Part of the series on How the Smartphone Has Impacted Our Lives

By Tom Leddo, Vice President

The great thing about a smartphone is that you can reach out to someone through multiple avenues anytime and virtually anywhere.  The bad thing about smart phones is that you can be reached by someone through multiple avenues, anytime and virtually anywhere.
– Bob Nichols, Md7 Lease Consultant in San Diego

phonesThe smartphone has made it possible to be reached anytime, anywhere for any reason.

There is an ongoing debate as to whether the constant contact through social media apps has broadened or damaged our personal relationships. Have tweets and status updates made us more superficial and lowered the quality and quantity of meaningful conversations in our lives or have they extended our communication worldwide to people we may not have kept in touch with or even known otherwise?

Md7 team members weigh in on the issue.

Drazen Toic, Md7 International – Manager for SEE Region

The way the smartphone affected my life could be both positive and negative.

While all the information I need workwise is now accessible on my phone anytime, the biggest struggle I find is to stop having my mind always “drag” on work related topics and issues. This aspect has impacted my life in a way that I have to limit myself reading emails when out of working hours.

Lately, when queuing for something in public, I tend to notice how much people in general are less aware of the society passing by and more focused on their smartphones, which I believe is not a great direction humanity is taking.

In addition, I tend to call less and use more messaging services (like Whatsup, email or Viber) which also generates detachment.

Svenja Preisler, Md7 International – Team Lead for D-A-CH Region

Messenger Apps: Who would have thought 10 years ago, that it would be so cheap and easy to keep in touch with friends and family far away.  Whatsapp, Telegramm, Viber… and all the other messenger apps make it possible that we are able to be in constant contact with the people who are far away from us and that we would miss a whole lot more if we would have to wait for their letter to arrive every 2 weeks. They seem to be much closer to us than the actual distance that separates us! Of course, everything has its pros and cons! So I do still write letters.

Pierre-Michel Bertin, Md7 International – Lease Consultant in Dublin, Ireland

I left France to come over to Ireland 8 years ago. Leaving my country, my friends and my family behind was not easy. Communication at the time was a real issue. I could not talk to them when I wanted and it was not free. Skype was great but smartphones did not exist and I had to be at home with a proper Internet connection to call them.

The first iPhone I got really helped me connect with my family and friends again. Then came along apps like Whatsapp that really keep us all close. I have friends in London, Tillburg (Holland), Beijing, Paris, Dublin, etc. and we are all chatting away like we use to do back in France.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a debate entitled “Is Technology Making People Less Sociable?” which addresses both the pros and cons of constant contact.

Personally speaking, I am 100% in support of this huge change in the way we communicate.

While I do have to discipline myself to not check my phone at rude times and focus on those around me, I know that social media has put me back in touch with hundreds of old friends from high school and college. I have also made several new contacts via LinkedIn and even some new industry friends like Patti Ringo who I have since gotten to know personally at trade shows. Without Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter none of these new relationships would even exist.

I’d bet that in 1876 there was a lot of people who were concerned that Alexander Graham Bell’s newly patented telephone was going to negatively impact the amount of face-to-face communication. Today we are just experiencing the latest revolution in the way we communicate and in another 139 years (or sooner) when we can communicate telepathically, there will be many who lament the good ole days of simple social media.