As a writer, I have developed an obnoxious habit of observing people, and it does irritate me sometimes to see how some people can waste hours of productive hours on mobiles. Why can’t an accounts manager remember that the payment is pending since 3 months? Why, over a course of 40 minutes, does a senior executive trade 15 emails to organise a simple coffee meeting, only to be postponed to the next day? Why does a manager from real estate company waste the entire meeting in talking about his inspirations that are not even remotely related to the project?
If you are an owner of a smartphone that has made it possible for you to read this on mobile, the surprising answer to these apparently unrelated questions might literally be stretching out in the palm of your hand.
With a massive and rapidly increasing user base, smartphones have now become a core part of our lives. Sprouting far beyond the basic productivity tools in the early 2000s, Blackberrys, iPhones and Android handsets have acquired a dominant position in the mobile industry. The value proposition? Work and play faster, smarter, longer, and better. I also found that over 50% of young professionals rank mobile phones as the most vital technology that helps them to work. Cloud computing ranked second at 14%.
More interesting than rating people’s dependency on their phones, is observing their behaviour behind the exploding usage. While speaking to some smartphone users, I found their ehaviour shifts very surprising. One user commented, “I’m always scheduling things on my phone and it tells me when to do what”. "By the time I check all my phone notifications, new ones just swamp me”, said another.
I am not a psychologist, but am not even so naïve to find out that the overall results are stunning: frequent use of smartphone imposes crucial psychological costs, and it impacts our professional and personal lives in four ways:
- · We don’t remember anything anymore because now smartphones do that for us.
- · We’ve forgotten to use our mind to work out simple calculations because our phone gives us inbuilt calculator
- · We are wasting time by indulging into irrelevant data downloads
- · It keeps us hooked to social networking and within FaceBook, Twitter, Linkedin – the actual me has got lost.