Even just a decade ago, the mere idea of mobile phones becoming a global phenomenon was still uncertain,but in the modern age it is becoming a fact.By 2020, it’s estimated that almost five billion people around the world will have a mobile phone. Mobile phone technology is ubiquitous in the majority of the world, and that means the technology that powers it has spread far and wide. Here are just some of the ways that mobile phone use has changed everything from entertainment consumption to the accessibility of information.
Entertainment and leisure
Perhaps the most obvious manifestation of the smartphone revolution is the way that it allows people to enjoy entertainment when going about their daily lives. From games being played on mobile phones and films being viewed when commuting, there are numerous ways in which people are now able to enjoy leisure wherever they are. As global mobile phone tech pioneer Eric Schaer – whose company My SQUAR provides mobile games for the emerging consumer market in Myanmar – knows, this is a truly global revolution. And despite criticism that it is causing a decline in face-to-face communication, there’s also evidence that increased phone use for leisure reasons makes people feel happier and more at ease.
But there are more important ways in which mobile phones have changed people’s lives. Instant access to information means that so many regular tasks, such as looking up travel directions, are now able to be completed much more quickly. In addition, the ease with which communication between people can now be completed is high. The benefits for individuals are obvious, but there are also much wider benefits. The economic benefits of smartphone communications, for example, include faster business transaction times – ideal for boosting economic growth.
The mobile phone hasn’t just transformed recreation habits and day-to-day life, though. It has also had a profound effects on politics. Most modern smartphones have a video camera installed, and that means it’s possible for almost anyone who observes a significant event to capture it in some way and distribute it over the Internet using their mobile phone’s connectivity.
As a result, the power balance has shifted – and now people don’t need to rely on major news outlets for their information as heavily as they did before. Everyone is now a potential journalist, and everyone else is a consumer of this content when it’s produced – all via their phones. This is happening everywhere, but it’s especially common in war-torn countries where the mainstream media may not be able to gain access to report on events. That said, it’s also common in countries where there’s no war: during riots over the last few years in Europe and North America, for example, mobile phone footage has been important for documenting the scale of the problem.
Mobile phones have become so much more popular all round the world in the last few years – and given how much they can do, it’s no surprise. From transforming the way people consume content to boosting the impact of citizen-based journalism, phones have really turned around the way people live their daily lives for the better.