Courtesy of Business News Daily
At work or play, in sickness or in health, there is always something close to our bodies.
Want to guess what that is?
That’s right, that “thing” is a mobile phone. Or more precisely, a smart phone.
Since the evolution of the smart phone in the late 1990s, almost everybody in the developed world have grown increasingly attached to these digital devices. We have come to the point where some of us can do away with laptops or tablets because of what our smart phones are capable of.
Some say that smart phones are connecting us to the world. Others, however, believe that they are dehumanise everyday contact.
Whichever way you swing, you’ll be hard pressed to say that smart phones haven’t been a double-edged sword. With their relentless expansion, smart phones now come with numerous apps to make our lives simpler and easier.
While this may be true to some extent, many still believe that life was simpler before these devices were invented.
I’m sure you could recall a time in the past when you simply met someone at a certain time without needing to message or Whatsapp that you were going to be late. A time when we weren’t obsessed with the here and now. A time when we could be civil and friendly while waiting for something.
Lasting relationships then were built on time and energy. We were happy to be who we were without the desperate need to constantly know what’s going on with our friends’ lives, or to provide an immediate answer to a gnawing question.
What about the world of business? How has the smart phone affected the way we work?
Voice calls, texting and playing an occasional game of snake. Who knew that we needed more than that in the office environment?
Well, the smartphone initiated the transition that led to us needing our offices less while giving us the chance to work with people thousands of miles away. In fact, if you ask many businesses now what their most important technology choices are, their answers would almost definitely be the smartphone.
Mobile technology for business has seen various evolutions. First came BlackBerry that basically won a huge market share for businesses based on the fact that it allowed them to be more productive through “push email” and other innovations. Then other players like Nokia adopted and improved upon BlackBerry’s innovations.
More recently, Apple with its iOS and Google with their Android technology have swamped the market with sleeker and more powerful multi-media devices which combine camera, web access, email, and voice in an irresistible package. While BlackBerry is back in the game with the BlackBerry Z10, it remains to be seen if they can regain their former glory as the kingpin of the mobile business world.
While the impact of smart phones on the quality of our personal and social lives may be questionable, the benefits surrounding the improvements to mobile technology can’t really be argued with. The rise of smartphones has allowed many workplace innovations to occur – from increased flexibility and lowered costs to improved reach to new clients.
We can now sync our data across laptops and phones, thanks to cloud computing and apps like Producteev and Evernote. Co-workers from around the globe can also collaborate with each other or stay better connected with colleagues anywhere in the world.
Naturally, some of these developments may not be that positive. After all, our first thoughts in the morning might be to check our smart phones and that may not be very healthy. We might also feel an incessant need to constantly check our these devices even while during our commutes or meetings.
Whichever way we look at it, we have to admit that smart phones are more of a help than a hindrance in the business world. While they do eat away gradually into our lives, I believe that their pros do outweigh their cons.
This article is contributed by journalism student Lenny Marlina (Nina Lia). She blogs at Might Tech News.