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World is ever changing and advancing in the science and technology. These days it seems hard to escape the presence of technology. Most people will praise the many technological gadgets that they use in their everyday lives. Many of us depend on it to get us through the day, to do our work, to get around, and to be in touch with the society, family and friends. Technology is evolving at a very fast rate, and what most people did not even think could be real a few years ago is now becoming a reality.
Some of the most important technological device is smart phones.
Before the introduction of mobile cell phones, people had to either be at home or in an office to be able to make calls through the telephone. This was because the telephone had to be fixed and had a cord hence it could not be carried around. After a while, public telephones surfaced. They were of the same kind but they were now placed in booths for public use at specific points within cities and towns.
They came with a directory book that had codes and toll numbers for both local and international calls. The call booth had a slot where you could insert the required number of coins so as to make a call.
In a way, this became easier for people to communicate but if you were on travel or somewhere remote where there was no telephone booth, you could not make a call. Then came the cordless telephones. Their only issue was they could only be used in one distinctive base station. People could not make wide geographical calls. Eventually, the first generation of cell phones was introduced. They were very heavy and could only offer limited services and were fixed in vehicles indefinitely. Further improvement in a couple of decades brought about the cell phones we use today also known as smartphones. Advancement in technology has ensured that cell phones can be fixed and carried around. For example, they can be fixed in cars. They are mobile because of their lightweight nature, unlike their predecessors. In addition, due to their use of cellular frequencies, they offer multiple services. For instance, making calls, watching movies, and listening to music. However, this evolution of cell phones has brought about its pros and cons.
It has greatly affected many aspects of our lives. Today the Smart phones, high-end mobile phones built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone, are now replacing Personal Computers (PCs). They have now taken the world by storm, and a lot of people could not imagine what life would now be like if they did not have the internet, email, and chat features on their phones at their disposal.
According to the Guardian newspaper in U.K. (on 4 August 2011), smart phones (such as Blackberries, iPhones and Androids) sales increased from 4% in 2005 to 48% in 2011, 50% of people claim to use the mobile internet equally at home and outside their residence, 47% of teenagers admit using their smart phones in the toilet while only 22% of adults confessed to the same habit, and mobile-addicted teens are more likely than adults to be distracted by their phones over dinner and in the cinema.
Smartphones are one of the most popular forms of communication all over the world. A smartphone is a cellular phone with much more features and applications that you could use to simplify your life. With this device you can send and receive e-mails, edit office documents, take pictures with higher quality, use GPS navigation and so on. What are smartphones mostly used for? Are the smartphones a facility or just a toy? Friend or foe is this device to modern students? I don’t have a smartphone. I use ordinary cell phone, but many of my friends and colleagues use such devices. My opinion is that more and more people use their smartphones to access the internet, send and receive e-mails, download files and stay in touch with their friends. This connectivity is a major advantage of owning a smartphone.
Smartphones have enabled people to carry technology with them regardless of their location. As mentioned earlier, this was not the case years back. Phone calls can now be made in a wide geographical area. As most people like to put it, the world has now become a global market place. Smartphones have made carrying out of business easier than before. Transactions can be conducted by people in different geographical locations through the use of mobile phones. Organizations that have different branches around the world can hold conference calls or online meetings without meeting physically. Businesses have established their online presence making them have a wide reach on their customers with smartphones.
The opportunity of immediate access to data online wherever you are - at home, travelling or at university is a big facility. Immediate access to information is one of the main benefits of owning a smartphone. For example if you forget some seminar or open door lecture, just use internet to find the right place and time for it. People today can use their phones to order tickets, find restaurants, check the weather and make new foreign friends online. Тhis is a big plus indeed for our busy life. Smartphones help to keep people’s life organized. Their calendars and planners help us to make our daily schedule.
Clients can order and pay for their products online thanks to e-commerce. Moreover, this has led to increasing in employment opportunities like social media managing and content creators. Aside from business, smartphones have improved our modes of communication. People can keep in touch with their families and friends without having to be with them all the time. Smartphones have advanced features like video calls where people can speak to each other face to face without having to wait until they are in the same area. Also, there are other ways to communicate besides making calls. Social media apps give people another option of staying in touch. There are different social media apps for different forms of communication. Some are mostly for social reasons while others are used for business purposes. With all these advantages, smartphones have had some bad effects on human morality as well.
