“America’s Smartphone Addiction Is Now An Epidemic,” was the first Forbes article I stumbled onto today. It’s actually a snippet of information supporting the Cartoon of the Day. The article points to a study by Deloitte that claims Americans look at their smartphones more than 9 billion times daily.
First, I can recognize a click-bait title when I see one.
Aside from that, enough with the gloom and doom predictions about smartphone usage. It’s called personal responsibility.
Say it with me… “personal responsibility”.
Let’s stop blaming technology or anything else for our fails. I can blame my dieting struggles on the prevalence of fast food restaurants and the ease with which I can go to a drive-through and buy a burger, fries and a drink. Or I can suck it up, recognize that my behavior is to blame, go buy some groceries and make myself a meal. Do I hate cooking? Yes. So I can make myself an amazing salad or buy some healthy prepared meals. It just takes effort and taking responsibility for my actions. Because no one is forcing me to go eat at the golden arches.
The easy route is always to blame someone, something, anything. And I absolutely abhor excuses and blaming. Think about it. If we allocated the same amount of energy to fixing that we do to blaming and making excuses, most of us wouldn’t have something or someone to blame anymore.
Smartphones Give You Freedom
Smartphones have enabled people to have the freedom to be anywhere and work. I travel a large part of the year with my family cross country in our RV. It’s an amazing adventure and one I could never do without a smartphone. I can answer questions from my team while waiting in the lobby for a meeting with a client. I can take my family to the zoo and not skip a beat on emails while my husband drives us there.
One of my favorite apps to run my business is Basecamp. I can manage and view every project we have going on with every team and client we work with from my phone including tasks, meetings, messaging and updates. I can run a report on every single thing being worked on and see who has done what, give feedback, respond to messages and basically run the entire opp from my phone. It’s pretty insane and I love it.
All it takes is a killer app that gives you what you need to make you more productive and the freedom to work wherever and however you like.
Smartphones Give You Information
Have I told you how much I really can’t stand to cook? This information junkie loves to learn, but cooking is not one of those things I WANT to learn to do well. I know the basics and as of this moment, barring a really cool recipe that I come across (on my phone), I generally am disinterested in learning anything new about cooking. So when it’s time to whip up a meal, I pull up my AllRecipes App, enter my ingredients on hand, and voila, a list of recipes for me to choose appears! Remember what it was like to struggle through pages in a cookbook or you file of recipes? For me it was torture, but now that information is at my fingertips.
My youngest son uses his phone for school work, for research and for entertainment. Since we travel a lot, it enables him to stay in touch with all of his friends across the country. They chat, they video chat and they play games together. It has also enabled him to stay close to his older brother who is grown and married.
You Are In Control
You control exactly how much of an impact Smartphones get to make in your life and in your family’s life. As parents we sometimes choose not to allow them during mealtime from anyone. It forces us to talk to each other. And at other times, we will encourage checking the news on our phones so we can discuss what we read and what is going on in the world. In fact, it is a great conversation starter. Again, we control what impact, if any, the phones have on our time together.
My son is also monitored on what and how he uses his phone. While I am a huge fan of Snapchat and what it can do for your brand, I am first and foremost a mom. This mami isn’t about to allow her kid to be exposed to the sickos that still make the app their playground for general grossness and harassment. He doesn’t get Snapchat and that is all. If he really wants it, we can come up with a plan where he can only snap with approved profiles (ie friends and family we know). I don’t care that he can delete his snaps with them forever. Kids and people in general have conversations all the time where they say things you may not be too happy to know about. But as long as he understands the rules, like if he ever thinks of sending anything inappropriate, I will end him, then we’re good.
PCMag did a roundup of the The Best Parental Control Apps for Your Phone of 2016. Check them out and get something set up for your kid. Will it take some time to figure out? Of course. Is it worth your time? Yeppers.
If you don’t take care of business, whether it’s establishing usage rules for yourself and your family or setting up safety features for your children, then you have only yourself to blame, not the Smartphone industry.