Here’s the thing: Digital tech is indeed convenient. Many decades ago, people had to write letters in their handwriting and then go to post offices to send a message to their loved ones abroad.
Today, you can send a message to your friend living in the opposite part of the world in an instant — all thanks to the Internet. But are all the apps we’re using beneficial or do they make things worse in the long run?
The case of apps designed to waste your time
Let’s first point out the fact that there are developers who create mobile apps designed for procrastination and loss of productivity. Smartphone games are apps as well, and they are mostly meant for entertainment. There are educational and insightful mobile games — but the majority are meant to distract you. Think of all the clicker games, which have no end even if you tap your phone forever.
Thus, the type of app matters if we are to discuss the pros and cons of apps. Shooter and racing games do not provide any value aside from adrenaline and fun. The worse part is when people get addicted to these mobile apps, especially if an app encourages competition and rewards the top contenders. This is the case for games like Mobile Legends and Rules of Survival.
Learning and educational apps
On the other hand, there are applications meant for people to enhance their knowledge. NASA has its own app to help space enthusiasts learn more about astronomy and space exploration. And here, we argue that the issue is a matter of purpose. If you’re using learning apps just to know a new trivia each day, you aren’t fully utilizing it — and you may just be wasting your time.
But if you use a language learning app to land a translation job or prepare yourself for a university program abroad, then you are not wasting your time at all. It’s the same if you want to appreciate the diversity in human language. This does require a lot of your time and attention. But the rewards are high if you pay sufficient attention. You are using the app to improve yourself in a specific aspect.
Moreover, think of how apps save people time and money. If you can learn complex mathematical equations using an app, you won’t have to enroll for a class in a physical facility. Just stay at the comfort of your own home. You get to refine your mathematical skills without having to brace traffic and pay for toll fees or lunch meals.
Fitness and health-oriented apps
Let’s switch to apps made to help you stay fit and healthy in many ways — physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Back then, people had to go to fitness centres and gyms if they wanted to lose weight or tone their bodies. At home, they only had their own equipment and a fitness DVD to follow. Thanks to private fitness apps, they can not only find nearby gyms but also provide you with a variety of home workout routines.
As for nutrition apps, it’s dependent on the person. If they use it to create balanced meals for their weekly meal plans, it helps them become more efficient. But if you open the app just to randomly check the nutritional content of food ingredients, you may just be wasting your time. Once again, it matters if you have an objective in mind.
The plague of social media apps
Other than gaming apps, this is where people are most likely to waste their time. Social media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, this is where you can communicate with your friends and loved ones. It’s also become a place for employees to be more casual and get updates from their coworkers. Simply put, social media apps are great for communication.
But social media is addictive. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all designed with this in mind. There is no end to the feed if you keep browsing — the app will load more and more content. Thus, people must be active in their use of social media; the app won’t alert them that they’ve spent way more time than necessary.
Social media is indeed a time sink, but it doesn’t have to be. The fact is that these platforms may also help you become less distracted. Change the settings. For example, remove the sound and pop-up notification when you receive a comment. You can even get rid of the blinking light alert. Let Facebook know you don’t want to know of updates about a specific post you made.
In a way, it’s up to you whether you make an app beneficial to your life or not. There are indeed apps made to waste your time, but it’s up to you whether you use them or not. It’s a matter of being responsible and knowing your priorities. If you follow through with them, you’ll know which apps to use.