“Good afternoon sir. My name is Jackson. Compliments of the season. I was asked to bring you equivalent of $2000 Christmas bonus.”

I jumped into the car without even thinking. I didn’t even grab my phone. I drove like crazy to meet Mr. Jackson up at the gas station at the outskirts of the Estate where I lived. I needed that Christmas bonus like yesterday.! It couldn’t be timelier.

I was looking into everyone’s face for nearly an hour and asking them, if they were Mr. Jackson.?!

The gas station attendant asked what the problem was? I was getting worked up now! I explained, that I was looking for a certain Mr. Jackson that I’d not met before, but I couldn’t call him because I left my smartphone at home and he was probably trying to reach me as well.!

I used another phone to call mine at home. Everyone was busy watching movies on Apple TV. No one heard the phone ring. Frustrated. I had to drive back home to pick the phone and to call back Mr. Jackson.

Luckily he still waited after calling me like 15 times. We connected when I returned back to the gas station with my smartphone. Now, he could describe the car he was in and while walking towards the car, he came out with the phone in his hand. That confirmed who Mr. Jackson was. Relieved now, I relived him of the burden and paid for his fare back.

Early this year, I picked an honorarium cheque after a speaking engagement. It was over a weekend and my thoughts were to cash the cheque first thing Monday morning.

Rushing back from a meeting, I parked at a gas station again, bought some gas and dashed across the Street to the bank to cash the cheque. I left my smartphone behind in the car.

I was asked for my Bank Verification Number. It was on my smartphone. I was asked for my international passport or mode of identification. All on my smartphone.

I was asked how I was going to be identified for the payment. I tried to explain that the entire information was on my smartphone which was left in the car as I had hoped I would dash in and out of the bank. The bank manager took another look at me and decided to risk that i was the bearer of the cheque and paid me.

Since the advent of smartphones, we no longer retain informations or data in our minds. Our entire bank details and all the information about us are all buried in the smartphone.

We have become entirely dependent on the smartphone, we can almost not do anything without it.

An immigration Officer at Thomas O’Tambo International Airport at Johannesburg asked for my children’s birth certificates as a requirement for Nigerians traveling into SA with infants.

My smartphone bailed me out. It was right there as a pdf file in my iBook. What would have done otherwise!?

These smartphones perhaps attained prominence just in 2007 when we started having Apps Stores. This smart devices have somewhat also been abused because it holds a lot of secret text conversations and social media virtual relationships and interactions that tend to affect our physical and actual relationships.

Shocking smartphone facts:

  • Amount consumers spent in App Store in 2017 …. $86b.

  • Projected amount consumers will spend in 2018….$110b

  • Company that sold the most smartphones in 2017… Samsung.

  • Average number of Apps users have on smartphones …80 Apps.

  • Average number of smartphone Apps used monthly …. 40 Apps.

  • Percentage of online videos viewed on smartphones…75%

  • Number of smartphones shipped from China in 2017…459million.

  • Number of global Apps installed first time….91.5billion

  • Number of global mobile games first time …35.5billion.

  • Number of people in China that watch online video content on a mobile device …920million.

  • Percentage of US adults that read news on their mobile device…85%.

  • Number of mobile phone users in 2017 …5billion.

  • Number of mobile phone users in 2016… 4.8billion.

  • Projected number of smartphone users in 2020…5.7billion.

  • U.S. adults spend an average of 2 hours and 54 minutes each day doing non-voice activities on their mobile device.

  • 58% of App users become inactive within the first 30 days after downloading it.

  • Average amount of time an App remains dormant before it is deleted from a phone … 12 weeks.

  • Percentage of smartphone users that replace the Apps on their device at least once a month … 52%.

  • Percentage of parents that know little or nothing about what their child does on their phones … 47%

  • How many smartphone users in the US… 349.9million

  • Number of 4G smartphone users in China … 836million.

  • Percentage of smartphone users’ time that is spent on just five Apps on their phones… 80%

  • Percentage of Apps users that stop (as at 13th July 2016) using the App within the first month…63%

  • Percentage of all US searches that come from mobile devices … 58%

  • Average number of time typical cellphone user touches their device each day … 2,617 times per day (as at 13th July 2016).

Today, physical relationships have been taken over by the virtual ones. Families no longer have quality time as everyone is addicted to the smartphone. Social Media is trending and we want to be liked, we want to twit and be twitted, we want to …gram and go viral on WhatsApp.

Marriages have hit the rocks as a result of smartphone addiction. Did you hear of the guy that wedded his smartphone in California? I’m not making this up. It’s real.

So many people world over now have “relationships” with their devices even if they’ve not come out openly to declare it for their smartphones.

Wives no longer believe conversations from husbands unless they read it on their smartphones. Suspicion creeps in when a spouse spends too much time on the smartphone. It must be he’s flirting with someone and data has taken the front stage now, so people hardly make calls. Conversations can start and end by texting.

Sexting is the new scary one. Several sites now are separating spouses and the level of addiction has hit feverish pitch.

So the wife waits up in bed pretending to be sleeping and just bidding her time when the husband starts snoring. Then she picks up the phone and begins to do an all night vigil research to find out what he’s been up to. Just for her update and information. She wasn’t going to ask him but just to be on the same page.

Husbands would be shocked how much their wives know their female contacts on their smartphones without meeting them.

The wife or husbands perhaps smiles more on the phone than with their spouse.

There’s this thing of wanting the person on the other side of the phone to feel that all is well over here. So we raise our voices and smile and laugh into the phone. We can even tell some white lies just to make it feel good. Once the call is done we go back to that foul mood.

Trust issues have crept into the family and children are now being taught by the smartphones. Parents practically have no idea of sites their children have visited and the kind of conversations they are involved in.

So many children are being misled through their smartphones and are keeping gangs and companies they shouldn’t be keeping.

But who is going to know? The parents are also dealing with their smartphone issues and everyone is being torn apart.

The teenagers aren’t helping matters. They stay up the whole night on the smartphones discussing anything under the sun.

The parents buy these phones for them and the parents fund the airtime to be used to destroy the children.

Where do we even begin to fix this intruder into our lives.? How do we begin to reduce these levels of disruptions?

Some instant solution would be firstly, understand that you are the Boss and the smartphone isn’t the Boss. Turn off all those disrupting alerts and promptings from them social media handles.

They are preventing you from having productive and quality time each time they beep, they disrupt whatever you were doing and take your attention.

Set your phone to understand the times you do not want to be disturbed. It could be from 9.00pm to 7.00am, perhaps with exception from favorites like family members.

Do not take the smartphone into the bedroom. It’s not your wife or husband. Leave that “SMARTHING” on the sitting room table!.

Pay attention to your children once it’s that quality time period of say 9.00pm. No more smartphones. There’s no business or urgent calls that would come through at that time.

Statistics shown above show that most times spent on the smartphone are not productive time.

Lastly, try using your smartphone to be more productive.

Your smartphone should yield you money because that’s the way it’s been designed.

It’s not supposed to be consuming your money, time and relationships. It should be a mobile office. It should be your PA. It should be your messenger. It should be your dispatch clerk. It should be your bank and not your Boss.

Start today to be smarter than your smartphones.

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