Are Smartphones Too Smart?
Smartphones as we know them have only been around for a little more than a decade. In that short amount of time, they have grown exponentially smarter and more powerful. Many teens now run their entire lives from their smartphone but for others, the rapid evolution has made it less functional.
When smartphones begin to make life more complicated and less enjoyable, it may be time to look for an alternative that is just a phone.
Just a Phone
There are some people out there who just want a phone that will function as a phone. This is a common request from seniors, but it is also becoming more frequent from people who are attempting to unplug and be more mindful of their time and personal interactions.
It can be difficult to find cell phones that are not also smartphones when shopping in the stores of national cell service providers. However, there has been a surge of companies who offer less complicated cell phones.
The Jitterbug phone is one of the most well known in this niche of phones that function as phones. These phones are reminiscent of the flip phones that became popular in the 1990s. They have the functionality of a classic phone with a cord and the portability of a smartphone.
These less complicated phones often come with some of the most important upgrades such as a camera and flashlight that people want but without the clutter, complication, and distraction of apps.
Our phones have become so smart and the technology so pervasive in our lives that manufacturers now give the phones the capability to stop themselves from distracting people while they are driving. This means not only are our phones now expected to be more cognizant of our personal safety but they are also designed to be aware of what we are doing and capable of making the decision for us as to whether or not we are too busy to interact with those who may be trying to reach us.
While this will undoubtedly be beneficial in reducing distracted driving accidents, it nicely illustrates the level to which our communication devices have advanced and become part of the defining characteristics of the lives who own them.
Some researchers have indicated that the prevalence of smartphones has led to something of an existential crisis among the youth who have grown up with the technology. Instead of interacting with their families, friends, and romantic interests these people are spending the majority of their time interacting with people via their smartphone. While they may have a larger social circle, in theory, they are often experiencing less authentic forms of social interactions and are subsequently lonelier and less fulfilled and happy.
This trend is not limited to teens and young adults. Older generations have also adapted to the pervasiveness of smartphones and find themselves dating people they have never met in person but with whom they share the most intimate details of their lives by text or app.
Have our communications devices have become smart enough and pervasive enough to replace the need for a personal connection? It appears as though they are on the path but they aren’t there yet.
Cure for Smartphone Fatigue
While marketing would suggest everyone wants a smarter, faster, newer smartphone that may not be entirely true. Sure, there is the popular perception that older people want a simpler solution – a mobile phone that doesn’t involve complicated and addictive technology. But there is an increasing number of people from younger generations who want freedom from being constantly available to everyone they personally know and the people they have met on social networks.
One of the easiest solutions is not to install a blocking app to keep you from using the other apps on a smartphone. It is simply putting the phone away when downtime is desired. However, because of the addictive nature of smartphones, sometimes it is better to replace the genius communication device with one of its workhorse cousins.
A basic cell phone still gives consumers the highly valued communication mobility, security, and freedom associated with a smartphone without the additional strings of excessive distractions, over-availability, and complexity.