Opinion: Smartphones for smart bones

Matthew Bertovich

Matthew Bertovich

Matthew Bertovich is a junior psychology major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

People say we would be doomed without our smartphones, but is this really a bad thing?

Staying connected is very important and not only for social purposes. I could write a whole article on how social networking has changed our lives, but that isn’t the focus this week. Social apps on smartphones help us to maintain acquaintances with old friends and classmates that would otherwise not withstand the test of time.

People go their separate ways after high school — it’s a fact of life — and it would be nearly impossible to effectively connect with these people if it weren’t for Facebook and Twitter. Some argue that these relationships aren’t meaningful, but I have to disagree. I’d rather know a friend is doing just fine by viewing a picture of him half-naked at some college party, instead of worrying about his health because I don’t have time to call him on the phone. Quickly scrolling down my news feed is a time-efficient way to keep tabs on the people you kind of still care about.

It is important to stay connected regarding non-social matters as well. Weather apps keep us informed of dangerous weather. CNN, or your local news station’s app, will automatically send a notification if a child is abducted or a criminal is on the loose in your area. Being in the loop has never been a bad thing and cell phones help keep us there.

Phones keep us from getting lost, too. Ever watch an old movie and see somebody unfold a paper map across the hood of his or her car because they need to figure out how to get where they were going? This is like riding horseback, or getting to see a good M. Night Shyamalan movie: It’s become old, unrecognizably foreign behavior. But this is for the best. That piece of paper in the depths of your glove compartment won’t account for construction detours or heavy traffic, but your smartphone will. Turn-by-turn navigation via GPS will automatically calculate the fastest, shortest or cheapest — your choice — way to get you where you need to be.

The convenience a smartphone brings to everyday life is immeasurable. Knowledge is available with a quick web search; experts say this enhances and augments human intelligence. It has improved reading, writing and the rendering of knowledge. Calendars keep our schedules organized. Built-in cameras capture memories forever. Music, games, movies and TV keep us entertained.

It certainly is dangerous when you think about how dependent we are on a reliable source of energy and Internet that can keep us all connected. Besides that fact, cell phones are generally good for us.

Ultimately, a phone saves us time. That time can be used for … insert your 5-hour Energy montage here. Next time someone tries to tell you things were better back in their day, ask them what the capital of Djibouti is. While they drive to the library and hope to find a book containing the information, laugh while you Google the answer in about three seconds. Smartphones and advancements in technology are doing just that: improving and advancing the human race.