Is the smartphone man’s best friend?

by time news

Time.news – The mobile phone is the object we hold the most during the day, second only to the work tools, which for many of us are always ‘portable phones’. Last year, due to lockdown, we consulted it more than ever before, four hours on average during waking hours, which are about 16. A quarter of our life ends there, on the touch screen of a smartphone.

In 2020 app downloads multiplied (Facebook, Whatsapp, but also TikToc above all), the streaming events that we followed on the smartphone screen. Football or tennis matches, concerts, conferences, business meetings, video games. The mobile phone is more than a device, a digital medium. IS a toolbox that is always open, an archive where you can find everything, a shop with continuous and perpetual opening hours, a faithful and always reachable friend to ask for advice, the soft toy to sleep with (our children hide it under the pillow so as not to miss the last notification, before sleep breaks down their last resistances).

Yet there are those who are convinced that we still use the mobile phone for a small part of its potential. A bit like our brains. “Until yesterday, the smartphone was a weapon of mass distraction. 2020 taught us to use it as a total machine, a powerful tool. We started doing things of value: at work, in life, in relationships. Now we are ready to stop being passive in front and use it as the most powerful weapon we have to relaunch our personal and professional projects. We have in our hands a very powerful concentrate of technology“. Other than plush.

Francesco Facchini is a Friulian journalist, born and raised in the editorial offices of Milanese newspapers, writing mostly about sports and news (degree thesis on Chievo Verona), who also founded and directed a press agency (AlaNews), after leaving a job and a permanent job (editor at Metro) for one of his projects (algorithmoumano.it). For some years he has specialized on mobile journalism, journalism carried out with the smartphone, an activity of which he has become a small ‘priest’, due to social networks and a dense network of relationships that have supported him on this path.

With a smartphone in your pocket, not only can you tell a war or a Chievo match, you can beat Facchini, but you can publish a newspaper, shoot a film, make a presentation for a Ted. Where is the news? Until now we have used the telephone to work on the move while traveling from one office to another, from a computer to an Ipad, while we were in the park with the dog or on a subway car, perhaps waiting to find access to a printer. Facchini has written a book * of over 300 pages to show that the smartphone has become one today total tool, unique in the sense that it can do everything by itself, it no longer needs technological annexes to support a complete production cycle, if the final product is called information or communication.

With your smartphone, you design, create, package, distribute, share, retain and collect – if you can – without needing anything other than your intelligence and your creativity.

“Yes – explains the author – you can change your life, find (or find) a job, improve your career, reactivate and evolve the story of your business, be it small or large. The smartphone helps us to raise our heads, allows us to invent new languages ​​with which to propose ourselves to the public. New markets can be created, products can be proposed. You can talk directly to people, you can learn, discover, communicate, travel without moving, love without touching (I know, it’s better to touch …). To do all these things you have a weapon that has become really powerful and that has come into your life in one way and now it is important in completely different ways ”.

This is a book (written largely on the smartphone) that talks about journalism, but also about communication in the broad sense. “I’m talking about how to relaunch life and work with the smartphone in these times when we have realized that this tool is no longer just the multiplying machine for our distractions, but also the most important means of connection with the world and with the society that surrounds us. The smartphone was a machine gun that shot information at us and we wanted passive, dazed and still to look, in those small screens, messages decided by someone else. All this happily giving away personal data. The pandemic has closed us at home for a long time, with only the phone in hand. Then we realized that that machine gun could become something else. It has become a bridge on which you too can upload content and shoot it at the world. To say that you exist, to say what you do, to say where you are and what road you are traveling on. To say what your qualities are, in what work you are excellent, in what field you are unique. We realized that the smartphone is a bridge because in quarantine it is thanks to it that we have kept important relationships standing, we have completed vital operations, created impactful personal and professional actions. The smartphone is the best weapon we have to relaunch our life and the language to use is the mobile content creation”.

Several technical chapters, where Facchini explains how to create multimedia formats (very interesting the comparative analysis of the different platforms for the packaging of videos and podcasts) and where he proposes a reasoned guide to choice and purchase of a smartphone.

But it is the ‘motivational’ passages that remain most impressed on those who undoubtedly spend four hours a day with a mobile phone in hand, but perhaps had never imagined that there could be so many ‘industrial’ functions to produce content even only aimed at improve their performance on social networks. Only one limit, perhaps, to a text certainly destined to last and to be renewed with periodic updated editions, a text that should be read by all those who use their mobile phones for work and not just for leisure: a slight vein of technological fanaticism that Facchini betrays in several steps for his / our new contemporary totem.

The ultimate smartphone metronome of our lives? Until yesterday only a tool for escapism and entertainment, at the limit of socialization, today also an autonomous and complete production engine for our daily communication activities and relationships with others. A little too much, who knows. Are you sure that if the hours with your fingers on the touch screen will become 5 or 6 every day our creativity will gain? Are you sure that having a unique tool that is enough in itself to do everything will improve our vision of reality, our ability to intercept, deeply understand, fix and share emotions, even if only in Pdf or Mp4 format?

In the last ten years, no technological tool has had a diffusion even comparable to that of the ‘smart phone’. Today they have it and everybody in every part of the world uses it for more and more hours. It has almost become a new limb of the human body, a third eye, an additional memory for memories and projects. A good weapon, as Facchini writes, a formidable hand to do everything, almost a ‘sixth sense’. But is it right and really convenient that more and more everything passes from there?

‘Smartphone Evolution’, by Francesco Facchini (preface by Yusuf Omar). 320 pages, 28 euros (Dario Flaccovio Editore)

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