Are Smartphones Good or Bad for Society? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Dave Parrack 17-05-2015

Smartphones are now an unavoidable part of the world we live in. You probably own one yourself, and they’re probably ruining your life How Smartphones Are Ruining Your Life Your smartphone could be ruining your life, or at least have the capacity to do so in the future. Read More . But even if you don’t own one, you’ll find yourself exposed to them on a daily basis. The question is, are smartphones good or bad for society? Welcome to this week’s MakeUseOf Poll.


Which Windows?

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “What Version of Windows Are You Using Right Now?”

Out of a total of 647 votes, 41.4% chose Windows 8/8.1, 36.6% chose Windows 7, 8.4% chose Windows 10, 6.2% chose Windows XP, 1.7% chose Windows Vista, 0% chose An Older Version Than XP, and 5.7% chose I Don’t Use Windows.

So, the most popular version of Windows amongst our readers is Windows 8/8.1, with Windows 7 coming in a close second. It’s rather exciting to see Windows 10 Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Microsoft is boldly stepping into the future with innovative software and hardware. Windows as a service and mobility of experience were the major keywords from the recent Windows 10 briefing. Most importantly, Windows 10 will... Read More more popular than Windows XP, despite 10 not officially out yet. However, XP is still popular, but thankfully no one here uses a version of Windows older than that rather decrepit operating system Windows XP Lasted Longer Than World Wars I & II Combined Think Microsoft is letting Windows XP die too soon? You're not alone. Many think this is a cash grab. What if I told you Windows XP is the longest supported version of Windows ever? Read More .


Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Jamie McCutchen, Stuart, and averyvh. Comment Of The Week goes to Demo, who earns our admiration and affection forthis comment:


Windows 7 because its the only one that`s stable enough, not as buggy as hell and I can actually DO stuff on without the next update killing everything and making me install everything again. Windows 8 / 8.1 desktop is ok (ish) by design but buggy. And Metro is for touchscreen, – most business users don`t want or use it. The appstore is a joke btw theres NOTHING of use in there.

I actually have win 8.1 pro on two PC`s , 7 on another and vista on an old lappy & 7 is the one I use most. The ONLY reason I have 8.1 at all is because the PC`s are OEM and I didn`t get a choice, I`d swap them for 7 in a heartbeat. I`ve lost count of the times I`ve HAD to re-install 8/8.1 – it`s THAT bad.

We chose this comment because it’s a reminder that Windows 8/8.1 is still far from perfect, which is why so many people are still using Windows 7. It looks like Windows 10 will successfully combine the best elements of both What's In Store For Windows 10 In 2015? 2015 will be Microsoft's last chance to win businesses and consumers back. Here's what happened with Windows 10 in 2014 and the milestones you can look forward to in 2015. Read More , which could make for a killer combination. Fingers crossed.

Are Smartphones Good or Bad for Society?

When a piece of technology becomes as ubiquitous as the smartphone 7 Household Items Our Smartphones Replaced That Maybe They Shouldn't Have Our smartphones have replaced a lot of commons items, but is that really for the best? Read More , it’s bound to have an impact on society as a whole. This device has changed the way we communicate with each other, record our lives for posterity, vent to the wider world, and plenty more besides.

Do you personally believe the smartphone is good or bad for society? Would we all be better off had this particular piece of technology had never been invented? Or has it, despite its downsides, done much more good than bad? Let us know by voting in the poll below.

Once you have voted in the poll above, please explain in the comments section below why you voted that way. Are smartphones improving our lives in many and varied ways? Are smartphones getting in the way of our ability to properly communicate? If you think they’re a force for good, why? If you think they’re a force for bad, why?


The more information you can provide with your comment, the more accurate our conclusions can be based on the results. The best Comment of the Week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. At least until we all meet back here again this time next week with a new question.

Image Credits: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Related topics: Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.

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  1. Cristina
    November 28, 2016 at 12:43 am

    I think smartphones are partly good and partly bad. On the one hand, they're good because they help us communicate with people all over the world, they make looking for information or working online easier and they can entertain you if you're bored. On the other hand, they're bad because they have made people stop talking face to face, they can be something you're manipulated with if you have plenty of information in there and they can affect our health if we don't know when to stop using them.

