We don’t call them handheld computers, although that’s probably the most accurate description. We don’t even call them cell phones much anymore (and who wants to own a mere cell phone anyway? I mean all you could do with that is, well, make phone calls—which is so last week. Instead, we refer to them as smartphones.
We now live in a world where pretty much everything we know about everything that has gone on in the past and that is going on right this very instant is immediately available, anytime and anywhere, literally at our fingertips. All through the magic of smartphone technology.
Any reason to think this might have an impact on how we communicate? Maybe just a bit.
Ironically, it’s not the 24/7 availability to talk by phone that has changed how we interact. Try walking down a busy street at lunch hour and see how many people are using their smartphones. Now count how many of those people are using them like a traditional phone (i.e. holding them to their ears and talking). In my (admittedly not completely scientific) surveys, I find the vast majority are not using their phones as phones. Instead, they are texting, emailing, checking Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp (or taking pictures of themselves for use with the aforementioned), surfing the web, listening to music, playing Angry Birds/Candy Crush (or whatever game app has become the latest craze in the hours between me writing this and you reading it), looking at shopping lists or navigating with Google Maps.
Removing the functions that aren’t intended for human-to-human communication from the discussion (let’s throw out things like maps, general web-surfing, listening to music or playing games), the modern smartphone provides a variety of tools to allow us to interact with other humans....
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