By Janet Adetu
Are you like me just joining the smartphone craze? Everyone in my household has either an I-phone, Samsung or some sort of Android phone. I must say I find them so sophisticated and functional gadgets, especially if you are using them for business.
I recently bought an android phone for my father so that he could join the family on WhatsApp group (Big Family). He has been so used to the olden days phone, he is now trying to be smart phone savvy, as they say time waits with nobody technology has taken over.
How many times have you been in a meeting or seminar and found people’s heads down fidgeting with their smartphones? Personally in a few of my workshops and seminars I have discovered how distracting this act can be.
I wonder if professionals are automatically expecting some form of message be it a WhatsApp message, text message, Facebook message or email message. The phone somehow is permanently in their hands or close by waiting for them to respond to it. Ultimately, at that time when concentration is most needed they are being unproductive. These phones require some technical knowledge if you really want to get the best of your phone, do not get lost in the intricacies of your phone.
It is important you separate your social usage of your phone from your business usage, some people have more than one phone for this reason. So long as you can handle the pressure of your phone ride on.
Being Smartphone Ready
When buying a smartphone, purchase the size that is convenient for you to both use and carry. Ensure that you can operate the keys for the purpose of texting or emailing. Remember it’s all about your eyes from Samsung II to Samsung 7I, and I-phone 3 to I – phone 8 they get even more sophisticated by the day. Buy the one with the features you need and not for fancy, it should meet your immediate need.
Just like any other phone be careful of the ringtone you use, especially when using for business purposes and even in social settings it can be a nuisance. Consider your personality and choose a ring tone that fits you not someone else. The volume of the ringtone is also one to look out for, don’t let it be overbearing. Be careful not to download a ring tone that others may find blasts in their ears when they call you, this can be quite offensive and annoying.
Many have a slight ping as a ringtone for convenience. Remember for every message that comes through your phone will notify you, this maybe disturbing at times, keep your phone on silent vibration or low volume when need be. The phone I bought for my father last year is sitting comfortably at home because his first compliment was it was too big therefore too heavy for him to conveniently carry about, I learnt that lesson upfront. Your convenience comes first. Thankfully there are multiple varieties to choose from today.
Your smartphone sometimes cannot download heavy attachments from your email inbox, and will tell you that your message has been truncated. The same applies when sending an email from your smartphone; it should be short and brief. If you need to send any formal document you should try to send it from your laptop. Your smartphone should be used to identify and respond to emails that have come through immediately without having to be on your desk. You make quick responses that need prompt or immediate attention.
I would not recommend for business purposes any form of communication comes through chat form. For your personal and social usage be selective in the pictures you set up as your profile page. Pictures tend to speak a thousand words. With close colleagues at work keep professional and personal conversations separate. Remember what you do not want published don’t say it on your smartphone. Your profile picture is good to update your page however be careful not to draw too much attention to yourself by changing it ever so often.
Formal/ Informal Usage
Your phone is a gadget that can be very addictive and time consuming. Your phone should not be an excuse not to be in the present when you are among others. Please note that when you are going for a meeting or attending an appointment, whether you are conducting or attending the meeting, the phone is the least priority at that time.
Your phone should be silently kept away for the duration. Nothing can be more impolite than answering a phone when you have got the attention of others. One missed phone call will not kill you, attend to missed calls and messages at a more appropriate time. Do not respond to text messages or emails in a formal gathering, dinner or speaking engagement.
For convenience you may decide to use the speaker phone or a hands-free gadget but when and where is essential and should not be overlooked. Whether the conversation is private, social or professional they should all be taken as confidential.
If you are a business professional who relies heavily on your phone for business communications you may find yourself using the speaker phone more often. Be observant when you do this, you will need to be discreet in talking aloud as people around you will be forced to eavesdrop unconsciously.
Social media today has taken over the wave length, for some it is what I would say the be all end all. The fact that you have Hi –Tech smartness in your palm is now great but has its deterrents all the same. The use of Twitter, Facebook, Linked- In, You-tube, Instagram and many more forms of social media are becoming ever so popular today. Many businesses are tuning into these devices to stay in touch with clients, customers, viewers and business contacts.
Your smartphone is a great device for keeping social contacts and reaching out to a large community. It is important to remember to sign off after use to protect your data. Be extra careful not to refer to anything work related during social discussions, information travels superfast and can be misinterpreted.
Over and above all when you own a smartphone, you will realize that a lot of your life is slowly accumulated on to it. It is paramount that you secure your smartphone with a password or pattern ID identifiable by you alone. Currently there is a software that helps you track your phone when it has been stolen anywhere in the world. All smartphones are hot cakes in many places, guard your phones jealously.
One disadvantage I have found with smartphones phones is that the battery has a tendency to run down pretty fast, many times you may be called when your phone is off, It can be quite frustrating for someone to call and find that you are not available. Carry an extra charged battery or a charger which can be used on your laptop, in your car or office.
Smartphones can be quite expensive depending on the specification and services provided; this may depend on the network you decide to use. It is important to factor in all the necessary costs before purchase. Buy the affordable version. Whatever the reason you have for obtaining a smartphone it most certainly must be used correctly.