The use of smartphones while on the road by both pedestrians and drivers should be controlled especially on highways and extremely busy roads. Texting and calling while driving ranks up there with driving while drunk. They are both a form of distraction on the road. When attending important events like an art showing or theatre, people are asked to keep their phones on silent mode. When phones ring in such cases, it is considered an annoyance and may be subject to ejection from the event. On the other hand, people texting and calling while on the road are given a pass or warning. This should not be the case. There need to be strict policies that govern the usage of smartphones while on the road. People doing so might not be annoying anyone but they are endangering the lives of other people on the road. Take for example, a public driver of a bus carrying sixty passengers texting on a busy highway. He/she is risking the lives of both those on the bus and outside (Jeff K.Caird).On the same note, someone crossing a busy street with earphones on listening to music is unable to make decisions accurately. They may end up being run over or distract the driver into risking the people in the vehicle while trying to avoid them. Texting while driving has garnered a lot of attention from both concerned people and nonprofit organizations to the point of raising campaigns that advocate against the act both in the media and through peaceful demonstrations. Policies have been enacted concerning the same in most countries but people ignore them because it is easy to do so. Considering how dangerous it is, every government should pass hefty consequences on people who use their phones while on the road.
There should be laws regulating the use of smartphones in terms of people’s privacy. With a majority of people in the world owning a mobile phone, lack of privacy has been something common these days. People use social media to post the progress of their everyday life out there for everyone to see and judge. This leads to cyberbullying and body shaming over the internet. This has led to victims having low self-esteem to the point of injuring themselves or even taking their own life. Other people go even to the extent of making known to everybody a part of their life they should keep private. That is not even the worst of it. Smartphones come with advanced features like AI cameras which can be used to take pictures of parties who are either uninterested or in other cases unaware of what is going on. Their photos end up in the internet having been manipulated and spread for selfish and wrong reasons.
Moreover, smartphones come with GPS tracking which means people with bad intentions against you can spot your immediate location and use it to get to you or use the information otherwise. In some cases, some websites and applications sell their customer's user data to third-party companies for their own gains and to push adverts to the consumers without their knowledge. This has happened to several companies in the past when some policies had not been established and they walked free. Currently, there are several policies governing the use of applications but some companies manage to do it anyway. On the side of personal privacy and things like cyberbullying, there need to be cut throat laws advising against such.
But some smartphones have very expensive maintenance, which makes them impossible for the most of students to afford. On the other hand smartphones, with all the entertainment options they offer, can be really distractive for owners in their lectures. Mobile phones can easily decrease attention in lessons. Constantly sending text messages and playing games can take you away from your activities in university. This is a wrong way to spend your time. After all I can come to the conclusion that smartphones are actually making life easier with their thousands of apps. But world, social live and communication are not in 4 inch display. Everyone has to make his own choice.
Statement of the problem
Smart phones have become an attractive option for sensing human and social behavior. As phones are usually kept in relatively close proximity and contain many useful sensors that can record contextual and user activity cues (e.g. location, application usage and calling behavior). They can be effectively used in everyday life. This research focuses on Impact of Smartphone on human life
Objective of the study
The objective of this study is to find out how Smartphone‘s are impacting the human life as changing the life style and culture. And also to understand the positive and negative aspects of Smartphone on the society. This study will focus on impact of Smartphone on everyday life At the end, the study will summarize the impact and conclude based on wide range of impacts that Smartphone‘s have on society. This research will also recommend solutions, in order to reduce the negative impacts of Smartphone‘s and also realizes more benefits of this technology.
Keywords: Smart phones, human life
Sampling and sampling frame
Today‘s Smartphone‘s has been around since last six years when Apple introduced the Smartphone in mass consumer market, but in reality the Smartphone has been in market since 1993. The different between today‘s Smartphone and early Smartphone‘s is that early Smartphone‘s were predominantly meant for corporate users and used as enterprise devices and also those phone were too expensive for the general consumers .
The Smartphone era is divided into three main phases. First phase was purely meant for enterprises. During this phase all the Smartphone‘s were targeting the corporations and the features and functions were as per corporate requirements. This era began with the advent of the very first Smartphone ‗The Simon‘ from IBM in 1993. Blackberry is considered as the revolutionary device of this era, it introduced many features including Email, Internet, Fax, Web browsing, Camera.
