6 Ways the Smartphone Changed Society

6 Ways the Smartphone Changed Society

By Samantha Warren

Janurary 17, 2017

Smartphone Graphic1

The first ever phone to feature software applications and a touch screen was the IBM Simon, which debuted in 1992, although the term “smartphone” wasn’t coined until 1995. Simon’s many applications included a calendar, address book, appointment scheduler, calculator and clock. Smartphones have evolved so much over the past 22 years, and it’s fascinating to think about how they have affected our society.

Today’s smartphone is very different from the original. Now, we use our phones to text, take pictures, record video, use social media, play games and more. Some of us claim that we can’t live without our phones because we rely so much on them to perform basic tasks such as creating a shopping list or contacting a friend. Because the smartphone is so widely used, it’s no surprise that its creation completely revolutionized modern society. Discover different ways the smartphone changed the world:

        1.  Today, we stay connected at all times.

We can contact our best friend, aunt or distant cousin just by tapping our phone screen a few times and typing a message. We have every social network and online news outlet at our fingertips. We can search for anything on Google in seconds. Smartphones connect us to our friends, the community, and the rest of the world.

Before the invention of smartphones, people read newspapers to stay up to date with current events. According to a 2016 study by Pew Research Center, the majority of overall Americans prefer getting their news on television to any other platform, but the majority of young adults in America receive most of their news online, either through social media or other websites and apps. Soon, almost everyone will likely prefer reading news on smartphones.

         2.  We write fewer letters and make fewer phone calls.

Letter writing is a lost art. “Snail mail” used to be the primary form of communication, but then email and text messaging came along. The modern smartphone provides many different communication channels including email, texting, social media messaging, audio calling, video calling and more, all in one pocket-sized device. Many people feel that there is no need for letters anymore. And now that texting is the most frequently used form of communication among Americans, not nearly as many phone calls are being made. As we have seen over the past few decades, communication evolves rapidly alongside technology.

        3.  Every smartphone owner is now a photographer.

Most smartphones are equipped with both a front-facing and a rear-facing camera, which allows for many options when choosing angles for photography. The “selfie” is a worldwide phenomenon. We have become addicted to taking selfies and sharing them on social media. There is also a plethora of smartphone apps available for editing pictures. The features on photo editing smartphone apps typically mimic the photo editing software used on computers.

        4.  Politics are heavily influenced by social media.

Smartphones allow for easier access and more frequent usage of social media. And no matter what our political opinions are, I think many of us can agree that Twitter played a “yuuuuuuge” role in Donald Trump’s campaign. Trump’s tweets often baffled public relations specialists, but his social media activity combined with other forces ultimately won him the election. Today, Trump has around 19.7 million followers on Twitter, and his following is only growing.

Many people use their smartphones to read and share political news articles on social media. Unfortunately, not all of them come from reliable sources, so a plague of fake news spreads across the internet, misinforming many of us about important issues. It is now our responsibility to ensure that we fact check everything we read on the internet because we won’t always know the truth unless we do.

        5.  We have become addicted to instant gratification.

Using our smartphones, we can easily contact just about anyone, look up anything we want, and complete many tasks with a few simple taps. The nature of the smartphone has created a culture that feeds on instant gratification. If it takes more than five seconds for a page to load, we get impatient. If we can’t solve a technical issue after a few minutes, we get frustrated and want to give up.

The instant gratification mindset carries over into the real world. We eat fast food because we don’t want to wait for the chefs at a sit-down restaurant to cook for us. If Amazon doesn’t deliver our package the next day, we feel cheated. We’d rather swipe right and left on Tinder than meet someone in person and ask him or her on a date. Smartphones are so instantaneous that they have made us impatient.

        6.  Marketing is evolving.

The inventions of radio and television impacted advertising by providing businesses with additional platforms to promote their products and services. Naturally, the inventions of the internet, social media and the smartphone have also shaped the modern marketing industry. Performance marketing, a form of internet marketing that is a combination of advertising and innovation, is the best form of promotion for companies that want to grow in 2017 and onward. It is the perfect fit for any company that uses the internet to communicate with customers. Performance marketing generates incredible analytics that can be used to optimize marketing strategies. Each engagement is trackable and measurable down to the click using performance based metrics.

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