With the aid of cell phones, we are never more than a text message or call away. They help us in being more connected than ever before and always just a Google search (or a question asked of Siri) away from virtually any information you could possibly ever want to know. Alongside the rapid adoption of smartphones has come the expansion of even more ways to connect with others across the Web.
Social media, of course, was around prior to the smartphone as we know it today, but that doesn't mean that the two haven't greatly influenced one another. A large portion of Facebook's traffic is done via mobile – I rarely use Facebook from a computer if I am not working – and some cell phone manufacturers (cough, cough, HTC) have attempted to make a phone that is geared toward the ever-popular Facebook.
Not only has social media exploded since the smartphone boom began, but it has transformed – or evolved – into an entirely different creature. The life and death of a networking site such as Facebook or Twitter, or even Google+ is easily determined by its accessibility. If users cannot easily access a social network via mobile with a half-decent experience, it's as good as dead. In fact, some networks have recognized the power of smartphones and have decided to go pure mobile with no desktop interface at all. A perfect example of this is the popular image sharing network exclusive to iOS, Instagram. Now at 12 million users strong, Instagram is a testament to how much influence smartphones have on social media.
Over the past two years, my cell phone usage has almost entirely changed. I used to use it strictly for productivity – taking notes in class, keeping a schedule, making voice calls and a lot of other boring, mundane stuff. Recently, however, I have noticed that almost 90 percent of my use for cell phones is social.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that it's pretty rare for me to go a full day without tweeting, much less a couple hours (save for my off days when I'm in "disconnect" mode, which I am no good at anyway). I'm not on Facebook nearly as much as I used to be, but use it almost purely from my phone and I use Google+ off and on, hardly ever using it from a PC. I use Instagram a few times per week, share some longer, more personal thoughts on Tumblr from time to time and have tried to keep an eye out for a good reason to use Meporter. On top of all of that, I am constantly using a plethora of instant messaging services like Facebook Messenger to connect with friends and Google+ Messenger (and GTalk) to collaborate between coworkers, classmates, etc. And I'm always on the lookout for a new network to sign up for, as if I can even handle the ones I'm already using.
Of course, I still use my phone for other functions, like texting, referencing information and looking up location-based stuff like restaurants, retail stores and other fun places to go on a Friday or Saturday night. But the majority of my cell phone use has slowly been narrowed to social media. I'm constantly sharing pictures, ranting about things that grind my gears and connecting with people with similar interests.
So, tell me, readers. Do you use your phone primarily for social media? Or is it strictly for business, or something else? Have smartphones made your more social? Let us know in the comments below.