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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Is Your Smartphone Eating Your Personal Time?

How smart/ stylish/ trendy are you? These days a lot many people think/ assume that their smartness or social status is defined by the type of smart phone they use. Few years ago the social status was defined by the type/ size of house you own or by the brand of car you own. But these days the focus has shifted on smartphones. There is a huge misconception that the brand of smartphone defines your social status. For example, if you have an iPhone you are assumingly treated as grade A versus if you use any other smartphone then you are a B grader or uncool. The smartphone has really smart features, it has replaced your watch, camera, calendar, alarm clock and what not. But if it is not used wisely then it may have an adverse impact too. It is high time that we really re-look and find out if this smart gadget is impacting our personal life in any way.

Let us look at some of the smart applications that are eating into your personal time:


This app has revolutionized the way people connect with their near and dear ones and old friends/ companions. However one needs to really bring in some sanity into the way one invests time in using this app. For example, ask yourself these hard questions:

  • How much time do you spend forwarding jokes?
  • How much time do you spend reading jokes/ forwards is it these really worth the effort?
  • Are you a part of whatsapp groups which are completely irrelevant to you but you have to be a part of those groups due to social pressure?
  • Have you become addict to checking your whatsapp status? or would you do something really fruitful with the time instead of forwarding or reading stuff on whatsapp?

Youtube/ Voot/ HotStar/ Video based Apps

Video on demand apps are an integral part of smartphones. Few years ago television channels were the only source/ platform on which we depended to watch our favorite programs. Those days are gone. Mobile apps serving videos 24/7 have changed the game. However, as a user we need to caution ourselves by asking these questions:

  • How much time am I spending watching the same video content over and over again? Is it really worth?
  • How has this exposed our children/ young generation to a potential threat by providing them open access to adult content?
  • Is it possible for me avoid watching unnecessary videos and instead spend some quality time with family and friends?
  • Is it possible to be more organized by stipulating the time for watching videos?
  • Each family member getting hooked onto his/ her own smart gadget for long hours is a common sight these days. Is this trend going to impact our personal relationships? Are we sacrificing our personal time unknowingly?

Games/ Dating Apps/ Entertainment Apps

A lot of people get addicted to playing games on the mobile apps, others get addicted to dating apps like Tinder. The widespread use of these apps forces us to ask questions like:
  • Are our children moving away from playing real sports on the playgrounds? Are the mobile apps making them sluggish?
  • Is our younger generation falling prey to dating apps? Do they have the maturity to understand the side effects of using such online tools and sharing personal information? 

Some people treat these mobile apps as stress busters, they have a counter argument that there is nothing wrong in using the smartphone apps once in a while. But what they need to figure out is "how to define and control the frquency of once in a while usage" and check whether the continuous use of smartphone is adding to their fatigue level/ draining their energy.

Here are some signals which indicate that you are overusing your smartphone:

  • Your family members(parents/ spouse/ kids) have started to complain that you are always hooked onto your smartphone.
  • You feel restless if you dont check your smartphone every once in a while. 
  • You dont remember any phone numbers by heart, that is, if you lose your phone you will not be able to recall any phone numbers.
  • You have started to use smartphone for shopping stuff which you could have avoided
  • You keep clicking selfies just because you want to update your display profile picture
  • Your phone is almost out of memory whenever you want to download any educational/ learning/ official video or app

While I am writing this post, I am asking most of these questions to myself and still trying to figure out the right way to use my own smartphone. I am not against the use of smartphones but my point is more on the smart use of the smartphones. 

Smartphones have changed our lives in multiple ways, it has changed the way we shop, book tickets, find directions, perform banking transactions, watch movies, watch live sports, connect with our family and friends etc. With continuous innovation more and more smart features will change the way we work and live our lives.

And yes, I have nothing against any brand, I took the example of iPhone just because it is one of the most widely used high-end smartphones these days. But yes, by no means does your smartphone define your social status, so going beyond your financial capacity and purchasing a high end smartphone like iPhone on loan or EMI is plain foolishness.

Everything has its pros and cons so does smart technology. It is in our hand to use the technology and not allow it to eat into our personal time and personal lives. Let us remember that all of us have only 24 hours in a day, smart gadgets are meant to help us utilize this time in a smart way so that we are able to achieve more. It should not be the other way round.

Other good reads:
The Making Of Olympic Champions
15 Powerful Techniques To Pay Attention In Meetings
20 Effective Work Life Balance Tips For Professionals
39 Key Critical Competencies Of Successful Business Leaders
Is The Digital Revolution Going To Take Away Your Job?