Quick Reflection – Would the World Be Better without Mobile Devices?

Quick Reflection – Would the World Be Better without Mobile Devices?

October 9, 2018 0 By JR

Not my 9x9x25 post this week, but I just read Would the World Be Better without Mobile Devices? by Aaron and was about to comment when I thought, ‘hey, I can just blog a quick reflection and hopefully it’ll ping back’. Honestly, I’ve been frustrated with blog commenting systems for a while now. Some require login, some eat my comments, so here…I’m reclaiming commenting.


The first thing that caught my attention in the post was,

This particular change is captured by Vala Afshar in the form of emojis:

In less than 10 years, 📱 replaced: 📟 ☎️ 📠 💽 💾 💻⏰ 📷 📹 🎥 📺 📻📰 💿 💳 💼 📎 📄⏳ 🔦 📼 📚 ⌚️ 🎮📓 ✏️ 📁 🎤 📇 📆🎰 💵 📬 📝 🆘 🏧🎫 ✉️ 📤 ✒️ 📊 📋🔎 🔑 📣 🎼 🎬 📀📒⌨️🕹🎙⏱📿🗝📇🗄📁📋🗂✉️⌨️

At first I laughed, and then thought about my own interaction with my smart phone. I was at a friend’s cabin recently and the power went out. Naturally we all thought, “where are the candles” and all four of us instinctively reached for our flashlights (phones) to look around. I’m sure we eventually would have found something for light, but the phones made it so much easier.

Another friend of mine recounted a story of how her phone went dead while in the middle of a multi-flight journey to a large out of country city. All of her flight information was on the phone, but thankfully the airline folks were just able to print her a good old fashioned boarding pass. Crisis averted. Until that is that she sat in the rental car and realized that she had no idea how to get around the city without Google Maps telling her “in 300 ft, turn left”.

Over the last 7 or so years, I had been 100% ok with turning my phone into the modern day Swiss Army knife you keep with you for use in any situation. It’s my watch, my phone, my letter writer, my calendar, my study tool for Judo, my inquiry tool, and many more of the things listed in the emojis. Lately, however, I’ve grown weary of what it does. Before I moved to a smart phone I did have an ipod touch, and that did all of those extra tasks beyond keeping in touch with my friends and family. If you read further back in this blog you’ll also see I tackled the Privacy Paradox by note to self, and have been a bit more conscious of how much data I’m providing to all these different companies that continue to have bugs and breaches (and ultimately it might not affect me too much, but I can’t help but wonder who else is affected if through my information).

In reply to Aaron’s question, “would we be better without mobile devices”, I think I would say we would not be better. We have already let these devices integrate into our everyday routines. What is important, at least to me, for now is becoming conscious of what we have entrusted to our new multi-tools and being critical of that behaviour.


Feature Photo by Victor Larracuente on Unsplash