How Smartphones Changed the World
As 2024 begins, we are now almost a quarter of the way through the 21st century. Time flies, history is literally passing before our eyes and it is important that, as individuals, we are aware of all the changes which have happened due to technological advancements. 110 years ago, the world was still run mainly by empires, kings and queens, but after the World Wars, democracy bloomed and we continue to reap the ‘benefits’ of this through technology. The internet changed the world as we know it, and smartphones gave everyone access to the internet, which is now just a tap of a screen away.
The Advent of the Modern Mobile Phone
The first smartphone was introduced in 1994 by IBM. However, it wasn’t until the lesser-known Treo 180 by Handspring in 2002, which was when a mobile phone first supported access to the internet. Following this, technology continued to develop rapidly, and in the late 2000s/early 2010s, mobile phone companies began implementing touch screens onto their products.
The Millennials were probably the last generation to enjoy a childhood which didn’t revolve around mobile phone technology, with such smartphones which we see today only introduced when the latest millennials were hitting their late teenage years.
Technology as a Learning Tool
In the United Kingdom, there are now what are called iPad schools. These schools supply their students with iPads which the students can bring to school and take home. The majority of the lessons are taught using the iPads, which makes learning quicker, easier and more fun, at least according to the students. It also ensures that pupils do not necessarily need to rely on their teacher as much as they may have had to in the past.
Of course, there is no shortage of apps which are dedicated to teaching, the majority of which are free to download. In 2024, there are apps which can teach you about Ancient Rome and other historical subjects, Art and pretty much anything else you can think of. The average person has never in the history of humankind had so much information at our fingertips.
Online Gaming at Your Fingertips
As well as offering the opportunity to learn, smartphones are increasingly used to access numerous forms of entertainment. From Netflix to Disney Plus, smartphones are the key to 21st century entertainment, especially with mobile plans which can offer unlimited internet access included. Mobile gaming is now the most popular type of gaming in the world, mostly due to the fact that over 50% of the global population will have a smartphone in 2024.
Mobile gaming varies, but the most popular games are the free-to-play apps which make money from in-app purchases. 2024 is also likely to see an increase in the number of gamers playing at mobile slot sites, at least according to SlotsHawk, one of the UK’s foremost experts on online slots. However, India is the biggest market for companies who are looking to make money from smartphone users.
The Downsides of Smartphones
In October 2023, the UK government announced that the use of mobile smartphones are to be banned during the school day and break times. This is set to happen as it is believed that it will help to limit disruptive behaviour, online bullying as well as boost attention during lessons. Other European countries including France, Portugal and Italy have already banned the use of smartphones during school time. The government has also stated that if schools fail to implement bans, then they will legislate in the future to make the guidance statutory.
Smartphone addiction is also a real phenomenon which is an obsessive use of smartphone devices. The rise of smartphone use has been termed as natural in modern life. However, it can also cause negative consequences.
For example, bad news is never far away, and with smartphones you literally have an unlimited amount of negative news in your pocket. Fortunately, an ever-increasing number of people are now questioning their excessive use of smartphones and are doing what they can to limit their use.
The Uncertain Future
Depending on which perspective you look at it, smartphones are either one of humanity’s best inventions, or one of its worst. Like most things, it depends on how this new technology is used. Most things can be used for good or for bad, and we each bear responsibility for our own lives.