Technology has changed so much in the past several decades that it’s nearly impossible to keep track of it all. We can stay at home and work from a virtual meeting room on Zoom. We file our taxes online when we used to send them physically through the mail. Video game graphical representations of people are indiscernible from actual humans.
But no item has changed the world in the 21st century, for good and bad, more than the cellphone. Name an activity, and you can probably do it on your smartphone. From taking notes to using GPS tracking to get to your vacation destination, the possibilities are endless.
This also means cellphones have become a major distraction at times that they should be put away. Cellphones have been one of the major culprits for car accidents, especially for teenage drivers. Do cellphone tickets affect insurance? And is it possible to stay focused on the road with your phone in the seat right next to you?
Driving isn’t the only task that has been made more difficult due to cellphones. We’ll talk about all the other things phones have altered in our lives and whether the future looks bright or dim due to their presence.
Good Way #1: Communication
Smartphones have been imperative for connecting people in their daily lives, and especially for being able to communicate in their darkest moments. The pandemic made it so people were isolated from their loved ones, sometimes even sick relatives in the hospital. Being positive was difficult without the help of technology.
Phones and computer technology made it simple to FaceTime someone so you not only talked to them but also saw their face. If COVID-19 would have struck the world in past decades, there would have been no way for people to say goodbye to one another for the last time.
Phones were the saving grace in keeping us sane during these troubling times. They provided a way to maintain our social skills and see that there was more to the world than our living rooms.
Social media played a huge role in connecting society, too. Videos of quarantine activities at home and funny memes all made the gloomy times seem better. Without phone technology, there’s no determining how much worse everyone’s mental health would have been. Phones made everyone seem just a little closer to the important people in life.
Bad Way #1: Dangerous Distraction
The immersive effect phones have on us can also be dangerous. When we are glued to the phone screen instead of the real world around us, sometimes bad things can happen. Distracted driving has seen a tremendous increase since phones become a normal part of our lives.
Young drivers who have a lot of friends especially struggle with putting their phones away while they are driving. This leads to a lot of accidents, tickets, and insurance increases. Parents have to worry about whether their kids are going to come home safe much more often than when there weren’t cellphones.
It’s hard to take away your child’s cellphone when they are driving because they should always be able to contact people while away from home. Driving privileges may need to be revoked until your teen driver can figure out how to put their cellphone away on the road.
Signing them up for a defensive driving class may be a great way to teach them how to take the road seriously. Bluetooth headsets and other technology are a great way to allow for hands-free communication while on the road. Most vehicles are equipped with technology allowing drivers to talk without a phone.
Good Way #2: Keeping Your Life Organized
Before smartphones came along, people had to put all their plans and notes on sticky notes. Maybe they used the physical calendars they bought at the grocery store. Phones have made it so much easier to keep track of everything important happening in life.
It’s a one-stop shop for every essential activity in life. Passwords for your credit cards and bank accounts no longer get lost in a stack of junk on your dresser. The anniversaries and birthdays for the months will be right in your face with notifications from your phone. It’s one of the simplest ways phones have made daily life much easier.
There is never a chance of losing this information unless you lose your phone, which is prone to happen every so often. Make sure you keep your phone in the same place, like your pocket or purse, so you can make a habit of retrieving it.
Bad Way #2: People Lose Sight of the World
Phones have helped people capture moments that never would have been possible decades ago. Vacations to the Hawaiian islands can now live forever in video form. Graduation ceremonies and parties are permanently ingrained in the phones of parents, aunts, and uncles.
The problem with this phenomenon is we never get to live in the moment and see the event that is happening through our own eyes. We are so focused on getting the right angle on our phones that we miss the joy happening right in front of us. There is no better camera than our own eyes and brains. Memories are more vibrant when they come naturally.
The next time a big event happens, it would do everyone some good to snap a few shots, and then get back in the present. This type of mindfulness will make the things that happen to us live on much longer than a camera video can. That’s because phones can’t capture the emotions we are feeling or the goosebumps on our arms.
Hopefully, we can all learn to use our phones in moderation. They are a tremendous asset to our daily lives, but we have often let them become overwhelming. Cellphones should be a complement to the things that happen to us, not become the entire event.
As phones continue to evolve and get even more advanced, there’s no telling how we’ll react to the future of cellphone involvement in human life.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. He wants to make sure that people learn all of the ways their car insurance is affected by modern technology.