One of the many interesting things I have noticed here in Ecuador is that many people exist without Smartphones. Most of the people I see have extremely simple, non QWERTY phones. They have what we, in the social media world, would refer to as “old school phones”.
What is also pretty amazing is that they seem pretty content with having these phones. You don’t see ad after ad on television or on billboards for the latest device or gadget either. This is not to say that some people don’t have Smartphones. I do see people with Smartphones. Many of them are business people. Most of the students I see on campus are using the simpler devices. They do have their laptops and their Ipods but use much simpler phones. Also, most phone plans are pay as you go and you add credit to your phone as you need it. I haven’t really seen many ads or even notices for monthly plans. I am sure they exist in some capacity but I haven’t seen them.
The point of describing all of this is to ask the question – Could you live in a world without your Smartphone? Could you go back to using a basic phone where you had to hit the 7 key four times to type an “S”? What would the social media world look like if we all still had these “old school devices”?
I personally think that social media would still exist if we didn’t have our Smartphones. However, I don’t think we would have some of the obsessive behavior we have now with social media. Smartphones make it possible for people to check their accounts every two seconds if they want. If you didn’t have a Smartphone, you would have to wait until you got from point A to point B before you checked your accounts and thus the constant need to check one's social media channels might not exist.
Additionally, some social media channels, such as those that require people to “check-in” from the location they are at may not exist if people didn’t have Smartphones. There wouldn’t be a way to do this, or at least do this as easily as they can now. The entire mobile app world would be obsolete as well or at the very least extremely small and certainly not the revenue generating stream it is now.
Are there other ways you can imagine your life would be affected without the use of a Smartphone? Would your job productivity be decreased or maybe even increased in some cases? Would your family life change without a Smartphone in your life; would you be more engaged?
How can you see the world of international education being changed without the use of Smartphones? Would your students be more engaged abroad? Would you and/or your program need to do less "policing" of students and their use of social media? What are your thoughts?
Please enter your comments below and let me know your thoughts on a life without a Smartphone!
P.S. I can tell you that after a week of experiencing this “old school device” that it takes forever to type a message and I get extremely frustrated in even writing the simplest messages. I will even admit to resorting back to the old text speak – b = be, 4 = for, etc.
This blog is all about social media. I hope to offer tips, tricks, advice and more on using social media within international education and international travel.