Just six months after IBM made the Simon Personal Communicator hit the market in 1994, it sold approximately 50,000 units. It had limited features and battery life compared to the smartphones of today, but it got the ball rolling for mobile technology innovations. Mobile phones of today are used beyond calling and texting. They have evolved into these super-devices that pack so much computing power and jaw-drop features like high-end camera lenses, HD video recording, comprehensive gaming, music streaming, GPS, internet access, and more.
There will be 3.8 billion mobile phone users out of a global population of 7.9 billion people by 2021. That’s almost half of the world. That’s how revolutionary mobile technology has become. It is integrated seamlessly into our daily lives in terms of communication, productivity, access to data on-demand, entertainment, business, security, and so much more.
Here are ten ways that mobile technology has forever changed the way we live today:
Mobile phones have overtaken the desktop’s popularity because people have become more mobile and global. Internet is no longer an indulgence for a few. It has become a great necessity if you want to keep up with the demands of the times. Mobile phones also afford you most of what desktop computers can do at lesser costs and maintenance.
For instance, most productivity tasks we only got to do on our desktops before can now be done through our mobile. Operations that used to take too much memory and storage space, and require installation of expensive hardware and software, can now be done through mobile phones just like that. You can now edit HD videos with a mobile app, and even do bookkeeping through mobile. Simply amazing.
Mobile phones serve as the main gateway to access the digital community to connect, communicate and conduct their day-to-day routines.
Mobile technology advancements have come through leaps and bounds. We can now link with anyone on earth as long as they have a mobile phone. Through the internet, we even go further. You can even conduct business meetings remotely or attend online classes through a mere messaging app.
You can attach practically almost any file to your emails, or maybe drop them on your cloud storage.
Social media and apps make connections even more engaging and meaningful.
Your mobile phone is like an extension of you. It holds your files, your contacts, access to your email accounts, even eCommerce transactions. You can customise your mobile phone to fit exactly according to your taste, your lifestyle, and your needs.
There is a plethora of mobile applications or apps that you can choose from to boost the level of personalisation of your mobile device. You can also use your mobile device to operate other smart devices remotely, or jack up your phone to other devices such as a smart TV, projector, game controls or AR/VR devices to boost its usability.
Mobile Technology Creates the “Everything” Device
Mobile devices pack a lot of technology in one device, rendering a lot of devices almost obsolete, like the alarm clock, GPS, calculator, pedometer, portable music player, flashlight, calendar and much more. Cameras have also experienced an 87% decline in sales since 2010.
While these gadgets are still available, and some people may still be using them, but for most of us, we rely on our phones and our apps like an Everything-Device we can conveniently carry with us everywhere. Technology within reach, our phones are even becoming a point of sale or payment, and control smart devices or smart homes. The competition in smartphones have also caused a drop in smartphone prices and an increase in specs and features. It is no longer that difficult for people to have a high-end, powerful smartphone in their hands.
Online Banking and eCommerce
Online banking and shopping have now become mainstream. At the tip of one’s finger, you can now access your bank accounts, transfer funds, pay bills, and do online shopping. eCommerce is now a $4.13 trillion industry, and there are no signs of it slowing down. By 2021, it will be a $4.88 trillion industry, and so more and more companies are developing robust online systems to handle all eCommerce transactions happening daily.
It is no wonder why cybercriminals target this industry the hardest too. Identity fraud, cyber theft, phishing emails, malware and data breach are just some of these attacks aimed at eCommerce sites to steal people’s identities and money. Hence, the importance of cybersecurity in businesses today.
Education Gone Mobile
Mobile technology has pervaded the education industry as well. The flexibility and usefulness of these devices are making it suitable for Distance Learning. Students can now learn remotely regardless of distance by connecting through the internet. Teachers and facilitators can use mobile technology to make classes more engaging and flexible.
Mobile Learning (m-learning) allows learning mobility, as students can carry learning content in different formats ( text, audio and video). Different Learning Management Systems (LMS) are also available, like Google Classroom, Edmodo and Moodle.
