The Smartphone Phenomenon

Archie Modequillo (The Freeman) - October 3, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — It’s sad how smartphone has come to get a generally bad reputation. Well, there’s such thing as ‘smartphone addiction’, yes, but it’s not really the gadget’s fault. Smartphones weren’t solely invented for selfies, food photos, and Facebook.


True, the smartphone is arguably the 21st century nuisance. Everywhere nowadays, everyone are looking downward with their fingers jumping on their phone’s screen. But then again, it’s not the smartphone but the user that’s the problem.

Even the best gadget invented with the best intention can be trouble when abused. It’s true that people get a little carried away with being on their phones. It’s hard to resist the urge to check one’s Facebook, for example, to see how the rest of the gang is doing.

It’s not good when smartphone use gets in the way of one’s otherwise productive day. When stuck in crazy traffic, however, the smartphone is a necessary diversion so as not to lose one’s mind. And the smartphone actually has more – so much more – beneficial uses than the average care to know.

The usefulness of the smartphone is limited only by the number of apps on the phone and the capacity of the phone itself to hold apps. There are really intelligent and helpful apps out there now, many available for free download. These are in addition to the basic extra features like clock and alarm, schedule organizer, flashlight, phonebook, text messaging, calculator etc.

Lauren Slocum, at the website www.ranker.com, lists some of the coolest, most impressive uses for the smartphone. These uses are mostly internet-based, which is a major thing that’s awesome about the smartphone – it can be used to surf the worldwide web. The internet feature fully liberates the user from being confined in any definite venue – whether home, school or office.

With a smartphone on hand, there may not be any idle or unproductive moment for the user. He can learn something new or get information by Googling it, Slocum writes. He can listen to music via Spotify, Sound Cloud, iTunes, YouTube... the options are endless! 

There are locator apps – actually maps – that guide users to particular locations. One can get the latest weather or traffic report at one tap on the phone screen. Friends and relatives may now talk to one another face-to-face, via Skype or FaceTime.

The smartphone also has a camera that can take both still photos and videos, which can be edited right on the phone itself. Then these photos and videos can be shared online. Otherwise, these may just be stored on the phone, to enjoy viewing at some future time.

Booklovers may now read their favorite titles in e-book form, on the screen of their smartphone. It is also popular now to book a ride or flight via an app on the phone. The health-conscious, for their part, may download an app to monitor their heart rate, blood pressure, and, yes, blood sugar levels.

It’s really a phenomenon how the smartphone has made a lot of services readily and conveniently available to everyone. The list of services there are now is yet open-ended. For sure, there’s more to come, as more and more apps are continually being developed.

The way it looks in the present, the future is all about ease, efficiency and convenience at hand… simply with a smartphone on hand.

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