How “Smart” Are Smartphones?

With nearly 1/5th of American’s using Smartphones today it seems no matter where you go – Disney World, restaurants, even while driving – you see the people constantly checking, responding to email and staying connected to every move of their work life in their personal time. Many people are actually carrying multiple phones now – one for personal and one for professional use – but does this really keep the individuals professional life separate? I think not. Originally embraced by the tech-savvy early adopters, now that the price of smart phones have come way down it seems everyone is using this as an opportunity to stay connected. The constant connectivity is blurring the lines between personal and professional lives and often causing disengagement from loved ones and friends in once romantic, relaxing and work-free environments.
When is the last time you were out to dinner and saw the people seated around you actively engaged in conversation and enjoying their time together? More often than not I see texting, phone calls and checking data feeds. Not only do Smartphones enable constant connection, but also result in professionals working longer hours. It is estimated that Smartphone users, due to their availability beyond typical work hours (checking their phones starting at 7:10 am until 10:00pm on average), work 71 additional minutes a day – translation 15% more per week! That’s 11,360 extra minutes, or 189 hours, a year (cue the dollar signs for all those hourly workers out there).  And, even when Smartphones aren’t used solely for work-Americans spend an average of 4.5 hours per month just browsing on them-a time drain from personal time as well .
Sure, a Smartphone is an important tool to stay connected when traveling, out at client sites and when working remotely, but sometimes knowing when to tune out is just as critical.
Posted by Danielle Millerick


4 Responses to “How “Smart” Are Smartphones?”

  1. 1 Mariela September 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Good point here! Why separate your personal and professional device with a $300.00 purchase of an additional phone when you’re still going to use it during personal time? Companies are complaining that digital interaction means less face time but many firms still ask employees to have work emails connected to their phones so as to be available outside of work. Where do you draw the line?

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