In today’s world, smartphones are invading the pockets of billions of people all around the world. With features such as sending and receiving phone calls, text messages, voicemails, e-mails, ability to access the internet and digital media files like music, video and pictures, GPS, and has built-in and paid applications that lets you do more for your smartphone, one must consider he/she has a gem in his pocket. Smart phones have become a masterpiece of technology in the modern world. Indeed, it is almost impossible for one to go through their day without using, or encountering a person who is using a smart phone.

Smartphones started in the 1990s, and its main market target is the business consumers. It has a price and features fit for the needs of businessman. The first smartphone was developed by IBM and BellSouth, which came public by 1993. Though it is basic compared to today’s standards, it has a touchscreen powered by a stylus, which was capable of accessing email and sending faxes. Ericsson was the first brand to actually coin the phrase “smartphone”, with the release of its GS88 in 1997. (McCarty, 2011) In 2007, a drastic change was seen as Apple introduced iPhone. It opened the smartphones as a market for the normal consumers, as well. The next year, Google competed Apple’s iOS System and released Android. It quickly became the dominant mobile operating system, for it is not exclusive only to a single mobile device. From high-end devices used primarily by businessmen to everyday consumer necessity, iPhone and Android really attracted millions of people, and became the newest craze and trend in the world of technology.

The field of education has always been influenced by technology. In today’s classroom, the method of teaching for professors and teachers changed; lectures are now taught with PowerPoint, and books can be downloaded thru PDF. Activities inside the classroom, such as reporting are now also accompanied with laptops and projectors. With a help of a smartphone, students can now easily download the professor’s lecture and make use of their phone as an educational tool. There are also many applications to help increase the student’s learning; Dictionaries, Microsoft Office, PDF Reader are some of the applications that a student can have at the palm of their hands without even bringing their laptops or books with them.

But does this mean that smartphones entirely help the students to achieve more in their studies?

Although smartphones can be quite a helpful tool for students, it is also a tool for distraction. Students tend to lose focus on their studies as they tend to play their phone’s application or use it to access the Internet and social networking sites while classes are ongoing. Some students also spend their ‘homework/review time’ with their smartphones. I, myself, an owner of a smartphone, is tempted to play with my iPhone every time I review, convincing myself that a 5-minute break will not affect my studies. Not only a distraction for one self, but it can also lead to distract other pupils as well. Students will lose their concentration for their studies when they hear ringtone, vibration, or just the sight of their smartphones tempting them to play with it.

Universities and other colleges also reported that there have been many issues of cheating with the use of smartphones (CollegeDegrees.com). It can be fairly easy for students in a packed or crowded classroom or lecture hall to use their phones to access information online to cheat on tests. In fact, an article posted in PhoneArena.com showed some startling statistics about the use of smartphones for cheating in the classroom. This could be through the use of text exchanges with other students, using the Internet to find answers, using advanced calculators and phone applications, taking snapshots of an exam, or reading notes that are saved on the phone to help on the test.

Laziness and dependence for smartphones can also be seen in college students. Instead of copying lectures and taking down notes, students will just take a snapshot of the professor’s lecture. They can also record a video or voice of the lecture.

The effect of smartphones is not only those who own it, but also to students who don’t. Students who can’t afford smartphones may have the feeling of disadvantage over the lessons and won’t work hard anymore, or the other way around.

Though the use of smartphones has many cons, especially in the field of education, students are still encouraged to use it because the Philippine society itself accepts the use of smartphones. Telecommunication companies like Globe and Smart Telecoms, encourage more the smartphone users by allowing subscribers to have services to send text and photos to update their profile views on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It also offers messaging services such as Go Mail push-mail service and Nokia Messaging, which are aimed at the growing base of users using push-mail services.

Through this easier and affordable access to the Web, not only the college students are affected but also grade school and high school students. Smartphones, in the perspective of a student, has become an accessory that makes them belong and feel secluded in a group; with the exclusive applications and prestige that comes from having a smartphone.

Not only students but people who own smartphone, spend their leisure time using it, instead of having a personal time or have a bonding time with their families and friends. In a movie entitled “Wall-E”, the people of Earth ride around this space resort on hovering chairs which give them a constant feed of TV and video chatting. They drink all of their meals through a straw out of laziness, and are all so fat that they can barely move. But in the end of the film, the people still return to Earth and enjoyed the things that people normally do, and they get rid of their robots. With the dependence of the people today with the technology, it is not far that it might happen in us for next few centuries. Smartphones are not entirely a necessity in life, especially for students; the people itself are just the ones who idealize that it is one of the basic needs in our lives.

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