  2. Gabrielle D
    November 9, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Neither a big fan of US nor of what goes on in there, but this, i couldn't ignore because of its impact on global politics, especially Britain and Europe... i streamed it all via ivacy. So what happens now?

  3. Anonymous
    November 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    It really all depends I think it is bad and good. It is good because yes it can help us when we are in need but it is also bad because when you hear the phone go off people always or most of the time have to answer it. A good example of this is texting and driving. A lot of people do that I drive on the highways everyday it is horrible you have to constantly be looking around because a lot of people are looking at their cell phones.

  4. Saikat
    May 19, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Is a knife good or bad? Depends. If you use to commit murder, it's bad. For cutting bread -- pretty good.

    It depends on our perception of it.

    In an information society, it's the tool that makes everything so accessible. From news to an emergency medical service. I would favor it for its good uses.

  5. George Klein
    May 18, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Good: easy communications, more safety (911 is at your fingertips, if required), ability to connect to the internet, playing games if bored, etc.

    Bad: overuse, reduces alertness on streets with sometimes tragic consequences etc.

  6. Deen
    May 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    "Too much love will kill you". That applies to all the good things in life. Smartphones included.

  7. R A Myers
    May 18, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I (We?) could make use of a good spill cheeker!

    Y O !

    Yes, they provide for Necessary Communications where there is no other means.

    nO, they have made formerly Unnecessary Communications into Necessary Communications.

    I've seen to young people walking down either side of a street talking on cell phone, when one yells to the other, "I can't hear you!".

    Solutions: Not private, yell. Private, cross the street and whisper.

    Another iteration of "We can, so we Must."

  8. R A Myers
    May 18, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Y O !

    Yes, they provide for Necessary Communications where there is no other means.

    nO, they have made formerly Unnecessary Communications into Necessary Communications.

    I've seen to young people walking down either side of a street talking on cell phone, when on yells to the other, "I can't hear you!".

    Solutions: Not private, yell. Private, cross the street and whisper.

    Another iteration of "We can, so we Must."

  9. Dav Akers
    May 18, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Smartphones are awesome, although admittingly sometimes the entity holding it is not so smart. Learn to use it with respect and dignity. It's here to stay with a whole lot more technology to come.

  10. dragonmouth
    May 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    "Are Smartphones Good or Bad for Society?"
    They're neither or both. Smartphones are a tool and whether they're "good or bad" depends on their usage.

    "Smartphones are now an unavoidable part of the world we live in."
    So far I have managed to avoid them. I do not own one and, unless someone makes me a present of one, never will. They have ruined my life in the same way as "So WHEN are you getting married" or "So WHEN are you going to have children" questions ruin lives.

  11. Laura
    May 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    It's the user that has to decide if they are going to be the master or mastered. We are at a pivotal point in the evolution of information and are trying to figure out how to best use it all. People will get this figured out and will continue to demand proof of legitimacy from sources. The over use of electronic communication is just a new phase of people needing to connect with the least amount of effort.

  12. Peter Hood
    May 18, 2015 at 11:56 am

    The phone isn't bad, the user's behaviour may be indisciplined, no more than that. Sent, perhaps irinically, from my Droid tablet.

  13. Seven Dials
    May 18, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Smartphone = mobile phone now. Try job-hunting without one. Well-used it adds the ability to be polite and helpful, as in "Train delayed, will be 15 mins late". Plus apps to provide real-time public transport arrival / departure times (not available everywhere in London), and music, camera and e-mail. OTOH how many people do we walk into because they stop suddenly to look at something on their screen? There are a few people who still carry on phone conversations at the tops of their voices in public, but most people have learned how to be polite by now.

  14. Gavin
    May 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

    “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Albert Einstein

  15. hallsandolr
    May 18, 2015 at 3:18 am

    The instant access to information is a plus. The superficial relationships they trend to encourage are bad. Still is what each individual makes of this piece of our lives just like every other choice we ate faced with everyday.

  16. Hildy J
    May 18, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Smartphones are good when you are by yourself and bad when you're not.

    They are also good for emergencies (which do not include Facebook updates or the latest hashtag).