This phase was totally based on Smartphone targeting enterprises   . The second phase of Smartphone era started with the advent of iPhone, the major breakthrough Smartphone market in 2007. Apple revealed its first smart phone in 2007. This was the time when first time ever industry introduced the Smartphone for general consumers market . End of 2007 Google unveiled its Android Operating System with the intention to approach the consumer Smartphone market.
The emphasis during this time period was to introduce features that the general consumer requires and at the same time keep the cost at lower side to attract more and more customers. Feature like, email, social website integration, audio/video, internet access, chatting along with general features of the phone were part of these entire phone .
Third phase of Smartphone was mainly closing the gap between enterprise centric and general consumer centric Smartphone and improvement the display quality, display technology and on top of that also aiming to stabile the mobile operating system, introduce more powerful batteries and enhance the user interface and many more features within these smart devices. This phase logical started in 2008 with the upgrades in the mobile operating system and within last five year there have been several upgrades in Apple iOS, Android and Blackberry OS.
The most popular mobile Operating systems (iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, Windows Mobile) and key Smartphone vendors (Apple, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, LG, Sony etc.) are concentrating to bring features both in operating systems and devices which will provide exciting feature to enterprise and general consumers. The role of Android has been tremendous during this time period as it provided a great opportunity to all vendors to build devices using the great open source Android technology   .
3. Smartphone Growth / Usage
The adoption of Smartphone‘s has been tremendous in mainstream consumer markets all over the world. Surveys show that around 42% of mobile subscribers in US use Smartphone‘s, along with 44% of mobile users in 5 major countries of European Union (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK).
Media usage on mobile– including browsing the mobile web, accessing application and downloading content saw a major increase and surpassed 50 % in many markets; mobile users have not only adopted real-time social networking on their Smartphone at a growing rate but frequency of access has been also increasing day by day . A UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom, released the following statistics as part of their study on Smartphone usage in the United Kingdom only
37% of adults and 60% of teens admit they are highly addicted to their Smartphone. 51% of adults and 65% of teens say they have used their Smartphone while socializing with others.
23% of adults and 34% of teens have used their Smartphone during mealtimes. 22% of adult and 47% of teens admitted using or answering their Smartphone while in the Bathroom
The social life has been drastically changed with the introduction of Smartphone‘s and this domain has encountered most of the impacts from use of Smartphone.
. Positive Impacts
Accordingly to research , around 15% of the current world population has some sort of disabilities and also the number of elderly persons increasing day by day. Furthermore, this research shows that, by year 2020 more than 1000 million people over 60 years age will be living on this planet . Keeping this in mind and looking into the capabilities of Smartphone, it is apparent that in such a situation Smartphone will play an important role in the integration process of people with special needs and elderly age.
Smartphone‘s are capable to give this group of people the opportunity to live more independently. The more they can do by themselves, the better they will feel and enjoy the life. Impact of Smartphone‘s on Society 223 Smartphone features like, text to speech, GPS and social Websites are some examples, which can help this group of people to easily remain integrated with society. Using these services and many more features, the target group of people can easily communicate their needs, seek assistance from others and remain connected to society .
Even in today‘s busy world Smartphone had also made possible for us to remain connected with our friends and family all the time. Always connected to the Internet through a Smartphone provides a great instrument for individuals for constant communication resulting in great safety for children attending schools or going outside. The classic mobile phones provided this facility for long time but the Smartphone‘s utilizing the same and providing additional convenient capabilities to communicate with children and know their whereabouts anytime .
The Smartphone has given an opportunity to individuals to act as a journalist at any point in time and real-time information to society. Smartphone features like the camera, video capture, access to social Websites and nature of always connected to the Internet enable individuals to capture any video at any time and share it with friends and family using social Websites and other Internet based options. Even though the quality of video / image can‘t be that good but the features on social Websites and opinions and comments make it more absorbing and useful .
Addiction to Smartphone is major impact on social life. Surveys show that Smartphone addiction is interfering with our night‘s sleep. According to the survey, 33% of mobile workers admitted that they check their phones for email and message throughout the night. Nearly 50% of those surveyed said, they wouldn‘t even think of going to bed without have their Smartphone‘s tucked under their pillows.
