It is almost impossible these days to go to public places and not see a person looking on and tapping away at a smartphone. About a decade ago few of us can think of the number of things that we were able to do with our phones. For about 100 years back, a phone was just a tool used to talk to another person; it couldn’t take pictures, send messages or play games.
There can be little doubt that in the last few years there has been a tech boom, now people can watch movies and surf the internet on a portable tablet, and do things on the move thanks to super-fast mobile internet speeds. The result has seen the mobile phone turned into a mini computer and these new smartphones have become the current tech trend. That’s why I’ve compiled the advantages and disadvantages of the smartphone.
Whether you’re a current owner nodding your head in agreement or a late adopter looking for the inside facts, I hope this article helps you make some sense out of the mobile phone craze. If you already have one, make sure to make a video of your amazed expression as you read this post.
When it comes to capabilities, smartphones like the BlackBerry, Android, iPhone and Windows Phone far transcend their less technologically-advanced counterparts like basic clamshell flip-stylephones.
Basic cellphones allow users to talk, text and use limited features such as a calculator and alarm clock and sometimes browse the Internet on a less-than-optimal browser. Smartphones offer users the ability to check into social media sites, send and receive email, perform transactions on bank accounts, pay bills, read books, instant message friends, watch television and movies, browse the Internet, check the weather or the latest sports scores and more. Developers are constantly adding applications that can be downloaded to smartphones to enable them to do more.
Because smartphones offer more capabilities than basic cellphones, they offer a sense of convenience that other phones simply do not offer.
Among the capabilities of smartphones are GPS applications, which provide users with turn-by-turn directions to anywhere from nearly any location. Banking applications allow users to check their account balances and perform transfers, pay bills and, in some cases, deposit checks. Social networking, email and instant-messaging applications allow users to keep in close contact with friends, family and colleagues. Checking the weather, the latest news headlines, movie showtimes, stock standings and even the business hours at a store or restaurant make smartphones ideal for someone who wants those conveniences.
On a basic cellphone, users can complete many of those tasks by calling their bank, stock broker, weather line or movie theater, but these options are limited and can take more time than they would on a smartphone.
Regardless of these advantages and conveniences that the smartphone offers there are no doubts that the smartphone comes with a number of disadvantages.
Arguably the biggest disadvantage of a smartphone is its cost compared to standard mobile phones. A smartphone costs considerably more up front — on the order of a few hundred Ghana Cedis to Thousands of Ghana Cedis, versus less than about a third of that cost for a standard phone. Smartphones also require expensive data plans, which most standard phones do not, making your monthly bill significantly more expensive.
Surprisingly most people shirk basic responsibilities to acquire smartphones at exorbitant prices and use not more than two functions in it. Most users acquire smart phones on the simple reason that they are flashy and it’s the way to go now.
Smartphones are able to access the Internet, either through Wi-Fi or a data package. But data security is an issue. The apps you download and the passwords that you input into these apps and websites while on-the-go are often not secure, at least in terms of account privacy. This means that Internet access on an insecure network puts you at risk of identity theft and hacked accounts. That’s why you should completely log out of apps and websites after you’re done with a session. For the sake of convenience, many smartphone owners don’t do so, however, leaving their data vulnerable to hacking.
Smartphones are distractors, which potentially decrease worker productivity and keep consumers off-task. With a device that fits into your pocket and is able to accomplish so much, it’s only natural that you’re constantly checking email, sports scores, text messages, Facebook and browsing the Web. This cuts into time spent focused on business projects. Additionally, smartphone users often play on the devices during business meetings and seminars, rather than focus on the presentations.
Occurrence of pretty serious accidents.
That’s not the only way the inattention to their surrounding caused by cell phones creates problems. It can actually cost lives when drivers focused on texting or social media lose control of their vehicle and have major accidents. Is letting your friend know you’re on the way really worth dying over?
And it’s not safe to do it while you’re walking either. For one, people have stepped into oncoming traffic while staring at the screen of their phone. Less seriously, you can fall down stairs, trip over something on the ground, or bump into a wall or another pedestrian while you’re absorbed with what’s happening on Facebook or making a video for Snapchat
Breaches of Privacy and Security
While having all your information in one handy device can be extremely convenient, it also has the potential to be very dangerous. All it takes is forgetting your phone in some bathroom or bus stop and suddenly, your whole life is exposed to the person who finds it. Your contacts, documents, social media accounts, and even banking information is theirs to do with as they please.
The privacy aspect is less damaging than your compromised bank account but probably a little more embarrassing. Are there any photos on your phone that you’d rather not show to some random stranger? How about those sappy text messages with your boy or girlfriend? We thought so. Just leaving your phone on the couch while you use the bathroom can be enough to give a snooper a peak into your private life.
And even if you never let your phone leave your sight, hackers can still break into your information remotely if the motivation is there. Keep that in mind the next time you’re thinking about putting important or otherwise sensitive stuff on your mobile.
Hinder Real Human Interaction
Our phones can do so much these days that some people have trouble tearing themselves away long enough to reconnect with the real world. You’ve likely seen them around town, on public transportation, and in stores with their eyes and fingers glued to their mobile device. Instead of interacting with the people around them, they ignore face-to-face conversation for virtual ones.
Many believe that our younger generation is actually less capable of normal socializing because of this. They’ve gotten so little practice that they’re simply not comfortable with chatting with someone they meet out in public. Since humans are social creatures by nature who need real life connections, this runs the risk of becoming a huge problem for society.
The cons of mobile phones are mostly a case of too much of a good thing. Pull yourself away from your device when you’re out on the town and don’t isolate yourself from the people around you. Don’t even think about touching that thing while you’re driving, walking, riding a bike, or anything else that requires your full attention. Learn also how to secure the contents of your smartphone and you will be able to enjoy all the helpful things smartphones bring to the table without the negatives.
Big Think: Get Off Your Smart Phone — The Disadvantages to Shutting Out the Present
TechRepublic: Five Security Risks Introduced with Smartphones in the Enterprise
Help Net Security: Most Users Unaware of Smartphone Security Risks