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A 2009 research from R.I.M , the Blackberry producers on the efficiency of using smartphones in Europe, N . America, Asia Pacific & Latin America found that :
The average Blackberry smartphone user saves an average 60 min a day.
(5 hours a week ) focusing on areas of saving time and increasing productivity.
By saving time productivity increased by 38%.
40% of Blackberry users would use the extra 60 min a day on administrative tasks.
34% of users used the time on sales and marketing
For personal use 32% of the users spent the time to relax more, 24% spent that time with the family while 44% spent the time social networking and
listening to music.
SMARTPHONES & COMMUNICATIONIN THE WORKPLACE Smartphones allow for flexible faster communication, access to and sharing of information in business and the workplace. What are their effects on business and how do they affect the workplace ?
Through the use of various applications, one can access important information and relay it faster than ever before and at cheaper rates. eg Stock Market feeds, Share indexes.
Means people can even work off premise or on the move.
70% of workers with smartphones regularly check e – mail outside normal business hours.
43% of workers connect to e – mail on smartphones to get ahead and ease their work load for the following day.
Danger of intellectual or data theft via smartphones camera , bluetooth and the ever imminent danger of cyber attacks, hacking which might adversely affect a company if there are not enough adequate security measures put in place.
Ted Schadler, a principal analyst for Forester Research, noted that the use of smartphones puts firms at jeopardy security wise and makes them somewhat vulnerable.
Research by a team from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2007 showed the use of smartphones has a negative impact on the workplace such as not meeting deadlines due to the division of concentration between work and the smartphone.
Tendency of people not paying attention in meetings because of smartphones which is rude & is a hindrance.
Create distractions and end up costing companies money.
Smartphones & social engagement It is irrefutable that smartphones have revolutionized the evolution of web 2.0.Most consumers buy smartphones solely for their social networking abilities and with some manufacturers packaging them with free internet their effects on society are bound to be noticeable.
Social network sites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Linked In encourage social interaction.
Applications like Skype are keeping families and friends in touch for free .
The average smartphone user has an average of more than 100 digital friends across the various multiple platforms.
Research has shown that those aged 14- 21 are compelled to have a number of friends or they end up feeling they don’t exist.
Smartphones create an illusion that one is a social being, as they are living in a virtual world whereas some cannot interact with the real world around them as they are too reliant on technology.
Responsible for an emergence of an antisocial and social skill lacking generation.
Researchers have noted that people are getting addicted to smartphones and showing the same symptoms of addiction if they don’t use them. ( smartphone junkies ).
Statistics point out that the number of accidents occuring because of people driving & texting simultaneously is on the increase and is said to have over taken drunk driving as one of the major causes of car accidents.
Effect has been so major that there is now legislation in most countries that prohibits the operation of smartphones while driving.
SMARTPHONES & EDUCATION Smartphones like any other type of technology have brought with them endless possibilities, among these is education.
Most cutting edge universities are now making their lecturers available as podcasts.
Smartphones have made education highly interactive.
Development of e – books (digital books ), students no longer have to carry about books.
Students can access information pertinent to their courses on specially designed smartphone friendly websites.eg test scores, readings, notes.
Use of applications like Dictionary, Thesaurus, Docs to Go, ( Word, Powerpoint and Excel ), Teacher & Student Organisers etc…
cONCLUSION Smartphones have become an important and integral part of our society. Daily we use them to communicate and interact with our friends and families. Though this is important, they should not replace real social interactions. Neither should they become a hindrance to our work, any tool is only as productive as the one who wields it, and as such we should become pro–active and know how to maintain a healthy balance. There is no denying that they can make our lives easier through GPS, Instant Messaging and other services. Smartphones have indeed made positively affected our society, work places and education.