Do People Spend Too Many Hours on their Phones?

By Lauren Watson

 

Cell phones are a huge asset when used properly and for the right reasons.  Times have changed so much in the last twenty years in regards to technology and how we communicate.  The invention of the smartphone in 1992 was a major turning point in history due to its technology and allowing the internet on the go.  The first commercial portable cell phone was approved by FCC on 9/21/1983, and cost $3,995.00.  Cell phones and tablets with internet capability have made communication easily accessible.  The main age group for cell phone use is teenagers but all age groups are affected.  Is it a good thing to always have this communication right at our fingertips?  The ability to always be able to communicate with people and to be able to research any topic at any given time is an amazing thing.  Some people would disagree, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives of cell phone usage.

According to research from eMarketer in 2019, the average person will spend almost four hours a day on any mobile device.  Cell phones have become widely popular for use in research and technology.  Prior to the creation of the cell phone, people would need to visit a library and use research books, encyclopedias and magazine articles for research material.  This was a very time consuming task and you could spend hours at the library, and you were at the mercy of  the library’s hours of operation.  Today, people are able to research twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week from the comfort of their own homes, in their pajamas if they like.  This has proven beneficial to college students who are attending class, working a job and having to stay up late to do research and write essay papers well into the night.  Cell phones also have a wonderful technology called Global Positioning System (GPS).  This is a service that is built into your cell phone and can get you anywhere that you need to go.  GPS works as an interactive map with voice instructions that guide you turn by turn once you input your destination.  The GPS will tell you the distance of your destination, the time you will arrive, how many miles it will take to get there, and on some GPS applications it will show you road conditions.  These amazing features do away with the old ways of taking a map or an atlas and mapping out a route to your destination.  Some would argue that the old-fashioned way of researching at the library and using maps to get to your destination is still the best method, especially in the case of a major cell phone outage, but that is unlikely to happen.

Cell phones have become a great asset for keeping communication open between families, especially if they live a great distance apart.  Families who otherwise might go months without seeing each other, now have an alternative. Roberto Garcia, an Apple engineer, created and launched FaceTime in 2010 on the iphone 4. (www.iphonehacks.com, 2019) The whole idea was based on a feature from a game he was creating.  This cell phone benefit has made many friends, parents and grandparents very happy over the years by giving them the ability to see children and grandchildren that they may only get to see a couple of times a year in person.  

British paramedic Bob Brotchie, safety has become a big factor for our lives in recent years (Medical Alert Advice, 2019).  In 2005, he originated the ICE feature for cell phones to be used in case a person is injured and unable to communicate. If you are involved in an accident, paramedics can find your In Case of Emergency (ICE) list and also access your medical list which has all your medical conditions, allergies and medications you are taking.  This feature on cell phones has proven to be an invaluable asset that only a cell phone can give instant access to this information.

There will always be someone to argue that people of all ages spend too much time on mobile devices, and that they should spend their time talking in person, doing things outdoors or making better use of their time.  However, times are always changing and evolving, and there were people who felt the same way when the radio and television was invented. Just like cellphones, there are now televisions in just about every home in the world.

Mobile technology has paved the way to a society that’s always “on” and reachable at any time. That means that over Seven billion people in the world can connect to one another with just a touch of a finger. Cell phones have allowed us to communicate for free, watch movies on our phones, listen to music on the go and be updated on the latest news whenever we would like.  There are endless possibilities when it comes to cell phones and they are always evolving. In a few years there is no telling what kind of advancements will be made, but the world will adapt like we always have.

 

Jason. “Apple Engineer Reveals How FaceTime Was Created”, www.iphonehacks.com.

  Accessed 15 December 2019.

 

Hutchinson, Andrew. “People Are Now Spending More Time on Smartphones.”  7 June 2019,

 www.socialmediatoday.com.  Accessed 14 December 2019.

 

Medical Alert Advice.  ICE Your Cell Phone, 2019, www.medicalalert.com.  Accessed

15 December 2019.