Do Smartphones Hurt your Productivity?

decrease business productivity

The advent of the 21st century truly mimicked the Industrial Revolution in all its glory. The exponential outburst of telecommunication technology and the internet led to the widespread use of gadgets that operated on the same.

With almost two decades in, we have established a plethora of devices that help us access these facilities and use them to our benefits. The context of the topic under discussion deals with the use of smartphones in recent times.

These recent technologies, especially the smartphone has been subjected to tremendous juvenoia by the generation that didn’t see its benefits. This has resulted into a modern time pop debate of ‘Whether Smartphones hurt the user’s productivity?’ Around the world there are 7.19 billion smartphone users and an average person can spend up to 4.1 hours each day thus greatly affect productivity if time isn’t well spent.

The intent of creation of technology of any kind is always to increase productivity; hence by the very definition of technology, the prior argument of decreasing productivity should not stand. Internet via smartphone, after all, provides an access to hundreds and millions of documents and files that can be read, used or manipulated by multiple users at the same time. The device also acts as the ultimate method of communication and provides access to navigation, calculators, notes, reminders, alarms and much more depending on the model, in the palm of one’s hand.

Yet, you will find, even the opposition to the said theme constantly reiterating that Smartphones, “when used with the right intent”, are devices of extreme productivity. The use of phrases such as “if used properly,” “if used under guidance,” “if not handled by minors,” “if used with care,” etc. harm their arguments substantially. The ones who believe that Smartphones do harm productivity constantly nitpick on these phrases, which is even a bad practice in debate, still works in favour of convincing similar minds.

Just like all the modern-day pop culture debates, the answer to this question is not a simple one, however it is pretty easy to comprehend. It will be a cop out to say, ‘it depends on the user,’ but it will be naive to reject that reasoning. One-way smartphones with the ease of access to internet it provides, can be detrimental to productivity is the present paradigm of social media and social media marketing. This newer emerging system does focus a lot on public outreach and the number of clicks they receive, which makes them create click baiting content, the sheer volume of which is a problem. The blasting meme culture and internet quips are easy baits to engage audience in for a long time, which results in “lack of productivity”.

Yes, it is true that utilising this content is a choice of the user, but conformity of the mass is indeed a social pressure to engage in certain social media quips.

Any other phenomenon that may be discussed under this banner, that does not involve social media does have substantial arguments against it, some of which are the key points of importance and benefits of Smartphones.

Humans are lazy and the phones help to feed their laziness. Ever wondered why you find yourself playing Clash of Clans or completing that last level on Colour Switch, when you could just study or work?

And it is not just about work, phones reduce your social interaction as well. That is lowering your productivity in a way. When was the last time you had a good meal at a nice restaurant without snapping it to your friends? Or when was the last time everyone in your group had their phones in their bag? It is probably hard to remember. Phones haven’t just reduced our work productivity, but have restricted us to keep staring at the 6-inch screen for the entire day. So, smartphones are both a boon and a bane, and if you know how to extract the best out of it, it won’t hamper your productivity.

Basically, everything boils down to one thing – Smartphones are productivity if you intend to use them in the right way. If you want to do something important, better leave your phone out of it.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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