Take a minute and ask yourself: does engaging with apps on your mobile phone really make life easier or does it take too much time from your life?
I actually took more than one minute to finally, reluctantly, settle down on some sort of an answer. I would say that mobile apps have made my life easier but only under certain circumstances, because I also have to admit to the fact that sometimes it has taken too much time from my life. As much convenience mobile apps can bring upon our lives, the tendency to develop nomophobia also isn’t unfamiliar to us.
There are over one billion smartphone users worldwide today. It is estimated that by the year 2013, there will be more smartphones than human beings in the world. Although mobile phones can be of immense help to making our lives easier or more productive. For example, you can check and reply to urgent emails when you are riding on the metro or shopping at the mall. It can also help you kill time and keep you away from boredom by giving you access to numerous social media platforms and games. Yet, there are also several negative impacts if it isn’t used effectively or within self-control. It is easy for a person to develop into a mobile phone addict where they will display agitation or disturbance if they don’t have their mobile device with them at all times. This condition will worsen and in exchange, it will affect everything, from work and studies to one’s personal health.
According to a data by Flurry, mobile phone users went from spending only 43 minutes on mobile apps in June 2010 to a drastic increase of 94 minutes in December 2011. Also, the average number of apps installed on each smartphone was 32 in 2011 but that number has grown to 41 in 2012. Part of the research report also provided insight into which mobile app categories were the most popular. Not surprisingly, social networking and gaming combined take up to 79% of the total time consumed, this offers an interesting perspective on what mobile app users really do on their phones, they play. It’s quite frightening how many other, more productive and healthy things you could be doing instead of having your eyes glued on the screen, it’s definitely something to think about.
To see if you display symptoms and signs that you are an mobile phone/information addict, here is a quick self-check quiz:
- Do you check email, Facebook, news, or some other social network on your mobile phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night?
- Are you constantly on your mobile phone when you’re away from home/office/class?
- Are you constantly posting to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or texting/emailing, when meeting with other people?
- Are you unable to get important work done because you are always checking your mobile phone messages?
If you answered yes to one or more of the items listed above, here is a helpful survival guide that will help you to stay independent from the online world.
I know it isn’t possible to stay 100% away from mobile phone and apps now, it is just ability of being able to use it within a reasonable time frame and use the apps that will actually bring productivity to your lives. Here are 13 free iPhone applications recommended by Mashable that are useful in assisting with our everyday tasks. Other than the common practical apps such as flashlight, my favorites among them are the Easy Envelope Budget Aid, which allows me to keep a close eye on my monthly spending. I am also tempted to download the Decide Now! App, which is the perfect app for all the indecisive decision-makers like me out there.
Now that you have some time to think about it and also took the quick quiz to see how mobile phone/information addicted you are, do you think you are you able to find a balance between using mobile apps to enhance the quality of your life or do you let these apps take control over you?