This addiction to Smartphone is impacting the social and family life and creating frictions in our lives . Another aspect is that applications installed on Smartphone enabling image and video editing, allowing individuals to manipulate the actual content and provide their version of the content. This shows that most of the time there will be issues with the authenticity of information received through these channels and it requires further research to ensure its validity and authenticity .
According to another research , the organizations expect their employees to respond to the emails immediately even after working hours, due to that employee feel compelled to respond to official emails. Many Smartphone users engage in continuous monitoring of their work related emails, which creates compulsive routines of chronic checking and in the long run it is responsible for increased stress. There are evidences that Smartphone usage is responsible to blur the distinctions between the work and family life. The Smartphone causes the employees to take the work into the home domain.
As a consequence, the blurring work and family life might lead to a worsened work–family balance. In short, the higher integration of the work and home facilitated by Smartphone result in work–home interference (WHI), which is considered as a potential source of stress that having negative effect on employee social and family life. Cyber bullying is another major issue the society is facing today. The advent of Smartphone and the nature of being connected to internet anytime and anywhere is adding to this issue and making it much severe.
It enables student to access irrelevant content while at schools, enables working community to access social Websites and other irrelevant content while at work, and enables youth to access the Internet for inappropriate contents. This highlights minimum control from parents and administration to prevent the users‘ access certain content on the Internet .
According to another report by security industries , Smartphone‘s and social networking site are likely to become the next target for criminal attacks. Security holes on several Smartphone‘s were exploited and malicious software was found on several Smartphone‘s from different vendors.
5. Conclusion & Future Direction
It is true that Smartphone has a sizeable impact on society and other aspects of life. Clearly the enormous usage of these devices by consumers demonstrates the volume of this impact. Consumers are in process of traversing away from the use of conventional cell phone as the Smartphone‘s are beginning the norm of the society.
Manufacturers and marketing can be blamed for this hype, but there is no doubt that Smartphone‘s are brining great features and capabilities to consumers. The key impacts like enable to be always-connected, addiction to phone, single device with all required features, business edge, convenient educational features, apps as new technology, entertainment, best utilization of time, disrespectful behavior, privacy issues, impact on culture, distraction at work & at education Institutes and many more provide us both positive and negative sides of the Smartphone‘s.
These positive and negative impacts are secondary, when we look at this existing technology from a different perspective and that perspective is interpretation and perception of Smartphone. There are several ways that we can control and minimize the negative impacts of Smartphone in society. ―Education and Guidance‖: In order to understand the positive and negative impact of Smartphone it is very important to educate the users on how to use Smartphone‘s smartly.
The education should emphasis to enhance the positive impacts and highlight the negative impacts clearly so that the users can take advantages of this exciting technology. ―Security and Access Control‖: There are several initiatives from different vendors to combat the misuse of Smartphone at workplace and at Universities. SAP, Airwatch, MacAfee and many other vendors provide solutions to control the access of Smartphone within the workplace and Universities. Such measures are very useful in environments, where security of information is the top priority.
These can also be useful in controlling the access of Smartphone‘s in Universities to minimize the use of social Websites, minimize the misuse of Smartphone‘s for cyber bullying, cheating in examinations and tests. These mobile management devices will also enable the administrators to remotely control the access of these devices check what services are running on a specific device. ―Polices and Procedure‖: Policies and strict compliance procedure should be in place at workplace and at Universities to ensure the proper use of Smartphone‘s‘.
This will enable users to use their phones if it is really required and when the use is really important. In summary, Smartphone can certainly be smart if the vendors, society and technologists understand their responsibility towards usage of these devices smartly in order to get more benefit in business, education, health and social life. It is apparent from above facts that the benefits of Smartphone are tremendous and negative impacts are minor. So it is important to concentrate on how to stop and avoid smartly the misuse of Smartphone rather trying to stop or avoid use to Smartphone‘s.
Nurfit, 2012,‖Smarphone Addiction and Impact on Society‖,
Wikipedia, 2012, ―Blackberry‖, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2012/11/298_117506.html 226 Muhammad Sarwar and Tariq Rahim Soomro
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