Let’s picture out a scene. You’re sitting there reading your notes preparing for a presentation you’re about to make in a board meeting at your office tomorrow.
Your phone tweets. You grab it, look at the notifications, and then lock the screen again so you can go back to your notes.
In a minute, you receive another notification about something that interests you. You look at the preview on the screen, and then you open the actual post on Facebook. You spend a few minutes there interacting with the post, and then attempt to go back to your notes.
However, this time, you’re keeping your ears and eyes open to another notification. You wonder what people think of your comment on the actual post, so your mind is now divided between the notes and the social media stuff you do with your smartphone.
You’re unable to focus solely on the notes because your attention is divided. In this case, your phone has become a distraction.
The Negative Effects of Smartphone Use
Someone once said that technology is a dual-edged sword. Its beneficial nature is wholly dependent on how we use technology, and it can become detrimental as well if we don’t utilize it right.
Smartphones are the same. When we attain a certain balance in our smartphone usage, then we fully take advantage of the technology and the benefits it can bring.
However, if we overuse our smartphones as well as our tablets, the technology becomes unhealthy and non-conducive to living a healthy life.
So when do you say that smartphones have a negative impact on our everyday lives?
According to an article by the New Spring Church, being constantly on our smartphones makes us unable to participate in or, at the least, recognize important moments in our lives.
In other words, we lose the ability to interact positively with our families, friends, and even strangers that we meet along the way.
It’s common to see groups of people clustered together at the dinner table in a restaurant. However, you’re not seeing any meaningful conversation going on because most of the participants are busy poring over their phones and immersed in their social media -- a/k/a digital -- lives.
We can see what naysayers are describing as the negative effects of smartphone use everywhere. In business, The Globe and Mail said, smartphones are causing interruptions in the workplace causing losses in productivity.
The article cites Dan Nixon, an analyst at the Bank of England, as saying that it takes 25 minutes for an employee to get back to work after being disturbed by smartphone notifications.
If an employee is constantly connected to social media and e-mail through their mobile devices, you can imagine how many minutes is wasted. Those are minutes of lost productivity, which can negatively impact any business.
The issue has become so prevalent that even national governments are now making a move to curb what is perceived as an addiction, the article added.
One such government is France, which is looking at totally banning the devices from primary and secondary school. The ban could possibly be enacted this fall.
The Bright Side of Smartphones
As mentioned earlier, proper usage of our smartphones and tablets can make the device our friend. We can harness the apparent benefits of these devices without them harming us and our social lives.
Smartphones are, partly, designed to be beneficial to our daily lives in a certain manner. That’s the reason why they’ve become so popular and perhaps also widely misunderstood... And maligned.
For instance, an article at Chron points out, a smartphone merges all of the productivity tools every businessman needs on the road. It can become a personal digital assistant (PDA), a cellular phone, a camera for documentation and a GPS device all in one package.
If you need to connect to the Internet to communicate with your team in the office, you simply need to turn your mobile data or, alternatively, find a free Wi-Fi hotspot, and you can somehow extend your office to where you are at any given moment.
Techno Bezz, on the other hand, points to the ability of smartphone users to multi-task as one advantage to owning the device.
For instance, users can connect to the Internet to order food from a restaurant using a mobile app, while traveling on the train or while riding the taxi home.
Best of all, perhaps, is the entertainment that smartphones bring to our fingertips. With a sizable memory card installed, you can bring your favorite movies and TV series with you so you can pass the time away while waiting for a contact to arrive.
With people divided about the usefulness as well as the destructiveness of smartphones and other mobile devices, how can you make sure you’re maximizing the benefits while minimizing the damage?
Healthy Ways of Using the Smartphone
Here are some ways that you can use smartphones in a healthy manner. That is, one in which you’re not harming yourself and your relationships with the people around you.
First, avoid using your smartphones as much as possible when you’re in a social event. When you’re having dinner, for instance, participate and listen to the conversation. This is a good way to build and reaffirm relationships.
Outside of checking for SMS messages (as some can actually be urgent) and calls, keep your usage of your smartphone to the bare minimum.
Avoid social media for a few hours while the event is going on. It may be tempting to post pictures of food on Instagram, but that can wait for later. You don’t have to be timely - late uploads are okay.
Most of all, limit your usage of the Internet and social media to what you really need to do. If you need to check urgent messages from a business contact on Skype or Facebook, do so.
If it’s just to keep yourself “relevant” on social media without any meaningful effect at all, you’re better off limiting your own access to these networks through your smartphone.
In the end, it’s all up to
you. You own your smartphone, and you know how it helps you and how important
it is to your life.
Aside from this, you can also protect your device by getting a convenient smartphone case
Any of these cases below offer sufficient protection for your smartphone without compromising style and sophistication, getting you ready for everything, whenever and wherever you may go.