Smartphones: Aids or Distractions?

A concept I find fascinating is the convergence of phone calls, messages, photos, apps, games, the internet, and social media on our smartphones. This could be considered a positive way in which digital technology has developed, as we are now able to access a variety of different things on a single device. However, there are some negative aspects of this type of convergence.

For example, work and social lives together have been merged together because of the mobile phone. It seems that social media such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and iMessage are becoming major platforms for discussing work scheduling, talking to colleagues about meetings and a whole array of other work-related conversations. One of your group messages on Facebook, for instance, may be friends socialising, and another is made up of fellow students in this seminar who are discussing when to meet up to prepare for the presentation. This means that going onto your phone to socialise and take your mind off work is difficult, because a message from a colleague could pop up any minute and again bring your mind back to your work, which can be stressful. This is also the same vice-versa – you may be writing a document or doing ‘essential reading’ for this module on your phone, but a message from a friend pops up which distracts you from the work you need to be doing. Therefore, the convergence on our smartphones could act as a distraction rather than something which is extremely useful to us.

Work Social Life


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