Rely but don’t over-rely on smartphones

While there is a danger in relying on smartphones a lot, the hand-held devices sure are handy.

Much has been made about over-reliance on technology and there is both physical and statistical evidence proving this.

Many can be seen talking on or texting from their cellphones and smartphones in Grand Forks and area and according to a recent Canadian Press report, Canadians send 10 million text messages an hour, or 227 million a day.

Social media usage has also increased, especially with sites like Twitter and Facebook accessible from smartphones, and a May 18 report from, citing, said that Facebook usage in Canada topped 50 per cent.

I’m willing to venture a guess that some of those 227 million daily texts aren’t of the serious variety and large segment of the 50 per cent of Facebook users in the country were probably logging on to update their status or post pictures.

Still, it is a sign of the times.

There was a fire at the Interfor mill in Grand Forks back in May and while it thankfully was put out quickly, the first thought at the time was of similar fires in the province that led to deaths.

I rushed to the scene and took pictures but being that my camera can’t post pictures remotely, I used my smartphone to post pictures on the Grand Forks Gazette’s Facebook page and tweet live from the scene.

Disseminating information has become that fast.

The same for during the July 20 windstorm and the upcoming Grand Forks International baseball tournament, in fact, the smartphone has become a Swiss army knife for the 21st century.

Most smartphones have day planners, photo and video cameras, email, the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter access and also global positioning – there are numerous applications as well, not to mention the actual phone.

I recently attended a concert on the coast and didn’t have to bother buying a disposable camera to bring in. Also, since my phone has a five-megapixel camera with autofocus, the pictures didn’t turn out too poorly.

On top of that, slower songs and ballads were being played, I could use my screen as a Zippo lighter of sorts.

Becoming over-reliant on smartphones isn’t the way to go but the device is sure useful.

Grand Forks Gazette