Mobile has completely transformed society. It used to be people had to wait for a return call after leaving a message, but today’s on-demand culture allows instantaneous connection with people. Accessibility is nearly impossible not to have with all the available ways to connect.
Do We Feel Too Obligated to Respond?
There are societal pressures in being able to talk at any given time and people sometimes become incensed if someone doesn’t have a moment or two to talk. Not saying this is the case for everyone, but in the age of instant ability, in many ways, hasn’t it become an expectation? In most aspects of life, people are way too accessible these days thanks to mobile and this has brought on some negative effects in society.
Affects Work-Life Balance
Businesses now also expect total accessibility. Companies often provide a mobile or other electronic means to page or talk to their employees any hour of the day or night. From an employer’s perspective, today there is little reason why people don’t immediately receive a message. Between mobile phones, call waiting, text messaging, alert and paging systems, people often find it harder be out of reach without providing a darned good excuse for it. This has an effect on the personal life of employees because essentially in many industries people aren’t given a break from their workday. As a result, work-life balance suffers because total accessibility can cause problems in family life, interrupt vacations and cause stress.
How often are people subjected to rings, beeps, and a variety of ringtones in public? Conversations (oft loud) routinely interrupt restaurant meals, business meetings and social events. People have accidents when driving because they are too busy talking or texting with their eyes distracted from the road.
Sadly, it has even become common before a church wedding for the Priest or Pastor to ask people to turn off their mobile devices. Shouldn’t this be an assumption and be just plain common sense? Are there really any messages that can’t wait until after a wedding? You’d think people would turn off their phones immediately upon entering a place of worship. At least that was how it was in the old days.
The desire for accessibility has created all kinds of ripple effects all throughout today’s society.
Impact on the Individual
Privacy is another aspect of life which has been impacted by the high use of mobile phones. Many people, whether for business or social calls, can’t get a moment’s peace without some sort of ringer going off. Yet, on the same token, a growing number of people are addicted to their mobile devices and can’t resist any sort of communication they receive. Look how many people have installed messaging programs, email, blogs and Facebook accounts to be always connected to their mobile phones. In 2014 CBNC reported mobile addiction was “growing at an alarming rate.” The survey, conducted by Flurry, defined mobile addicts as users who launch apps 60x a day or more. According to Flurry, this statistic was an increase of 123 percent over the previous year.
Reason stands to say that people feel if they aren’t updated immediately they’re bound to miss something. Is this logic really rational? People have existed for thousands of years without instant contact and total accessibility. Why is it in our society we feel the need to remain constantly so connected? Is there anything so important that it can’t wait a few days, hours or minutes?
The bottom line is the problem isn’t with mobile, it’s with people. It’s the behavioral aspects people exhibit towards their compulsion of mobile and accessibility which are changing the dynamics of society.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.