You probably don’t need anyone telling you that personal computers, smartphones, and numerous other devices have dramatically impacted lifestyles across the globe. Some of the effects these devices have yielded are obvious. For instance, you likely understand that the way in which people interact and communicate is now different when compared to the pre-digital age.
However, there are also certain side effects of the digital revolution that may be less obvious. They include:
3 Surprising Ways Computers & Smartphones Have Changed Our Lives
The End of (Some) Impulse Buys
Long lines at the grocery store are boring. Companies take advantage of this fact by placing cheap items near the checkout counter. Maybe you didn’t go to the store to buy that magazine, but you’ve been waiting on this line for three minutes now, and you can’t resist the temptation to pick it up.
Or, at least, that’s what used to happen. However, some researchers noticed that the rise of smartphone usage also corresponds with a decline in people making these impulse purchases.
This makes sense when you think about it. Instead of standing in line feeling bored, people can now take out their phones to play games or browse the Internet. The tempting products on display no longer capture their attention.
Dropping Crime Rates
It’s important to understand that many factors influence crime rates. This point should not oversimplify the topic.
That said, researchers have found that violent crime rates tend to be dropping, particularly among young populations with substantial access to smartphones and similar devices.
Like all the points in this list, it also becomes easy to understand why this might be when you consider the way circumstances have changed since the digital revolution. For instance, research also shows that in areas with cold winters and warm summers, violent crime rates tend to increase in the summer and decrease in the winter. Why? Because during the summer, people are spending more time outdoors. That means they have more opportunities to participate in violent crimes.
The same principle explains why the rise of smartphones has yielded a reduction in violent crimes. People are spending more time indoors using their devices instead of getting into trouble. On that note…
Dropping Underage Pregnancy & Drug Usage Rates
Violent crimes aren’t the only bad behaviors today’s tech-savvy young people are less likely to engage in. Studies also show that teens are having less sex and using less illegal drugs than previous generations.
Once again, many believe technology is the reason. In fact, according to surveys, many of today’s young people agree with that conclusion. They explain that they don’t need to go out to have fun when they have phones that offer plenty of distracting activities in the comfort of their own homes.
These are merely a few examples. Again, they indicate that the digital age has changed life not only in obvious ways, but in ways that are easy to overlook. Of course, the more ubiquitous these devices become, the more changes they will continue to usher in. This is just the beginning.