No one denies the potential health and privacy complications that come with having a smartphone. Yet, nearly everyone has one. Some would even say they can’t live without it. Regardless of the drawbacks, there are many smartphone applications that make these devices very useful. Therefore, instead of just mindlessly staying glued to your screen, consider limiting your use to only some of the following.
1. Handling Emergencies
If you are involved in an emergency situation, a cell phone can be a lifesaver. For example, if you’re lost on a road in a middle of nowhere, Google maps or apps such as Waze can be very handy. Furthermore, if you’re in an accident or need a rescue, rescuers can track your location to come assist you. Even if you’re against smartphones, consider stashing a basic cell phone with a prepaid SIM card in the glove box of your car.
2. Child Safety
If you are a parent, you may consider a cellphone a must-have for your children. Especially with teenagers, having a smartphone with GPS can increase your peace of mind when they are out without you. You can identify the current location of your child or all the places they have gone to. You could also use cell phone tracker apps to monitor how your children use their phone.
For younger children, a cell phone may be nice for emergencies. Importantly, with smartphones you can restrict the content they download and access by blocking purchases, websites and apps. Smartphone also allow you to see who your kid talks to on the phone. Or better yet, allow you to limit their calls to only a few numbers.
3. Managing Your Business or Working Remotely
Effective and timely communication is a must in today’s business landscape. Smartphones allow for this with an added bonus. They give you the flexibility to manage work affairs remotely. In addition, if you have employees, certain tracking apps give you the tools to help manage time and tasks. They allow you to community with your staff, even if you’re on vacation or if they are on the road. In addition, you can use smartphones to monitor effective work practices. For example, most delivery businesses use these tracking apps to ensure the drivers are not driving at dangerous speeds and are using designated routes.
It’s important to note, though, that we must learn to disconnect from work. The flexibility to work remotely is priceless, but so is taking time away from work. If your business requires you to stay connected, make sure you set some boundaries. Everyone needs time when they are completely unplugged and free to relax.
4. Find a Lost Device
You may not think this is an important feature of mobile devices, until one goes missing. Then you’ll be eternally thankful that you can use a tracking app to help find your smartphone or tablet. These apps use GPS satellite technology to locate your device. The apps not only help you identify the location and movement, but also any activity on the missing device.
Using this feature is truly a personal choice, as it does require your GPS to stay enabled, which has its own privacy implications. It’s up to you to decide if the investment you’re made in your device is worth protecting. To some, the cost may not outweigh the privacy risk.
5. Traveling and Dining
If you enjoy travel in foreign countries, where you don’t speak the language, a smartphone can be very useful. From translator apps to navigation, it will help you confidently seek out new places. If traveling with others, smartphones give you more flexibility. You can sneak away from the group and explore what you want. Then, connect back up when you’re ready. Additionally, rental cars rarely come equipped with a free GPS device. You can save yourself some cash if you use your phone for navigation instead.
Finally, finding dining options, at home or when traveling, is quite easy with a smartphone, especially if you have dietary restrictions. Sadly, many restaurants no longer advertise in the phone book, so this is becoming more of a necessity. Furthermore, the reviews on dining portals and in Google can be very helpful. As well, there are many coupons that you can access online to lower your travel food bill.
On the other hand, there’s something to be said for engaging with people when you travel. Therefore, don’t always feel like you need to rely on your phone to find a good restaurant, hotel or site. You will gain a great sense of accomplishment and confidence if you act independent of Google as often as possible. As you grow braver, see if you can limit your smartphone use even when traveling in foreign places.
6. Using Self-care and Wellness Apps
Today, there are numerous wellness and self-care apps available on smartphones. Some may argue that these apps should be regarded as nice-to-have perks, versus must-haves, which is actually true. Yet, if these apps help you improve your quality of life, health or general well-being, then do the benefits outweigh the downsides? It is a personal question that only you can answer.
What’s important to understand is that there are now apps and smartphone-based service that help you lead a healthier life. From online yoga classes and customizable workouts, to meditation programs and diet tracking apps, wellness apps can be quite valuable. What’s important is curbing your smartphone use to the apps that bring value to your life, versus distracting you from it.
Finally, nearly all apps now push notifications to your lock screen, which is a very distracting feature. If you choose to use wellness apps on your phone, turn off all notifications.
Because smartphones are essentially ubiquitous in modern societies, our attention has become a valuable commodity for tech companies and online marketers. These companies are very good at distracting you, so you become disconnected from real life experiences.
Don’t fall into the trap of mindlessly reaching for your smartphone every few minutes. Evaluate which apps are sucking up your time, and delete them. Then, decide what applications may bring actual value to your life, and set some parameters on how you’ll use them. Additionally, use a safety device on your phone such as the Aires Shield to reduce the effects of harmful EMF radiation.
Please share with us your ideas of how to use smartphones more wisely, lessening the negative impact these devices have on your mental and physical well-being.
This article (6 Ways to Use Your Smartphone More Wisely) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Sofia Adamson and WakingTimes.com.