The invention of the mobile phone and mobile technology was revolutionary. Since then, advances in mobile technology have shaped our lives in fundamental ways. These days most people get their news from a phone, not a newspaper. No matter where you are, you can reach out to anyone you know in a host of different ways. You can get information about anything you want when you want it. Bored? Entertainment is just a few taps away.
Because of mobile technology, the world is more connected than ever. One device capable of so much is changing the world: giving more opportunities to the “disadvantaged” creating businesses and markets where there were none, and allowing individuals new ways to shape their day-to-day.
The seven ways mobile has changed our lives listed below are just a few examples of how mobile affects each of us every single day.
Access for Everyone
Internet access is becoming essential to modern life. Mobile phones are much less expensive than traditional desktop computers overall. They consume less power, are portable, and come with their own built-in monitor and keyboard. The device itself allows many people to have personal and at-home internet access. In America alone, 1 in 5 depends on a cell phone for reliable internet access while 1 in 10 has access to a mobile phone only, choosing not to purchase a home computer.
In countries like Taiwan, 7 in 10 have only a mobile phone as their primary means of internet access. Not only does that mean that they can look up information, but it also gives them a means to connect with other people – which brings us to the next revolutionary way mobile has changed our lives.
Even with just a simple phone call, people’s lives can be immeasurably altered. From getting help in an emergency to starting a movement – mobile phones have been at the heart of a number of important events. From your smartphone, how many ways can you think of to connect to a single person?
In everyday life, you probably use your phone for many connection-related tasks. From it, you can send a text or an email. In the process, you will be able to catch up with work, friends, and family. Social media and apps give you dozens of additional options. That connection can be critical if disaster strikes or is about to.
A mobile device is personal, more intimate than a laptop, desktop, or any stationary device. Your cell phone or tablet goes with you. It’s something you can check in with on a whim and personalize with custom backgrounds, icons, and apps.
Losing your phone can be traumatic – how much personal information could now be exposed to whoever finds it? In contrast, how much can you learn about someone by being allowed to go through their digital life? That level of personalization is only possible with a mobile device, but it can make you expect it in other ways, too. That’s both a challenge and an opportunity for businesses.
A New Range of Businesses
Businesses have been immeasurably altered by the rise of mobile technology. From replacing a host of previously conventional devices to connecting in new and increasingly effective ways, mobile is changing the way customers and businesses interact with each other.
Rather than planning each shopping trip out on paper and calling ahead, now you can find the information you need while you’re out shopping. If your car breaks down, you now have options on whom to call rather than going from memory or using a parent’s recommendation. If you want to find a better price on a necessary purchase, there’s an app for that.
The internet allowed us to be connected and share information – mobile technologies take that one step further and allow that information to be used in useful ways as it’s needed. Thousands of businesses have sprung up in the last few dozen years specializing in some facet of mobile technology or communications. Top app makers have made easy, affordable options for businesses of all sizes to learn how to build an app.
Mobile Technology Creates the “Everything” Device
With as many businesses as mobile technologies and smartphones have brought about, there are some products that they have made obsolete. Now just one device has replaced the pedometer, portable music player, alarm clock, GPS, calculator, camera, flashlight, calendar and much more. While many people may still have these things, they are no longer necessary to fulfill the need they were designed to accomplish.
Soon your phone may also be your sole method of payment, replace your car keys, and have the ability to control every feature of your home, too. And in most regions of the world, smartphones are becoming less expensive each and every year while becoming still more powerful. What will our world be like when everyone has access to a device like this?
The Ability to Find Information When You Need It
Without a smartphone or mobile device, you may not be able to check your email from the hospital waiting room or respond to an emergency call from a board meeting. You may not realize that there’s a tornado in the next town over and it’s headed your way. Information and access to it can be used for entertainment or self-enrichment, but it can also make your life safer.
Beyond that, with the addition of apps, mobile technologies can provide you with relevant information with little input from you. Maybe while you’re grocery shopping your phone provides you with a list of items you’ve purchased before that happen to be on sale right now.
If you’re at a restaurant, your phone, linked to a loyalty program, will alert you that you have enough points for a reward. Left your wallet in the car when it comes time to pay? Now you can pay with your phone, too. Not only does mobile allow us to access information but it makes it possible to keep it all in one place, too.
The Ever-Present Distraction of Mobile Technology
In many places, it’s a common sight to see just about everyone with a mobile phone within arm’s reach. In the ways listed above, that can be useful. However, instant access isn’t always a good thing. As mobile technologies have become more and more prevalent in today’s society, research has begun to correlate heavy day-to-day use with a number of side effects – the majority of which are related to mental health.
Staying connected all the time, research suggests, will take a toll on your nerves. It may also increase your chance of developing a stress or anxiety related disorder if used for the wrong reasons. Even so, when used responsibly to alleviate boredom (versus escapism) and to enhance productivity, mobile technology has been shown to produce few ill effects.
Mobile Devices Can Benefit All
In all, mobile devices enhance our lives. They are safe to have by your side day and night, though you might want to take a break once in a while for your mental health and avoid bright screens at night. Otherwise, accept that mobile technologies are here to stay and enhance our lives for the better. Mobile app makers are making it possible for all to create useful apps. From creating new businesses and keeping families connected to helping manage a to-do list and entertaining you in waiting rooms, mobile technologies are revolutionizing the way we all live our lives for the better.
How has mobile technology changed the way you do business?