In what ways has your smartphone improved your life?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
I’ve written many articles talking about the downsides of smartphones: they’re time consuming, fragile, disruptive, and sometimes even addictive. But for every negative that comes with having a smartphone there’s always a positive that keeps us coming back for more. Today, I came up with a comprehensive list of some features that smartphones can provide for us to enhance our lives just a little bit more.
Although I’ve always had an alarm clock next to my bed at some point in my life, none have quite offered the extensiveness to ensure that I actually wake up as much as smartphones have. Typically my actual digital alarm clock would only allow me to set one alarm at a time, which is great if you’re a person who actually wakes up when the alarm goes off. I, on the other hand, have a tendency to either A.) Hit the snooze button or B.) Merely dream about hitting the snooze button, but in reality just turned the alarm clock off entirely. With smartphones I can easily set more than one alarm ahead of time and have no issues waking up in the morning after the third or fourth time the alarm sounds.
Gone are the days where I need to tote around with me a planner, a notebook, and stacks upon stacks of unrelated sticky notes from 7 months ago. Smartphones and tablets today serve as all of these things, and more, with the added bonus of making actual noises when I need to be reminded of something. This helps not only to remove a lot of physical clutter from my life, but also to help me remember to do things when an annoying alarm is relentlessly caterwauling for attention.
Endless Source of Information
I’m not sure whether it’s my age or my newfound passion for both useful and completely useless knowledge with the discovery of Google, but regardless of reason my smartphone certainly makes it easier for me to look anything and everything up within seconds of wondering. “Who is that supporting role actress with the familiar face in this romantic comedy? I swear I’ve seen her on The Office.” “Does Russia have zebras?” “Can a five ounce bird carry a one pound coconut?” These are all easily answered questions once I send in the queries through my smartphone. Smartphones also make excellent news sources. I don’t know about any of you guys, but I much prefer to read my news stories rather than watch visual playback unless they include important footage.
All-in-One Media Devices
Often times our smartphones can serve as an all-in-one media device. No more needing to carry around mp3 players, radios, digital cameras, or that portable DVD player that mysteriously skips through the favorite part of that movie your toddler loves so much. You can simply use your smartphone for all of these things, which also helps de-clutter your life in many ways (which helps with organization!) Of course there may still be times when carrying these extra devices can also benefit you (saving battery life, taking better pictures, etc.) so the need for them may not be completely obsolete, but for quick, general access to these files smartphones are the perfect solution.
Last but not least is connectivity! From phone calls, to text messgeas, to social networking platforms smartphones have become a central location for all things connectivity-related. We’re even able to hold video conferences with these things! What started out as just a way to make phone calls on-the-go turned into, essentially, a full-fledged computer with the added convenience of being primarily handheld – which is awesome.
Owning a smartphone can at times be trivial, and sometimes you question why you still have one turned on when it seems like all it does is stress you out; but sometimes even the things that stress you out the most can provide some fantastic conveniences in our lives.
Readers, what are some of the ways that your smartphone has been able to improve your life? Does it keep you more organized, punctual, and in the know? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!