chatting and laughing you see couples on their phones and children glued to the screens not interacting with their families.
However mobile devices have also opened up a whole new world of socializing – from keeping in touch with friends over social media and group chats to arranging events, meet ups and parties. Being able to text quickly and discretely without needing to make landline phone calls or send and share photos are all ways that smart phones help keep people connected.
It’s down to the individual to put down the phone and talk to friends face to face when they are in the room and to teach children that no mobiles on the table at family meal times etc. – this way we can enjoy our phones and not miss out on irreplaceable time with those we love.
Are they making us stupid?
Some recent studies have shown that the mere presence of a mobile phone – even if being untouched, face down or in a pocket or bag – can significantly impact finite cognitive resources or cause what is referred to as ‘brain drain’. The desire or need to scratch the itch and check the phone is a distraction that can impact people and affect their productivity at work or in the classroom.
On the other hand though – with smart phones, users are opened up to a whole host of amazing learning opportunities all at the touch of a button. Stuck commuting every day? Then why not spend that time reading an eBook, blog or article that interests you? Or listen to a podcast? Mobile phone users can even use fun brain training apps or learn a new language all from their device.
It’s very easy to get lost in hours of checking social media, texting, browsing the internet or shopping. But if users want to really make the most of their time and expand their minds then the mobile phone can be a useful and powerful tool.
Do mobiles make us unhealthy?
Just like a TV, computer or tablet device – a mobile phone does have the potential to affect the user’s health if it is overused. There are various studies that report mobile phones being the cause of increased anxiety, higher incidents of depression not to mention hunching over and of course hand and wrist strains or even ‘smartphone pinkie’. The most obvious affect is the one the lighting from the screens can have on a person’s sleep so limiting screen time before bed and during the night is very important.
But again there are so many ways that if used correctly a mobile device can be the greatest resource in keeping people fit and healthy. Apps linked to fitness watches for example such as Fitbit encourage people to move more and tracks their steps, sleep and exercise. There are thousands of amazing apps dedicated to calorie tracking, exercise, recipes, meditation, yoga, meal planning and sleep aids which if utilized can help people lead happy, health conscious lives.
So will mobile phones ever rule the world?
Some people might say that they do already. They are certainly the most used possession for the majority of people nowadays and with technological advances leading to faster, better devices with improved security – the possibilities are endless.
It is important though that as adults we take responsibility for the role devices play in our lives. If you spend too much time on any one thing it can have a negative impact on your personal life, work and health and it’s the same for mobile phones.
However, if people can limit their usage, learn to appreciate the moment and not live life staring at a screen then they can enjoy a whole host of benefits right at their fingertips. From managing finances, sending emails, ordering groceries and fitness training to buying clothes, booking cinema tickets or finding the perfect restaurant – there is so much you can do with new or second hand mobile phones.
So remember to stay connected but not distracted!