Mass adaptation of the smartphone has really only taken place over the last 10 years, but now that they have become an everyday part of our lives, it is almost impossible to imagine how we could have lived without them. But remarkably, there really was a time when we had to meet the everyday challenges of life without one. Here are 10 ways in which smartphones have made our lives better.
10. You Never Have to Worry About Getting Lost
Back in the “old days,” when you traveled, you needed to bring along a map or even stop at a gas station to ask for directions. But thanks to GPS on our smartphones, navigating has never been easier. In fact, the ability to download individual city maps means we know exactly where we are in real-time and can figure out how to reach our destination, even if it is in the boondocks.
9. Healthy Habits
Want to develop better eating habits? Looking to track the distance you walk, including time and calories burned? Seeking a fitness plan that works best for you? You can find a variety of smart phone apps that can help you reach your weight loss goals or just maintain your healthy, active lifestyle.
8. Boredom Has Gone Out the Window
Before smart phones, when waiting at the doctor’s office, DMV or for your friends to show up, your only options, respectively, were to read boring, outdated issues of Better Homes & Gardens, count the cracks in the ceiling or pace around while constantly checking your watch. But with smartphones, your entertainment choices are virtually infinite. You can kill time by playing addictive games, watching movies and read articles from your favorite websites. Heck, as you are watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones on your smart phone, sometimes you practically pray that the doctor will be another 60 minutes late to see you!
7. Every Random Question and Argument Can Be Solved in Seconds
Know that the capital of Vermont is Montpelier but your know-it-all friend is 100% certain that it is Burlington? Unless you carried around a stack of encyclopedias with you everywhere back in 1996, there was no way to settle any of these arguments. But thanks to your smartphone, you can use Google to prove that you’re right and rub it in your friend’s face! Do you hear a song at a cafe and it’s driving you nuts that you can’t figure out the name? Apps such as Shazam can end this mystery instantly!
6. Every Spontaneous Moment Can Be Shared with the World
Back in the pre-smart phone “dark ages”, pretty much the only time people carried around a camera was when they were on vacation or attending an event. Even then, the pictures that were developed were left to collect dust in a photo album. But today, virtually every spontaneous event – whether it is an amazing sunset or even a rowdy passenger causing trouble on an airplane – is captured via smart phone and uploaded onto Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. In fact, these videos and photos have even been used to bring down oppressive governments, as could be seen during the Arab Spring.
5. Emergency Alert Capabilities
Thanks to smart phones, construction workers, social workers and even college students can send out an emergency signal when they find themselves in a literal life-or-death situation. A mass alert system can be integrated into your smart phone apps, allowing you to contact help when you are injured at work or find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. In this case, not only have smart phones changed lives, they have literally saved them!
4. Easy Vacation Planning
Once upon a time, planning a vacation was so complicated that it was best left to the tourist agencies to book your plane tickets, hotel, car rental and events. But with smart phones, you can plan your entire itinerary in mere minutes. Apps like Booking.com allow you to find a hotel based on location, price range and reputation. You can also use apps to hunt for the best deals on plane tickets and rental cars. Plus e-tickets and pdf files with confirmation information means you don’t have to carry around a folder with a bunch of paperwork.
3. Your Friendship and Dating Options Have Expanded
Looking for somebody to get a coffee with? Facebook’s Nearby Friends feature makes it possible to find out who is wandering around your neck of the woods. Spending the week in Berlin? The Couch Surfing app lets you find locals and other travelers to hang out with. Tinder is an easy-to-use application lets you introduce yourself to potential dates, and vice versa. With smart phones, it has never been easier to enhance your social life.
2. Endless Music Options
Some of you might recall the days when listening to a particular song meant flipping through your CD case binder. Older folks might even remember when you had to rewind or fast forward a cassette tape. But smart phones allow you to listen to music through Spotify and other streaming services, or even download and store thousands of songs.
1. You are Always Connected With Friends and Family
Have you discovered a cozy cafe and thought it would be nice to invite a few friends to join you? Once upon a time, these kinds of imprompt get-togethers would have been impossible unless you had a bunch of coins to use a pay phone and your friends all happened to be at home. Is your spouse on a business trip, but you need to ask him/her an important question? Today we’d use a smart phone to call or text them whenever we want, but in the past it would only be possible to contact them in the evening or early morning when they happened to be in their hotel room. The bottom line is that we are all always conveniently connected no matter where we are.