It’s hard to understate just how much of an impact the smartphone has on the world. It may only be fifteen years old, but during its brief life, it has managed to infiltrate virtually every aspect of life. Indeed, it has certainly changed your life, even if you’re not fully aware of it. That’s because the influence of the smartphone in our modern day to day was something of a slow burner (the first few iPhones were, after all, pretty limited). Yet, whereas in the early days’ people used their devices for just a couple of things, today, they can use them for everything. Here’s a list of just a few of the ways your smartphone changed your life.
How you Get Around
It seems quaint to think about navigation in the pre-smartphone years, especially for any journey that didn’t involve a car (for which you could use GPS navigation systems). In the walking world, you’d have to get by on memory, instinct, and the advice of strangers if you were going to arrive at your intended destination. Today, you can input any destination in the world, and it’ll tell you how to get there via car, walking, or public transportation. And to do that, all you need is your smartphone and an internet connection.
How You Stay In Touch
You could almost feel sorry for people that lived in the pre-telecommunications era. If you were setting sail on a journey in, say, 1750, then you’d essentially be saying goodbye to your friends and family. You could maybe send a letter, but whether it would get there would be a different matter. But let’s bring it to more recent history. The early cell phones — “dumbphones” — allowed you to call or text loved ones. Your smartphone allows you to communicate with them in much more immersive ways. Video calls are high-quality, engaging, and — astonishingly — absolutely free, minus the data cost.
How You Work
The internet has had a good and bad impact on the working world. On the good side, it’s allowed people to work remotely, which means no commutes, no watercooler chit-chat, and no having to wear smart business clothes. On the bad side, you have all-hours communication. Your smartphone has essentially made you continually on the clock. If your boss needs you to check a presentation, then you can do it, even if you’re at a restaurant far away from the office. Some countries, such as France, have introduced laws to protect workers’ personal time, but in most places, the smartphone wins out.
How You Spend Your Money
Your smartphone has done wonders for your spending power. First, there’s the online spending experience. With your smartphone, you can find subscription savings, cheap food and groceries, introductory betting offers at sites like OddsChecker or discounted home appliances at Craigslist, and a whole bunch more that can either help you save money or make your money go further. Your smartphone can also save you money in the “real world.” If you’re looking to purchase something in a store, you can take out your device and check that the price you’re paying is reasonable. Smartphones aren’t necessarily cheap, but once you have one, they can help you to save significant amounts of cash.
How You Spend Your Time
Finally, perhaps the biggest influence the smartphone has on your life is how you spend your time. Twenty years ago, the average person would probably spend less than an hour on their cell phone. After all, there really wasn’t much that you could do, even if you wanted to. Today, the average person spends 3 hours and fifteen minutes on their smartphones, while one in five people spends upwards of 4.5 hours looking at their devices. It’s too early to say whether this is a good, bad, or neutral thing, but there’s no avoiding the fact that it’s a significant shift from just a couple of decades ago. For certain, your smartphone is changing your life in ways yet unknown.