Smartphone Generation – Upside And Downside Of The Smartphone


The smartphone has its advantage and disadvantages to our generation

I’m a throwback.

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As young as I am, my friends call me “old soul”. This is because my tastes lean towards the past; I’m retro. You know, I love old music – Jim Reeves, Harry Belafonte, Sunny Ade, Fela, Five Young Cannibals and so on. I’m a gentleman, speak to and treat ladies with respect. It took me years to start driving an automatic-transmission automobile.

No school like the old school. Sue me.

Given the above credentials, it should hardly surprise you that when the smartphone revolution came along, it took me a little while to get on that particular bus. Which is a bit odd considering that I got on Facebook and a couple of other social media platforms quite early. But for some reason, I didn’t like the whole smartphone thing.

I still am not used to it. I turn my device off for days on end sometimes just because I find all the extra buzzing and ringing and pinging from those extra smartphone functionalities distracting. But that’s just me.

However, I know enough too to admit that the smartphone has made communicating a lot easier. Now we have options. There’s WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Snapchat, and several others I’m too tired to name. Phone calls are hardly done these days – except between business acquaintances and/or loved ones.

Everybody else can get a tweet or a ping or whatever.

Apart from social media, the smartphone is a blessing for people who have to constantly be on the move. You can read and reply emails on the go, draw business plans, create presentations (depending on your smartphone capabilities, of course). So many things are made possible via smartphones.

But of course, as with everything else the smartphone has its downside.

Because we no longer have to get to a computer to do most of the things we used to, we’re in danger of constantly being interrupted and distracted. You must have heard this one before:

Man and woman go on a date. Man and woman decide to talk a little before placing their orders. In the middle of conversing, man or woman constantly reaches for his or her phone to type something, share something, laugh at something or chat with someone. Their date is so frustrated he or she leaves in the middle of the meal.

Sounds familiar?

How about this one: a woman is being physically abused by her husband. Onlookers are present, but instead of helping they stand and watch and record with their smartphones for uploading on the internet.

Recognise that?

How about the fact that things are not safe as they used to be? Once something is on the internet or connected to the internet, it is no longer as secure as it would otherwise be.  How about hackers who hack phones and emails and so on and make private conversations/information/pictures/videos public? How about the implications of losing one of such devices?

I lost a phone last December together with the treasure trove in it – the 16-GB memory card of memories that cannot be replaced. They are gone forever. That hurt! But I have moved on since then and every now and then, I find myself looking for something I think I have – a picture, a file, a song – and then I remember that it used to be on that memory card.


I keep thinking what if I had nude/intimate pictures of my significant other in there – and now the phone is in the hands of someone I don’t know? Scary, isn’t it?

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I know there are ways to guard against such things happening. I should have backed up my stuff, but sometimes we forget. We take things for granted and they become familiar. Routine sets in.

After all, who thinks about losing their phones?

At the end of the day, however, no matter how much importance we place on it, a smartphone is just a tool and it should be treated as such. It’s just like that money quote. People say: “Money is the root of all evil”. The original text, though, says: “The love of money is the root of all evil”. There’s nothing wrong with the smartphones themselves. The problem lies with misuse and abuse; when folks allow them take over their lives, as though they weren’t living before the arrival of the smartphone.

Think about it. What was the first thing you looked at today? What is the last thing you’ll look at before you sleep? If the answer to both is “my (smart) phone”, you might need to double check things.

I’m just saying.

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