We are living in the era of gadgets and smartphones, and communication has never been so easy; with social media we’re always connected to our friends and millions of other people, no matter where we are. All we need is a smartphone with internet connection.
Besides communication, we have available a vast variety of apps that can make our daily life a lot easier. With only our mobile devices we can read books, listen music, take pictures, watch videos, play games, create and edit documents, and much more.
But this technology also has a downside, a recent study from the digital analytic firm Flurry show that we surprisingly spend on average almost 3-4 hours a day staring at our smart-devices, totalizing nearly one day every week!
Another study, this time from Florida State University, says that smartphones notifications can impair our concentration, even being short in duration they cause enough of a distraction to affect your ability to focus on a given task, decreasing your performance by prompting task-irrelevant thoughts and mind-wandering. This can be very dangerous in some specific situations, like driving for instance, a simple notification can cause really serious accidents.
These two studies are only the top of the iceberg, they just give us an idea of the mobile technology’s impact on our lives, and unfortunately this impact is mostly negative. I know that there are great apps that can be really helpful in some specific situations, but for each one of them there will be thousands of useless ones that will just serve you as a distraction, consuming your time and making you a less productive person.
Besides the problems mentioned above, it also has a huge impact in people’s social lives, people are getting more disconnected to the real world, they put their phones ahead of human interaction, it’s getting harder to see people talking to each other in public places, they’re always too busy with their mobile devices, checking notifications, sending messages or just sharing a new video. It’s like an addiction, and it is kind of turning people into zombies.
I am very passionate following mobile technology. In the beginning, the mobile devices weren’t very mobile and a strong back and arms were required to lug them around. They always had to be next to a power outlet, as there was no such thing as batteries.
The technology that drives mobile devices has improved a lot since those days, and especially in the last ten years. Mobile gadgets have gotten smaller, more powerful, and very useful. They are everywhere and play increasingly greater roles in the lives of most everyone.
It’s worth taking a break from our obsession with how thin, light, and adaptable the hardware of mobile gadgets might be. While wondering what the next great phone or tablet may be is fun, it’s not everything. What is important is how profoundly it’s improving our lives, and the major roles these gadgets are assuming.
Besides the dark part of mobile technology, in the form of phones, tablets, and notebooks, is making our lives better than ever before. It does this in many ways, not the least of which is making communications routine. We can be in touch with those we need to reach, whether work-related or personal in nature. Mobile technology has changed the way we do business for the better.
Never have we been able to share so much with friends and family than we can today, and that is in great part due to mobile technology. Without mobile devices and the technology behind them, participation in social networking would never have grown as much as it has. Sharing seemingly trivial information like where we are, what we are doing, and what that looks like significantly impacts our relationships with friends and loved ones.
Mobile technology has given a voice to those otherwise cut off from the world during cataclysmic events. That voice can reach out for help when local tragedy strikes, and for the first time these people are not alone. They can share their plight using mobile communication through text, voice, and, most importantly, images, and bring about real change.
We have more information in our hand than at any time in history. It has become second nature to quickly look up helpful resources for whatever activity we need to do. Our gadgets can even anticipate what information we need and present it to us when it is most useful.
While mobile technology has improved our daily lives on many levels, it has profoundly raised the quality of life for many. Healthcare is an area that has embraced mobile technology, and while it’s still in the infancy of adoption of this technology, it is already making profound improvements for many.
Healthcare providers can review home medical tests from anywhere and make crucial changes to the patient’s care. Medical staff members can receive pacemaker tests remotely using a phone and change the programming of the device to address changes in the patient’s condition. Doctors can see intricate diagnostic images on phones and find conditions that need immediate treatment, all while the patient is comfortable at home.
Villagers in third world countries who have no local healthcare can be diagnosed and have treatment prescribed by distant healthcare providers. Patients in areas experiencing significant problems with counterfeit medications can use a phone at the point of purchase to confirm if a medication is legitimate. This is saving lives and improving healthcare every day for those affected.
Children with ailments such as autism are using tablets to help them focus and communicate with those around them. Patients recovering from strokes and brain injuries are using tablets to great effect in their recoveries. Patients of all ages are using mobile devices to communicate with healthcare providers and loved ones as they never could before.
People born without hearing are having implants that can be programmed by wireless technology that allows them to hear their children speak for the very first time. Text messaging on phones has made a tremendous impact on communication for the deaf.
Diabetics can monitor their glucose level and have it wirelessly transferred to a small insulin pump that injects just the right amount to keep them where they need to be.
Blind individuals can use smartphones to not only improve their lives but also help achieve an incredible level of independence. Not only do these phones speak to the blind so they know what is displayed on the screen, they have software that can safely guide them out in busy cities. Mobile technology can help the blind pick out clothes for the day that match. The technology on smartphones can scan change received from a purchase and tell them how much was given.
We are in a fantastic era of mobile technology, and it is positively exciting to watch it unfold.
It’s fun to wonder what the next tablet or phone might be like and what capabilities it might have, but that’s just the little stuff. The improvements that are appearing in our daily lives, and society in general, is what really matters. It is bringing the world closer together — a truly amazing situation.
What is the impact of Mobile Technology in your life? Do you see any other means of use that could revolutionize certain industries? Please let us know in comments.