Submitted by shmilov on
I will start by saying that a lot has changed in my life since I got a smartphone (an iPhone in my case). On second thought, it might be more likely that the change happened when my contacts started using smartphones.
Availability and Accessibility
More and more smartphone users access their e-mail accounts, social networks, and other communication services on the go, during their free time and working hours. On the one hand, smartphone users are always available, can respond whenever, wherever, and without delay. On the other hand, this instant experience also has many issues and implications, for instance the fact that more and more users are texting while driving.
In California, for example, from the time the government passed a law against texting while driving, the number of drivers seen doing it has nearly tripled. What seems like a paradox at first sight becomes a very reasonable fact. The increase in the numbers of people texting might simply be a result of the tremendous growth in the use of mobile technology and smartphones.
No closing hours
Nowadays, when your boss or your customer sends you an email after regular working hours, you receive it on your phone and in many cases, you choose to reply instantly. You might find it rude not to answer, or choose not to delay your response, or you might want to be the first one to reply. Without noticing, you might find yourself answering many emails, writing notes, setting up appointments, and providing services during your so-called “free time”. Being mobile suddenly means working around the clock.
Mailbox on the go
Based on a survey by comScore Data Mine, 70 Percent of U.K. male smartphone owners use email on the go. The smartphone email experience is instant - you get the mails right after they were sent and reply as soon as you can.
Emails on smartphones “compete” with SMS and other messaging services and apps such as Viber. The email experience is not an SMS replacement, and most probably will never become one. Many teens are just not into email anymore, and for older users, emails are a kind of a burden that they prefer to keep for work purposes.
Despite her obvious love to her cellular phone, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who is known for her SMS habits, finds SMS "an interesting form of communication that also saves a great deal of time". It is only quite recently, that Merkel learned how to use emoticons, saying that "emoticons can be very helpful, because you can tell apart a joke better from the bitter truth".
[*Pay attention to the curious German politician Rainer Brüderle, who is caught taking a peek]
The combination of all these instant services: emails, SMS, IM and social messengers, together with all the other attractions that smartphones offer, create a lot of activities, and we can spend hours during the day on all this.
Our time being wasted or spared
At the beginning, smartphones were designed to be devices that will help us save time, be more efficient, improve our availability and better manage our workload. Is it possible that because of these shiny, cool phones, we have much less time nowadays?! It feels like much more is happening in my life these days, but I have much less “life” happening in my life.