With new technology comes rapid change in society: refrigeration, automobiles, aircraft, the Green Revolution, radio and television, computers, email, the World Wide Web. Without these technological advances, the world would’ve likely not evolved past the mid-19th Century politically, socially or technologically. In the 2010s, a new addition to that list has come: the smartphone.
Due to the rapid advance of computer technology in the last 50 years, your smartphone that fits in your pocket is more powerful than a government supercomputer made only 30 years ago. Not only that, but your smartphone has access to all the technological marvels of the last 20 years: email, wireless Internet connectivity and social media, with all that entails. Smartphones have made the world a much smaller place and connected isolated parts of the world together.
The benefits of a smartphone are obvious. You can do almost anything on a phone: print off files remotely, access the Internet for entertainment, study and recreation, order products from Ecommerce services, listen to music, watch movies, carry useful applications such as alarm clocks or banking apps, play games and so on. Your smartphone, while not ideal for typing, can perform all these roles. Computers aren’t going away anytime soon due to their superior performance, but smartphones will likely replace your desktop for anything else.
Due to how connected we are to the outside world now, the smartphone is also a powerful tool of disseminating ideas, spurring political movements into action and encouraging conversation. For the last couple of years, smartphones have caused regime change in the Middle East, put pressure on corrupt politicians around the world and created political and social movements from a mere hashtag. The smartphone, and the widespread acceptance of social media by the people of the world has given a voice to the young, the disillusioned and the powerless, fuelling democracy and social progress that would have been impossible to organise and act on previously.
Of course, this goes both ways: social media can be used to promote conspiracy theories, organise harassment campaigns and be used as a bludgeon against those that don’t accept the current political or social atmosphere on a given topic, but this is more a problem with people than technology, one that’s difficult to fix without a change in human behaviour.
Smartphones are a powerful creation, and it is our duty as a species to use them responsibly, to move forward and create a better world with these tools. At the Change Consultancy, we’re excited about taking new technology, methods and workplace philosophy to reinvigorate companies and get them running at maximum efficiency in an age where change is fast and confusing.