Opinion: Do Apps help you, or just waste your time

by Cougar News Contributor 7,248 views0

By Brittany Sammeter

In a society like ours, it is almost impossible to be in a public area and see an individual that is not straining their neck to look down at their mobile device.  Cell phones are a part of today’s culture, and whether we enjoy it or not, it is a concept that is almost inconceivable to escape.  What makes cell phones so popular in today’s day and age is the extensive amount of things you can use them for.  Cell phones like the iPhone, as well as Androids, are famous for their large collection of applications that the user can download, to make their phone work for them and reflect the user’s interests.  Applications, also known as “apps”, range from social media, to productivity, to customization.  Some applications, like those that are used for productivity purposes (this would include weather, note pads, calculators, etc.), are supposed to save the user time and energy.  They are designed to be a helpful tool to make the consumer’s life easier.  But is this really what applications are doing for us?  Or are they hindering our lives by making them more difficult and stressful?

When an iPhone or Android user wants to search for a new application to download, they can search by category.  One common category that most users are familiar with is the productivity category which displays apps that are supposed to be helpful to everyday living.  For example: calendars, reminders, alarm clocks, to-do lists, and calculators.  Consumers believe that by downloading a productivity application, they are doing a good deed for themselves.  These application users believe that they can now better sort out their schedules to allow for improved time management, but really, all they are doing is wasting more time.  In the time it takes to find an application to help you create a to-do list, download the application, set it up how you would prefer, and actually write your to-do list, you could have written the list on a sheet of paper and completed at least one of the items.  When it comes to accessing the to-do list, or any other application that you are using, you take the time to search for and through your phone, as well as the waiting period you’re given for the app to load.  And then what happens if the productivity application crashes?  You’re not going to be so productive now are you?  Applications on mobile devices are tricking everyone, and unfortunately we are all falling into the trap.

While iPhone and Android users may believe that they are saving themselves time and energy by using applications, they are really just setting themselves back and hindering their daily activities.  A downfall to these applications that consumers believe to be so great, is the most obvious, they are on your mobile device.  Cell phones are one of the biggest distractions for Americans, it is difficult for many to complete a task if their phone is in their presence.  In using applications on your phone such as calculators or reminders, chances are you are becoming distracted by other apps you may have, such as social media apps, that you have now completely forgotten what you were originally on your phone to do.  The consumer intended to use their speedy calculator application to avoid the time it may take to solve the equation in their head, but has now found themselves logging onto Facebook.  Instead of saving you time like you thought the app was there to do, you have now wasted your time.  Applications are made with the best intentions in mind, but our society just doesn’t know how to use them efficiently so that they really serve their true purpose.

Americans can avoid the craze of time-saving, but really time-wasting applications by sticking to the old-fashioned methods.  Stay off of your phone and use a pen and paper or an actual hand held calculator.  If consumers were not so infatuated with the idea of owning the newest and greatest cell phones, time would not be wasted as much as it is.