Classes can keep communicating through messaging apps as well. Like recently, the popularity of Zoom has sky-rocketed as people are confined to their homes on stay-at-home or lockdown orders.
Through mobile technology, education has become personalised, with real-time assessment and introduction of innovative prictices have become the bar.
Information Gateway at Your Fingertips
We now have the ability to find information when we need it. As long as we have network access, we can check our emails and messages anywhere we are. We can get whatever sort of information we need on the internet, be updated on current events, receive emergency alerts, satisfy your entertainment needs, and have access to self-enrichment materials.
You can watch shopping items when they go on sale, link your rewards and loyalty memberships to your phone for instant access, shop cashless, and fulfill other eCommerce needs all with the use of our smartphones.
There is no doubt that smartphones have added value to our lives.
Mobile technologies have become increasingly pervasive in our lives. Yes, the benefits of mobile technology have been great, but our heavy usage and reliance on our gadgets have negative effects too, particularly on people’s mental health.
Staying connected at all times is actually adding stress to people’s lives, according to research. Excessive mobile phone usage has a negative effect on our society. Too much screen time, for example, affects children’s development, education, family relationships, and social interaction.
Responsible gadget use is increasingly becoming more difficult. People are more distracted these days due to their mobile devices. There is also an information overload, and it can cause people to be desensitized on pressing issues.
Mobile phone addiction is a new addiction in today’s society. Nomophobia is a the phobia of being out of contact with your mobile phone. It is the irrational fear of not being able to use your phone for reasons such as lack of signal, low battery power, and the like. 50% of teens admit to being addicted to their phones. Research is alsoshowing that people addicted to mobile phones are prone to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
Experts are also seeing a correlation between excessive gadget use and cancer. For example, people who have several hours of talk time are 50% prone to developing brain cancer.
Radio waves emitted by mobile phones at about 220 electromagnetic impulses per minute can be harmful to the brain if the impact is continued and prolonged. Aside from the risks of cancer from excessive use, mobile phones can also affect our nervous system.
Some symptoms include headaches, inattentiveness, hyperactivity, irritability, depression and sleep disorders. These are more evident among teenagers.
One obvious effect on a person’s health is the harm it can bring to one’s eyes. Excessive use can damage clarity of vision.
Doctors are also recommending decreased phone use for pregnant and lactating women and children. Men are also advised by medical researchers to keep their phones away from their pockets, as waves emitted by the phone may have harmful effects on the male reproductive system.
Getting likes and follows have been discovered to cause a kind of high that illegal substances give. It is very addictive, and it’s compromising not just physical health but also mental health. Some young people are experiencing anxiety and depression due to the lack of social connections, that they try to fill with mobile-phone activities. As a result, these people become detached even more from the real world.
Anything excessive can be harmful. And with powerful devices such as mobile gadgets, cation needs to be practiced.
Increased Security Risks
Mobile phones are the new prey of choice for cyberattackers. It’s easier to hack than desktop PCs, and because of all the sensitive personal information a mobile phone contains, it’s the most profitable to hack. Personal information includes login credentials and banking details. Hackers can’t wait to either sell that sort of information or use it to steal from vicitms.
Malicious code can also be integrated into free apps and become an entry point for ransomware or Trojan attacks.
Sadly, amid these threats, a majority of people don’t take the necessary security protection for their mobile devices. A lot of executives are targeted for company secrets. By 2021, damages from mobile app attacks and data breaches will reach $1.5 billion.
Everyone who has a phone need to know the different ways they can be hacked and how they fight the attacks.
Conclusion: Optimise the Good Benefits of Mobile Technology
Despite the negative impacts of mobile technology, it is now here and will be here to stay. Much like every tool, it can be used for good and for bad. As much as we can get the best benefits from mobile technology, we can also be exposed to harm by it. Mobile technology will continue to be developed, will continue to make our lives easier, and will connect us tighter. We have to remain vigilant on the harmful impacts with the misuse of the technology and optimise the added value that mobile technology brings.