Your Smartphones are not THAT Smart

The technological power in smartphones is astounding and getting better with every new model.  It seems like there is nothing that they cannot do.  And we may all be getting mentally lazy as a result.

I can no longer remember most phone numbers.  Why should I?  They are in my phone.  There is no need to do math in my head.  My calculator on my phone is just a finger swipe away.  With auto correct, who needs to know the exact spelling of words.  Just get close and the phone will fix it.  Or will it?

A recent incident reminded me that some things are best NOT done on our phones.

A young man needed to send an email that could have serious implications for his future.  I know this young man to be smart and an eloquent and effective communicator.  But poor sentence structure, clumsy messaging, punctuation errors, misspelling, and words used incorrectly made it look like he was NOT very smart.   The email did have the desired positive impact.

A young woman was completing a scholarship application on her phone.  Unfortunately, she missed some important check boxes and, therefore, also missed the scholarship.

Both of these people were probably in a hurry. But Smartphones may not allow enough visual perspective on important communications and tasks.  The screens are too small to provide context on where everything fits.  And, if we are not very careful, auto correct can make some pretty interesting substitutions for the words we really meant to use.

Fully embrace all of the productivity benefits and whiz bang capabilities of smartphones.  But, for important communications, give yourself the best chance to get it right.  Do it on an old-fashioned device like your tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

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