Just 20 years ago, cell phones were just a tool limited to calls and texts. Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone with a touch screen that acts as their calendar, GPS, camera, notepad, computer, telephone among many other tools all wrapped in one. Our world has changed drastically as technology continues to advance at a faster rate than ever before and smartphones are probably one of the most important inventions to come out of modern technology.
Before cell phones, there was just the landline home phone around the late 1800s. This piece of communication technology had gone through many changes since its invention, but once smartphones became a thing in the 1980s that was truly the biggest update to the invention. Mobile phones were just a pipe dream to some, and even a joke to others for a long period of time. The idea of a portable telecommunication device was a big one and well before its time, even as technology grew and became more advanced. The telephone influenced society in so many more ways than anybody would ever realize. Coming from what used to basically be a box wired to a building and wired into another box by people known as switchboard operators, to a device that runs on its own with no operator of any kind; the idea has truly flourished in today’s society.
These devices have influenced everything around the world to the point of it playing a big part in bringing humanity together. Whether it’s from having access to information at your fingertips, several social media platforms, or long-distance phone calls, these devices have shaped a new society in a way that only sci-fi films could’ve guessed. Most younger people can’t even recall a time before smartphones because of how widespread they’ve become. New devices coming out every few months from different companies have definitely influenced that too, giving people options to choose from, not unlike buying a new car. The social media aspect of things has probably been what has influenced the younger generations the most, has brought everyone together in a user-friendly fashion.
However, despite smartphones and their positive impact, when there’s good, there must be bad. When it comes to the mental aspect of things brought on by the takeover of smartphones, there are plenty of examples of their negative impact. There are various health hazards, such as the radiation these devices can emit when you take a phone call (ehtrust.org). Toxic communities online have brought hate groups together; constant social media stereotypes have made it harder on peoples’ self-image; instant gratification has made people impatient among so many other things (apnews.com). The biggest fallback with smartphones is the e-waste caused by the constant production of new phones and improper recycling of old ones (this could go for all computers and devices). The damage to the environment is reversible but the lack of upkeep and neglect towards these issues has made the waste and litter of old tech extremely bad (mrelectric.com). Always try and recycle your electronics and not buying brand new phones every single year alone would help drastically when it comes to waste.
Even though all the negative setbacks cellphones and smartphones have caused, they have brought the world together in a way people never would’ve thought. According to keysoftwaresystems.com, communication speeds have significantly increased; worldwide collaboration has evolved at a faster rate, and location sharing/navigation has grown at a constantly positive rate. Smartphones have positively increased all of these aspects of life. The tools these devices provide the everyday person with are immeasurable and a wonderful thing that benefits much of modern society. There is no denying the impact that these devices have had on humanity and not many people would say otherwise. Technology has brought the whole world together with just the touch of a fingertip, and that is a pretty beautiful thing.