Are smartphones a drag on the economy?

Are smartphones a drag on the economy?
Considering the amazing things that can be done on a smartphone that could not be done before, you would certainly consider the smartphone to be an important tool for business. By allowing everyone to stay in touch and allowing for instantaneous sharing of documents and ideas, certainly the smartphone has to be considered a time-saving device that has allowed the economy to flourish. Or is the smartphone a distraction, full of ways for businessmen to lose their focus as they post pictures of a huge steak on Instagram and send Vine videos about non-job related topics.

According to Mary Meeker's 2013 Internet Trends, the average smartphone user accesses his/her device 150 times a day. Considering 7 hours of sleep, that leaves an average of 9 smartphone sessions an hour. Of course, that might include time on the potty. Other averages computed by Meeker include pulling out the ol' smartphone 18 times a day to check on the time (thankfully those new smartwatches are coming!), 13 times a day to play music, 12 times for gaming and 9 times to access social media. And there is more. The average smartphone user is grabbing his/her handset 8 times daily to snap a picture and 8 times a day to use the alarm. Where is the time for more productive use of the device?

So is the smartphone a time-saving tool that makes us more productive, or is it a black hole that eats up many of our hours each day. Do you find yourself saving time on the job thanks to your handset, or wasting time on the job thanks to your handset? You can give us an honest answer by responding in the box below.

source: Forbes

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17 Comments

1. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

To be completely honest my phone is for my enjoyment, i don't plan on using it to work, but for the usual smartphone needs, which are social networking, some gaming, flashlight at night, listening to music and so on.

2. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Your assuming all of these things are done while at work and are not work related. For me it saves time. I can keep connected to personal matters instantly while at work where otherwise someone would have to take a message and then put it in my box and then call them back. For me is saves tons of time for work related needs because I can access the internet then and there and don't have to write information down and then go back to the office and log onto a computer. As far as the economy goes. Things in demand almost alway help the economy. Think of the constantly changing specs of phones. How many people are employed to design better batteries, better circuit boards, new software, new glass panels, new marketing etc. Next years phone don't exist and there are hundreds of thousands job related to making the next smart phone better.

3. FlushGordon unregistered

Do people ever use its phone function anymore? I rarely send SMS messages (let alone for making callsl!) Viber, Skype and Heywire does the job for me

4. tiara6918

Posts: 2262; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

It's not a drag on the economy, you can get yourself a smartphone if you want to and not if you don't want. I can see some rich people being contented with their feature/low end/outdated phone. At the end of the day,it's your choice

5. DOUBLE_BASS

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 18, 2012

I really miss the time when the cell phone was a phone.

6. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

There is something to the concept of negative economic impact of smartphones. They allow for big decisions to be made with immediacy, even remotely, but at the expense of replacing someone's job with the smartphone's myriad array of functions. Similarly, folks may use a computer or laptop less, meaning fewer computer purchases, which can also mean fewer future repair work (if needed) requirements,.and folks will be more likely to purchase a replacement than seek a repair nowadays, especially for something they use so frequently. Of note, I am intrigued that folks use their cameras on average of 8 times a day. Guess smartphone cameras really are quite important, despite what naysayers babble about.

8. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

 "I am intrigued that folks use their cameras on average of 8 times a day." The vanity of humanity, because we know at least half of those were"selfies" of some girl in her pajams, poking her butt out, and blowing a kiss...SMH.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30678; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I use my camera so much, mainly the vid camera. WM think about it, I work around the Las Vegas strip lol. Mad eye candy.

16. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Vegas??? Yeah, I'd probably use mine a lot too, lol!

10. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Thing with the decrease in computer sales is that people don't buy computers often. Most people take several years before they replace a computer. Meanwhile, most smartphones are on two year contracts, so people get new ones every two years. Some don't feel the need to upgrade, while probably just as many get an off-contract phone every other year on top of their subsidized upgrade. People are buying several hundred dollar devices every two years, rather than every three or four years. Toss in the rise of tablets, and the shift to mobile is probably keeping the computing industry as a whole constant. PC sales are down, but smartphones and tablets should make up for it. Some companies will suffer, but others will prosper. Also, take note: it's not necessarily true that phones and tablets are replacing PC sales. People just have less of a need to upgrade than ever before. The average person does web browsing and some document editing on their PC. It doesn't take the latest Intel processor and an SSD to get that done. You can pull it off on a 5 year old machine with ease. It's a possibility that PC sales would have dropped off right about now anyway, regardless of mobile. Now, the camera industry is where it gets interesting. Within a few years, phone cameras should be so good that the overwhelming majority has absolutely no need for a camera. I could see that becoming an enthusiasts-only market.

7. KiranPAUSER

Posts: 73; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

Smartphones will eventually diminish the need for camera, laptops pc and desktops. So it will definitely drag the economy unless people spend enough for smartphone and apps

9. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

No doubt smartphones have become a large part of our lives. But, to be able to accomplish things by way of mobilility as opposed to limiting work to office, I feel only enhances productivity for businesses. This becomes a double edged sword. It allows greater efficiency through productivity and I can see where a lesser need for extra personal for some businesses would be real. Elimination of workers not needed, does in fact, retard the economy as more people are out of the job force to circulate the dollar. However, recirculating the dollar is crucial to maintaining financial stability within the economy . I feel the gain in the smartphone's timing in popularity is not only impeccable but can be coincidently attributed to other recessed economical issues. I will reserve my opinion on these thoughts for political debate. John B.

11. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I haven't seen a valid point yet that phones are a drag on the economy. Phones are hurting computer sales? People were saying computers were causing people to be laid off when they were created. If the advancement in technology hurts the economy then we should get rid of automobiles, phones, computers, airplanes, and televisions to name a few. How many millions of people are employed to improve something. The creation of wealth is what drives an economy. People take money and invest it in a company they think will make more money. If there were no advancements in technology the economy would be horrible because there would be no reason to make things better. So phones have only helped he economy. It's called advancement. How many trillions of dollars have the telecoms spent just to expand 4G LTE alone?

12. TBomb

Posts: 1029; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

1. Those averages still leaves room for 40% of the times accessing the phone for "work-realted activities." 2. 8 hours a day at work with a computer/laptop on the desk in front of you makes taking out your smartphone for work related activites unecessary. Smartphones are usually synced with email accounts and calendars, so there's no need to take out your phone when you already have the email on a bigger screen in front of you. 3. There's the younger population that doesn't work to have a work reason to take out the phone or jobs where a smartphone can't be used to beneift the employee... (A cashier at a grocery store). 4. There's the weekends when people don't work but still have access to their phones. I work with metrics like these at work all the time. If they want to portray less misleading numbers, they should only ask businessmen and have them only report the numbers of times they access the phone while at work.

13. Apoorvtheman

Posts: 46; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

I think it depends on person to person as when I started using a smartphone, I hardly use my laptop but whereas my father,he uses his feature phone for only calls and messages and pc for all of his work!!

14. skramer360

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

There are many days that I don't even take my phone out of its holster. I'm too busy at work to waste time with my smart phone. I look at it at home and take the occasional pic, but it doesn't rule my life like some people.

17. Even4steven

Posts: 44; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

The cell is proven to be disruptive to many industries. Look how many companies in the music, GPS, camera, publishing etc...How many less pens and pads of paper are sold? How many fewer desks and chairs? Just as the digital camera disrupted Kodak, the effect of the phone on so many industries is hard to calculate. This type of disruption is the real effect, not playing a few minutes of Words With Friends at work

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