Interconnectivity and Social Implications of Smartphones
The ability to be constantly connected to the internet and e-mail via Smartphone has tremendous implications. For one, people can be in constant communication regardless of geographic proximity, not only through basic conversations, but also through the sharing of data and information (i.e. sending data files or links to news stories). We have also seen the qualitative shifts including the increased amount of participation we now have in contributing to ‘current events’ (i.e. twitter). The increasingly widespread adoption of Smartphone use by personal consumers also carries and shifts social norms.
There is an increasing expectation of always being “connected”. The immediacy of response time to e-mail messages relays information about a person’s etiquette. As psychology professor David E. Meyer notes, if one does not respond within a couple of hours, “it is assumed that you are out to lunch mentally, out of it socially, or don’t like the person who sent the e-mail.” The impact of these views can be interesting for sociologists to study since we know that not everyone has equal access to the internet or Smartphone’s. The desire for high productivity in many market sectors for example, may require that successful candidates be in tune with this new culture of connectivity. Failing to adapt to this culture may leave some at a disadvantage.
Regardless of these potential social implications, it is becoming more evident that there is a blurring of lines between the social and technological world.
Sent from my Blackberry