Technology Effect and Emerging Technologies: SmartPhone Technology
This work will examine the introduction of the Smart Phone technology and its impact on organizations, markets and society. This work will answer the questions of: (1) What was the state of the industry and society prior to the implementation? (2) How did the technology come to be used? (3) How did organizations initially respond? Did they embrace or fight it? (4) How did the public respond to the new technology? (5) How was the market changed? Did the technology create new markets and products? And (6) How did the government respond? Was legislation changed or created in response? What effect did this have?
The work of Arthur (2011) states that smartphones "allow you to do almost everything a PC can do -- and make calls as well." The Smartphone applications are many and as well are such that enable individuals to live a more stress free life. Included in Smartphone applications are those such as 'Glucose Buddy' reported as an application that enables those with diabetes to take their blood sugar level readings anywhere they like. (Arthur, 2011, paraphrased) Reports state that approximately 23 million individuals owned a Smartphone in the beginning of year 2011.
I. Smartphone Capabilities
Smartphones can connect to the internet, hold data, run programs and help individuals organize their lives. Prior to 2010, PCs had outsold smartphones. In the first quarter of 2010, 85 million PCs were sold in comparison to 55 million smartphones however, in the last quarter of 2010 there were 94 million PCs sold compared to 100 million smartphones sold. It is reported that it is the beliefs of analysts "that the trend will never reverse." (Arthur, 2011) Near-field communication is being built into smartphones that allows the individual to pay for small items by pressing a button. It is reported that today's Smartphone "would have been the most powerful computer in the world in 1985." (Arthur, 2011)
II. Negative Aspects of the Smartphone
Some negative aspects of the Smartphone in terms of its impact in daily life are addressed in this study and the first is that related in the work of Robinson (2010) who states that it has been "modestly publicized that using smartphones has odd effects on the brain. The brain has evolved to unconsciously anticipate activity that originates from places that it has learned are relevant to survival…" Robinson additionally reports that there are existing studies on the effects of texting in teenagers and specifically states "…arguably the first demographic to fully embrace the new method of communication, concluded that the concrete social anticipation combined with the chemical reward that came with receiving, opening and replying to the message was what made it so addicting. Smartphones, with their unprecedented amount of offerings, take that subconscious formula and multiply it many, many times; a crippled ability to be in the moment and retain learned ideas are just a few documented consequences of long-term use." (2010) The largest area of concern according to Robinson's report is the effect on the child's "developing brain…." Yet, some parents have reported witnessing "positive educational effects' from their children's use of the Smartphone. (2010)
II. Psychology on the Smartphone
In a separate report entitled "Is Your Smartphone Stealing Your Life?" It is stated by Nancy Collier, psychotherapist, interfaith minister, writer and public speaker as follows: "The most frequent complaint that I hear in my psychotherapy practice these days is that people feel estranged from their own lives, unable to enter their experience -- as if they are ghosts, floating outside the experience of life itself. Their life is happening and time is passing, but they are not exactly the ones living it, at least not directly. Our cultural disease is one of absence, as if our own presence has gone missing from life." (Collier, 2005) According to Collier, "technology is now a powerful extension of the human mind. Technology captures life but simultaneously keeps us out of it." (Collier, 2005)
Collier states that there are many parents who miss their child's performance at many events because they are so busy attempting to capture the performance on a mobile device. While the Smartphone is an amazing tool for organizational aspects of life, according to Collier the following is an important consideration when making the choice to use a Smartphone:
"Experience lived through a recording device cannot become a part of us on a cellular level. We can't own our experience because it is not own-able, not in a concrete sense. How can we feel like we are IN our life if we are not there when it is happening? In order to feel present in our life, we have to show up. We refuse the sweetness and nourishment that is life directly experienced, and then we wonder why we are starving for connection and meaning! When we record life through technology, we end up with one thing: a lot of technology. We have 16 gigabytes of memory, but no real memories of our life. It is we who are missing out on this great adventure that our smartphones proudly display. We end up with a kind of pseudo-ownership of own life; our life exists in the iPhoto file, but not inside our own being." (Collier, 2005)
III. Intrusive Social Life on Family Life Due to Smartphone Observed in Study
The Smartphone has impacted the family and this is related in a case study report on a man who is a businessman working in London and father as well. This man commutes on the train for one hour per day and has a Smartphone via his company perks. This man is reported as getting "caught up in the spiral of checking work messages on the go." (Jale, 2011) The man's two teenage children additionally have smartphones and spend a great deal of time "…on net working sites, chatting and messaging different friends. Building their social network, playing the online games and other fun apps, which are available. The Mum has a Smartphone. She works part-time in a small business and uses her phone the least. She is a member of Facebook and does spend time chatting to friends online either on the laptop or on her Smartphone." (Jale, 2011) The family's typical evening is described as follows:
"The children get home from school, their Mum is cooking the dinner. The two children head off to their respective bedrooms and connect up to the family Wi-Fi through their phones. They hit the social networking sites and start chatting to friends online, they may also play a few games.
"Dad comes in just before dinner, says hello to the wife and the Mum dishes the dinner up. The Dad has an important message on his Smartphone and heads off with his dinner to the study to check the message and finish some work. The two children come downstairs, take their dinners and head back to their rooms to eat, they don't want to miss anything their friends are saying. The Mum sits at the dinner table. Alone. No one has asked each other how their days were, no one has said anything except hello. The evening progresses. The Mum has gone to the lounge to watch her favorite soap. The Dad is caught up in the study with his business messages. The two children are having a fun time chatting about mundane things online with their friends." (Jale, 2011)
The case study reporter asks the following: " Is this the way family life should be? Is this a healthy way for families to act? Personally I believe family interaction is important. It's important to spend quality time with each other, chatting or doing an activity, watching a film together, but with the advent of the Smartphone I believe this scenario will be getting more and more common." (Jale, 2011) While only a family can choose how they interact with one another or even fail to interact the next part of the case study report should touch a nerve in everyone in the following, which is an assumed potential situation in view of Smartphone capabilities:
"The final scene I want to set for you is of the night out at the pub with friends. You arrange to meet up at the pub at 8pm. There are 6 of you in total. All but one of you has a Smartphone. You all arrive, one of you buys a round and you settle down at a table to have a catch up and a laugh. One of your smartphones goes off. Then another and before you know it nearly everyone is online with their phones checking facebook and booking in at the pub! The person who doesn't have a Smartphone, sits and tries their hardest to make conversation with the others but they only respond in grunts and the odd "yes" and "no." The Smartphone has them hooked. For some reason they are more interested in checking their messages than they are in actually…