Mobile Devices, Smartphones and Tablets: A Writer’s Conundrum
If you haven’t noticed, mobile devices are kind of “in” these days. Android phones and tablets, iPads, every version of the iPhone, Blackberrys, Windows Phones. There’s a new version of something, or everything, every day. It’s enough information and brand name overload to make covering mobile device trends an impossible task if, say, your job is to cover mobile device trends. Hey, you try being smarter than a smartphone.
The web of gadgets spins wider when it comes to mobile devices in the workplace, as there are almost as many mobile device management (MDM) software providers offering up solutions to monitor and manage phones and tablets as there are companies churning them out.
But what I’ve found is that mobile devices are as addicting as they are impossible to write about. Just as soon as I shut my work devices down for the day, I find myself picking up my personal tablet and getting lost in a cyber playground with 3D bowling lanes, puzzles, and an easier-to-use version of Facebook. I try not to procrastinate on work, but sitting within arms reach are the two most addicting things imaginable: a tablet, and Facebook. My work schedule never really stood a chance.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a reason why mobile devices are crawling all over company networks these days (it’s not just because you can play Words With Friends while you’re on the clock). Smartphones and tablets are great work tools. They’re extremely efficient, they’re easy to carry, you can use them from anywhere, and they can even be a natural compliment to a workplace conversation; especially tablets. If you want to show your co-worker a news story, you don’t have to pop up a laptop screen; a physical barrier between you and the other person. You can pull it up on your tablet and share it. No barrier, no problem.
Most importantly, mobile devices can give people the feeling that they’re not really working. You’re not pounding on a keyboard, you’re tapping a screen and exploring your tablet. This can’t possibly be work.
I wouldn’t have such a problem with my addiction to mobile devices — tablets in particular — if I didn’t have put it down to revert back to my laptop or desktop every day to write. Why? Tablets and blogging just don’t mesh.
Ever tried using a blogging website on your tablet? It’s much slower, it’s a pain to tab through different sections and you have to zoom in reeeeeally close to the screen in order to check SEO boxes. Even with a wireless keyboard, blogging is still much faster on a desktop or laptop than on a tablet or smartphone.
Mobile Mood Swings
So every day I go through the five emotional phases of living in a mobile world.
- I love my tablet because I can read news briefs much faster, and I love my smartphone because I can respond to emails as if they were text messages.
- I miss my mobile devices as I write on a laptop or a desktop.
- I’m overwhelmed with mobile device news and I don’t want to think about, or see, a mobile device.
- I get lost in my mobile device playground.
- A real, physical person takes the tablet away from me and forces me into human interaction.
So my final take on mobile devices: I love them…until I hate them…before I love them. Quite the conundrum.