Extensive Smart Phone Usage Negatively Affecting Desktop Computing Skills

Like Dennis the Menace, the smart phones have created a menace by setting expectations and behaviors that are creating difficulties for the newer generation.

Youngsters have grown up by spending more time on smart phones and tabs and lesser time on desktops and laptops. They have worked less on desks and more on couches, sitting on benches or while leaning against a wall. This extensive smart phone usage has an issue, while a 22″ monitor is available at very low prices today even less than $150, the smart phone is limited to a 5.5″ screen or less.

The outlook and the detail is missing on the smart phones. You need to dumb down to become comfortable with a smart phone. Any detailed work makes it frustrating on the smart phone. Repeatedly reading on smart phones can create a wrong impression of reading. Long reads are a nuisance in social interactions but in professional life you cannot avoid it.

Young professionals are having more issues with page alignment. Even software programmers have issues getting basic stuff like maintaining space between para headings and paragraph. On the phones not only you don’t care about spellings using short forms like ‘u’ for you, ‘tx’ for thanks and ‘K’ for OK. Not only is the composition minimalistic, the less said about grammar it is better. You don’t have to worry about formatting the composition with setting alignment (left or justify).

With offshoring and outsourcing being widely in use by both big firms and SMBs, the work is done by professionals in other countries. Rising population growth in developing countries has forced the governments to increase the number of educational institutions dramatically. However, the quality is lagging and this is affecting the caliber of the professionals who have college degrees.

Across various client projects and websites in professional life, we are now seeing that basic desktop publishing skills that a young professional would pick up while working on MS Word is now missing. So the sites and apps look very low quality. Even, when the new generation does basic website maintenance the low skills are very obvious. Some trivialize these skills even when its importance is brought to their notice, the youngsters many times claim this is the job of UI designers. Not exactly my younger friends, it is purely lack of desktop computing exposure that is responsible for this way of thinking.

No doubt, smart phones are convenient and they have made our life convenient and better in many ways. The convenience and the utility they provide especially when we are outside our home or office is phenomenal. However, every tool has a limitations and it is important to diversify and have a wider experience. Just like in the past, people were extorted to travel to widen their experience.

Similarly, there is a need to get the new professionals to expand their minds and understand that business will never completely move to smart phones. Yes, for consumers it offers great choice and smart phone is a good supplement and tool useful for instant access. However, cannot imagine the US Supreme Court to transact everything on smart phone and the replacement of paper affidavits in a trial court. Similarly, certificates will make more sense as printed copies. Contracts between world leaders will continue to be signed on paper. Surely, smart phones have a role and an important role. But to think, the smart phone is the only way to do computing transactions is not the right way of thinking.