The pace of adopting smartphones all over the world has been very rapid. Various surveys have shown that popularity of smart phones has escalated to new heights over the past few years. According to the surveys, the number of smart phone users in the world is currently 3.5 billion, which translates to 45.04 % of the world’s population.
As per Pakistan Tele Communication Authority (PTA) report, number of smart phone users in Pakistan reached 55.47 million till 2018 and the number is expected to reach upto 3.8 billion in the year 2021. Keeping with the national pace, the usage of smart phones is also increasing with a rapid speed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Despite low literacy rate, smart phone is now considered the basic need of life, where every individual is completely dependent on it for day to day tasks.
Despite numerous utilities and advantages, smart phones have a lot of side effects and drawbacks. Smart phone, an addictive device, traps a soul into a lifeless planet full of lives. It does not only affect our social life and relationships but have also become one of the top items on children’s wish list. Gone are the days when a child will ask their parents for dolls and rackets, children are now crazy about smartphones and are truly amazed by its limitless attractions. Cell phones have replaced outdoor games with online video games, where kids’ mental health is affected by long screen hours and are also deprived of much needed physical activities.
Observations proves that android overuse distract the focus of people from work to unnecessary visual tasks, thus affecting their overall efficiency. In some departments, such as health, even a little distraction can prove detrimental to patients’ health. Realizing this fact, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in year 2018, issued a notification, banning use of smart devices by health officials during working hours.
Smart phones have a lot of potential negative impacts on our daily life which are mostly ignored. Using smartphones before bed can make it harder to fall asleep due to the blue light it emits. Researchers have found that the smartphone users who sleep near the small screen, or spend more time looking at screens in general don’t sleep enough which ultimately cause insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Most of the people are suffering from Nomophobia (the fear of keeping away from phone) due to smartphone overuse.
The over use of smartphones makes the people less socialized. They are no longer able to hold interpersonal interaction effectively as they have been communicating solely through online approaches available on the smartphones. It has also been observed that smartphones and hand-held devices are interfering with bonding and parental attention, where parents tend to ignore their children without even realizing it.
Mobile phone provides students, numerous ways of creative learning and improve their overall social experiencing. However, it is also changing their learning habits and affecting students’ concentration in conventional classes. Students mostly feel tempted to use their phones to text their friends, use social media apps, watch videos or browse the web. It also makes the learners more dependent on google search instead of studying by their own or from their teachers.
It is true that smartphones have great impact on our society and has transform every facet of our lives. However, it has significant negative impacts in some prominent areas including health, education, and social life. It is imperative that we as a society, look for ways to exploit the advantages and suppress the negatives by using the smartphones in a smart way. Only then we can truly prioritize our health and well-being while also taking optimum advantage of the technology.