Smartphones have changed my life for the better. I have more friends, spend more of my time interacting in real life and these meetings are much more meaningful. Are our social lives better off than before we had smartphones? Let’s explore.
I have more contacts
I’ve had a smartphone since 2008 when I was 25 years old and the difference in my social life between then and now is vast. Before then, when I made a new contact, they were easily forgotten and left behind. Today, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and the rest of them mean they are always there, always present: I have more contacts than ever before.
And I don’t lose them like before. In the past, my social circle rotated faster. I would lose contact with certain people when I would move away or change jobs. Now I keep them on WhatsApp and still chat with them on a regular basis.
I’ve found old contacts who I didn’t interact with before. Facebook changed things for me. I added friends from my childhood who I hadn’t talked to in forever but I didn’t actually interact with them yet. Facebook messenger for Android was a sea change.
I spend more of my free time interacting
More of my time away from work is now spent interacting with my contacts with my smartphone. Much more of my free time is taken up with interactions with my contacts. This is true with sharing pictures, chatting, making actual calls, collaborating on projects and many more.
My smartphone has enabled me to interact more in person than ever before. Since I have more contacts and I communicate more frequently I can figure out better times. I have more ways to coordinate with my friends and ensure that we all get there. When people travel to my location who I haven’t seen in awhile we always meet up in person. That’s because I’ve kept in contact with them this whole time.
My smartphone has given me more ways to meet new contacts in person. That is because of the Meetup app and other apps that schedule events to meet new people. I meet someone new in person almost every week now and that’s much different than before.
My interactions are more meaningful than before; albeit more distracted
Since I have more choices of who to hang out with I have more meaningful interactions in person. My social time is more precious and therefore I don’t want to waste any time. Since the people I meet have smartphones we can always discuss new developments in our social lives in real time. It enhances the experience.
My in-person social time seems to be more distracted but that’s not really the case. Since we use our smartphones more frequently during our meetings it looks like we’re not really paying attention to each other but we are. Thinking back on my past interactions before smartphones we had quiet moments in the conversation. Now, instead of staring at the wall, we pick up our smartphones and it often sparks more conversation.
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